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Neuralgia

 

The nervous system helps different parts of your body to send signals to each other and communicate. The nervous system is made up of nerves and neural pathways which connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Neuralgia occurs when there is damage to a nerve and pain is experienced in one of the neural pathways of your body.      

 

Causes  

In many cases of neuralgia the cause of the pain is unknown. Nerve inflammation is one of the most common triggers for neuralgia. Other likely causes of neuralgia can include infection, shingles, diabetes, multiple sclerosis or simply old age. There are different types of neuralgia that affect certain neural pathways of the body, although the most common type affects the nerves of the face, cheeks and neck.      

 

Symptoms  

Symptoms of neuralgia can include:  

  • Sharp reoccurring pain,  
  • Localised pain,  
  • A burning sensation,  
  • The affected area is sensitive to touch, and  
  • Muscle spasms.  

 

Diagnosis

Your GP may run different types of tests to rule out other conditions and causes of the pain. These include:   

  • Blood tests,  
  • X-ray imaging,  
  • A neurological examination, and/or  
  • Dental examination.  

 

Treatment options  

Treatment options to help manage neuralgia include:  

  • Physical therapy,  
  • Treatment for the underlying cause (if known),  
  • Alternative therapies such as acupuncture,  
  • Control of blood-sugar levels in people with diabetes,  
  • Nerve-block injections,
  • Pain relief, and  
  • In severe cases you may require surgery to either block pain messages or help to desensitize the affected nerve.      

 

Disclaimer  

The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.   Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.  

 

Sources  

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Neuralgia_explained   http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Nervous_system?open   http://www.healthline.com/health/neuralgia#Overview1