Neuropathic (Nerve) Pain
Neuropathic (nerve) pain is caused by damage or injury of nerves due to trauma, surgery, disease or chemotherapy. It is described as burning, painful, cold or electric shocks and may be associated with tingling, pins and needles, numbness or itching. Neuropathic pain can be the primary symptom of a stand-alone condition, such as complex regional pain syndrome, multiple sclerosis or post herpetic neuralgia. It can also be associated with other medical conditions or other forms of pain, including pelvic pain, fibromyalgia and orofacial pain. Phantom pain following a limb amputation is also a type of neuropathic pain. Without effective treatment, neuropathic pain can lead to serious disability.
Nerve pain requires active treatment by developing a supported self-management plan with a GP.
A broad approach to treatment is suitable, with the aim of retraining the nervous system to reduce pain. As medicines have limited efficacy, multidisciplinary pain management and self-management strategies play a key role in treatment.
Help & Resources
- Nerve pain (healthdirect)
- MS Australia: Australia’s peak body for people with multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Neuropathic Pain: Painaustralia fact sheet
- Managing Neuropathic Pain (Veterans’ MATES)
- Anti-neuropathic Pain Medications (painHEALTH)
- What is Neuropathic Pain? (International Association for the Study of Pain)
- What is nerve pain? (NPS MedicineWise)