Neuropathic (nerve) pain is caused by damage, injury or dysfunction 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 is one of the most difficult to treat of all chronic pain conditions. However, appropriate treatment can reduce disability and improve overall wellbeing. Treatment may include interventions such as nerve blocks to stop nerves from working in the affected area and medications can be helpful for pain relief. Multidisciplinary pain management combined with self-management will also be important.