NPI - Nerve Pain Information

Nerve Pain Information

Your resource for information on the causes and symptoms of nerve pain, the impact nerve pain can have on your lifestyle/day-to-day activities and the treatment of nerve pain.

Understanding Nerve Pain

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The Impact of Nerve Pain

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The Journey to Wellness

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Definations Facts & Fiction

Understanding Nerve Pain - Definitions

Please watch the following video to learn more about nerve pain.

Please watch the following video to learn more about nerve pain vs muscle pain.

Diabetes
Periperhal Neuropathy
Symptoms of Neuropathy in Your Feet and Hands
Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Postherpetic Neuralgia and Shingles
Fibromyalgia
Nerve Pain vs. Muscle Pain


Diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition in which sugar (glucose) remains in the blood rather than entering the body’s cells to be used for energy. This results in high blood sugar, which, over time, can damage many body systems.

Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and frequent urination (especially at night); unexplained increase in appetite; unexplained weight loss; fatigue; erection problems; blurred vision; and tingling, burning, or numbness in the hands or feet.

People who have diabetes are at increased risk for many serious health problems, including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and heart problems, eye problems that can lead to blindness, circulation and nerve problems, and kidney disease and kidney failure.

Pregnant women with uncontrolled diabetes have an increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects.
Diabetes is treated with diet and lifestyle changes and with medications (such as insulin or oral medications). If blood sugar levels are kept within the recommended range, the risk for many complications from diabetes decreases.
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Peripheral neuropathy

This term means damage to the peripheral nervous system which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body.. These are the nerves that sense pain; touch, hot, and cold. They also affect movement and muscle strength. The nerves in the feet and lower legs are most often affected. This type of nerve damage can lead to serious foot problems. The damage usually gets worse slowly, over months or years. Symptoms may get worse during pregnancy. Peripheral neuropathy can result from such problems as traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes of the disorder is diabetes.
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Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy in Your Feet and Hands

If you have diabetes, you may be all-too-familiar with nerve pain and damage in your feet, legs, and hands, called peripheral neuropathy. Your peripheral nerves serve the farthest reaches - the periphery - of your body.
The nerves to your feet are the longest in your body, and they're often the first to be affected. (Nerve pain, numbness, and muscle weakness can also appear in your hips, thighs, and buttocks, called proximal neuropathy, making it hard to walk.

Symptoms can include:
• Tingling or burning in your toes, feet, legs, fingers, hands, or arms
• A "pins and needles" feeling
• Pain or cramping
• Numbness or loss of sensation (severe or long term numbness can become permanent)
• Insensitivity to heat and cold?
• Extreme sensitivity to even the lightest touch?
• Muscle weakness in your hands or feet?
• Loss of coordination or balance that makes it harder to walk?
• Burning sensation (especially in the evening)
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Diabetic Neuropathy

Neuropathy means nerve disease or damage. Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by diabetes. People with diabetes often have high blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage nerves throughout your body. The older you get, and the longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to have nerve damage. People with diabetes who drink too much alcohol are also more likely to have nerve damage. Symptoms will depend on which nerves are injured. You may not be able to feel pain, especially in your feet. This can lead to serious infections, because sores or other problems may not get treated.

Causes of Diabetic Neuropathy
Over time, high blood sugar levels from diabetes can damage nerves throughout your body. The higher your blood sugar levels, the more likely you are to have nerve damage. So controlling your blood sugar throughout your life is very important.
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Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

The areas of the body most commonly affected by diabetic peripheral neuropathy are the feet and legs. Nerve damage in the feet can result in a loss of foot sensation, increasing your risk of foot problems and may lead to infections. Injuries and sores on the feet may go unrecognized due to lack of sensation. Therefore, you should practice proper skin and foot care. Rarely, other areas of the body such as the arms, abdomen, and back may be affected. For people with diabetes, nerve pain can be a serious problem.

Nearly 21 million Americans have diabetes, and at least six out of 10 of them have some kind of nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, says the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Nerve pain or numbness can happen in anywhere in your body - not just in your feet - although that's a common spot if you're over 40. Nearly one in three people over age 40 with diabetes have lost some feeling in their feet, says the ADA. A little numbness is not a minor problem. Amputation, having a toe, foot, or lower leg surgically removed, is 10 times more likely in people with diabetes.
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Other types of Nerve Pain

Postherpetic Neuralgia and Shingles

Sometimes, particularly in older people, symptoms of shingles persist long after the rash has healed. In these cases, facial paralysis, headache, and persistent pain can be the outcome. Possibly because the nerve cells conveying pain sensations are hardest hit, or are sensitized by the virus attack, pain is the principal persistent complication of shingles.

This pain, called postherpetic neuralgia or PHN is the kind of pain that leads to insomnia, weight loss, depression, and that total preoccupation with unrelenting anguish that characterizes the chronic pain sufferer.

• Although it can be extraordinarily painful, postherpetic neuralgia is not life-threatening

• It is important to realize that individuals with postherpetic neuralgia no longer have shingles because their infection is over. Instead, they are suffering from damage to the nervous system. Scientists believe that the virus attack has led to scarring or other lesions affecting the cells in sensory ganglia and associated nerves. Even in such severe cases, however, the paralysis, headaches, and pain generally subside, although it may take time.
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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Fibromyalgia symptoms include chronic pain in the muscles, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points at certain parts of the body. Fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes, stress management, and other fibromyalgia treatment.
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Nerve Pain vs. Muscle Pain

The nerve pain that occurs with diabetes is different from other types of pain that you may feel. For example, it is different from the pain you get from a sprained ankle or muscle ache.

There are lots of medicines available for pain, but many products that you are used to taking for headaches, muscle aches, or joint pain have not been clinically proven to calm the stabbing, tingling, burning pain that may be associated with nerve damage.
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