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What And Where Are Dermatomes?

What and where are dermatomes?

Dermatomes are areas of skin that send signals to the brain through the spinal nerves. These signals give rise to sensations involving temperature, pressure, and pain.
The part of a nerve that exits the spinal cord is called the nerve root. Damage to a nerve root can trigger symptoms in the nerve’s corresponding dermatome.
Below, we show the locations of the dermatomes throughout the body. We also describe health conditions that can damage the spinal nerves and affect their dermatomes.

What are they?

A dermatome is an area of skin that sends information to the brain via a single spinal nerve.
Spinal nerves exit the spine in pairs. There are 31 pairs in total, and 30 of these have corresponding dermatomes.
The exception is the C1 spinal nerve, which does not have a corresponding dermatome.
The spinal nerves are classified into five groups, according to the region of the spine from which they exit.
The five groups and their points of exit from the spine are:
Cervical nerves: These exit the neck region and are labeled C1–C8.
Thoracic nerves: These exit the torso region and are labeled T1–T12.
Lumbar nerves: These exit the lower back region and are labeled L1–L5.
Sacral nerves: These exit the base of the spine and are labeled S1–S5.
A coccygeal nerve pair: These exit the tailbone, or coccyx.

Locations of the dermatomes
Each dermatome shares the label of its corresponding spinal nerve.
Some dermatomes overlap to a certain extent, and the precise layout of the dermatomes can vary slightly from one person to the next.
Below, we list the locations of the dermatomes that correspond to the spinal nerves in each group.
Cervical nerves and their dermatomes
C2: the base of the skull, behind the ear
C3: the back of the head and the upper neck
C4: the lower neck and upper shoulders
C5: the upper shoulders and the two collarbones
C6: the upper forearms and the thumbs and index fingers
C7: the upper back, backs of the arms, and middle fingers
C8: the upper back, inner arms, and ring and pinky fingers
Thoracic nerves and their dermatomes
T1: the upper chest and back and upper forearm
T2, T3, and T4: the upper chest and back
T5, T6, and T7: the mid-chest and back
T8 and T9: the upper abdomen and mid-back
T10: the midline of the abdomen and the mid-back
T11 and T12: the lower abdomen and mid-back
Lumbar nerves and their dermatomes
L1: the groin, upper hips, and lower back
L2: the lower back, hips, and tops of the inner thighs
L3: the lower back, inner thighs, and inner legs just below the knees
L4: the backs of the knees, inner sections of the lower legs, and the heels
L5: the tops of the feet and the fronts of the lower legs
Sacral nerves and their dermatomes
S1: the lower back, buttocks, backs of the legs, and outer toes
S2: the buttocks, genitals, backs of the legs, and heels
S3: the buttocks and genitals
S4 and S5: the buttocks
The coccygeal nerves and their dermatome
The dermatome corresponding with the coccygeal nerves is located on the buttocks, in the area directly around the tailbone, or coccyx.

Associated health conditions
Symptoms that occur within a dermatome sometimes indicate damage or disruption to the dermatome’s corresponding nerve. The location of these symptoms can, therefore, help doctors diagnose certain underlying medical conditions.
Some conditions that can affect the nerves and their corresponding dermatomes are:
Shingles
Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a viral infection caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
After the body recovers from chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant and eventually reactivate as shingles.
In adults, shingles typically causes a rash to form on the trunk, along one of the thoracic dermatomes. The rash may be preceded by pain, itching, or tingling in the area.
Some other symptoms of shingles can include:
a headache
sensitivity to bright light
a general feeling of being unwell
A person with a weakened immune system may develop a more widespread shingles rash that covers three or more dermatomes. Doctors refer to this as disseminated zoster.
Pinched nerves
A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve root has become compressed by a bone, disc, tendon, or ligament. This compression can occur anywhere along the spine, but it usually occurs in the lower, or lumbar, region.
A pinched nerve can cause pain, tingling, or numbness in its corresponding dermatome. As such, the location of the symptoms can help a doctor identify the affected nerve.

The doctor then diagnoses and treats the underlying cause of the pinched nerve and recommends ways to relieve the symptoms.
Traumatic injury
A traumatic injury to the nerves may result from an accident or surgery.
The severity of symptoms can help doctors determine the extent of the nerve injury.

Summary
Dermatomes are areas of skin, each of which is connected to a single spinal nerve. Together, these areas create a surface map of the body.
Dysfunction or damage to a spinal nerve can trigger symptoms in the corresponding dermatome. Nerves damage or dysfunction may result from infection, compression, or traumatic injury.
Doctors can sometimes use the severity of symptoms in a dermatome to determine the extent and location of nerve damage. They then work to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of the damage.

Article Provided By: medicalnewstoday

Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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How To Cope With Chronic Neuropathic Pain

How to Cope With Chronic Neuropathic Pain
By Erica Jacques
Medically reviewed by Grant Hughes, MD on November 03, 2019

Chronic pain can have crippling effects on your body. This can especially be true when that diagnosis is chronic nerve pain, which is notoriously difficult to treat. However, chronic nerve pain doesn’t have to take away your quality of life. Today, there are many medications and treatments available to help you get your pain under control. But if you still find it difficult to cope with your chronic nerve pain, there are a few simple things you can try.

Seek Out Peers
Peers not only understand your situation, but they can also share their own coping mechanisms with you. Sometimes, a peer can give you an idea that you never considered. At the very least, they can be someone to whom you can vent your feelings.

Keep a Pain Journal
A pain journal is a safe place for you to talk about your pain, especially if you aren’t comfortable sharing those feelings with another person. Sometimes venting your frustrations on paper is enough to make you feel better. You can also document details about your pain in your journal, which can help you recognize trends that increase and/or decrease pain sensations.

Practice Relaxation
For some people, the tension that results from excessive stress can intensify pain sensations. Of course, living stress-free is next to impossible. Learning to relax, however, can help decrease some of that day-to-day tension, which is not only good for your body but also for your mental well-being. Try listening to some peaceful music, soaking in a warm bath or taking a nice stroll.

Maintain Regular Doctor’s Visits
If you’ve had chronic nerve pain for a while, you may feel frustrated. Sometimes all of the coping mechanisms in the world aren’t enough. It’s always a good idea to keep up with your doctor visits in order to keep your treatments current.

Seek Help If You Feel Depressed
The effects of day-to-day pain can leave people more vulnerable to depression. It’s normal to feel sad from time to time. However, if you notice trends of increased feelings of sadness, or if you start to feel hopelessness, it might be time to seek out a psychiatric consultation. You can talk to your doctor for advice on finding a qualified mental health practitioner.

Article Provided By: verywellhealth
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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What’s Causing My Lower Back and Leg Pain?

What’s Causing My Lower Back and Leg Pain?

Back pain is a common ailment and the leading cause of job-related disability. It can equally affect men and women, ranging in intensity from a mild ache lasting a few days to intense, chronic pain lasting for weeks at a time.
Though often caused by muscle strain and normal wear and tear of the body, back pain may also be a symptom of more serious conditions. In some cases, back pain can extend to other areas of the body, specifically to your legs.
Other symptoms associated with back and leg pain include:
burning sensations
tingling
being sore to the touch
limited mobility
Here are some causes of lower back and leg pain.
Sciatica
Often the result of a herniated disk, sciatica is a form of pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve. Your sciatic nerve extends from your lower back, through your hips and butt, and down your legs. If you experience sciatica pain, it will typically occur on one side of your body.
Common symptoms associated with sciatica include:
pain radiating from your lower spine down the back of your leg
sharp jolts of pain in the affected areas
burning sensations
muscle weakness
numbness
trouble controlling your bladder or bowels
Self-care, exercise, and proper posture can usually improve sciatica symptoms. If your condition doesn’t improve, your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatories to reduce pain and discomfort.
In some cases, your doctor may inject steroids into the area surrounding your sciatic nerve to alleviate pain. If your sciatic pain begins to cause weakness or affects your quality of life, surgery may be the best treatment. Always consult with your doctor before pursuing treatment options.

Lumbar herniated disk
A lumbar herniated disk is a ruptured disk in your lower back. It occurs when the nucleus or “jelly” is pushed out of your spinal disk through a tear. The ruptured disk puts pressure on a spinal nerve that can cause severe pain, numbness, and sometimes weakness.
Other symptoms associated with a lumbar herniated disk include:
persistent back pain worsened by standing, coughing, or sneezing
back spasms
decreased reflexes at the knee or ankle
leg muscle weakness
numbness in leg and foot
spinal cord compression
Treatments vary depending on the severity of the damage. In minor cases, doctors may recommend rest, pain medication, and, sometimes, acupuncture. If symptoms don’t improve within a few weeks, your doctor may recommend physical therapy or surgery.

Piriformis syndrome
The piriformis is a flat, band-like muscle found in your glutes near the top of your hip joint. The piriformis helps to stabilize your hip joint, and lifts and rotates your thigh away from your body.
Piriformis syndrome is a neurological disorder that occurs when your piriformis muscle compresses your sciatic nerve.
Common symptoms associated with piriformis syndrome include:
pain extending to your lower leg
tingling
numbness in your buttocks
Treatment involves pain relief and avoiding pain triggers such as certain sitting positions and strenuous physical activities.
Your doctor may recommend rest, hot and cold treatments, and physical therapy to increase your mobility. Surgery is a last resort, but may be required in severe circumstances.

Arachnoiditis
The arachnoid is a membrane that protects spinal cord nerves. Inflammation or irritation of the arachnoid can cause the pain disorder arachnoiditis. In many cases, people who have arachnoiditis experience pain in the lower back and legs, as it affects the nerves in those areas.
The more common symptom of this condition is a stinging, burning pain. Other symptoms associated with arachnoiditis include:
tingling or numbness, specifically in the legs
“skin-crawling” sensations
muscle cramps
twitching
bowel or bladder dysfunction
Though there’s no complete cure for arachnoiditis, treatments focus on pain management. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication or recommend physiotherapy and exercise. Surgery isn’t recommended for this condition because it can increase the risk of scar tissue formation.

Radiating back and leg pain are often symptoms of more serious medical conditions. While in some cases pain may improve within a few days, some conditions can cause debilitating pain for weeks at a time.
If you begin to experience regular, daily pain or worsening symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Discuss treatment options with your doctor to ensure the best quality of life.

Article Provided By: healthline

 

Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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Nerve Pain Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

Nerve Pain Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options
Reviewed By Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD on 1/26/2021

 

What Nerve Pain Feels Like
The perception of pain varies with everyone; terms such as stabbing, prickling, burning, tingling, and other descriptions have been used. Nerve pain, also called “neuropathic pain,” is difficult to live with. But for most people, nerve pain can be reduced.

Understanding Nerve Pain
Nerve pain is usually due to damaged nerves that send false signals that result in chronic pain. Also, the signals may not function to register the pain associated with an injury normally. In a case like this, the person may lack a pain response indicating injury (for example, someone who has diabetes with neuropathy in the feet may not register a foot injury when it occurs).

Nerve Pain Triggers
Some develop unusual triggers that make them overly sensitive to certain conditions. This may be caused by heightened sensitivity (hypersensitivity) of the nerves to stimulation. For example, nerve sensitivity to touch can cause pain in some people with herpes zoster; they can’t tolerate clothing or sheets touching the infected area. Other nerve damage can result in painful body positions during standing or sitting.

Loss of Feeling
Not all nerve damage results in pain. Loss of feeling or numbness may occur. Although it may not be painful, the numbness usually results in decreased sensitivity of the sense of touch that can interfere with dexterity in the hands. This can make activities like typing, shoe-tying, or playing a musical instrument difficult.

Nerve Pain and Sleep
Some nerve pain is worse at night, causing difficulty sleeping. This loss of sleep can cause additional health problems so people with this type of nerve pain need to discuss the problem with their doctor to receive early treatment.

Losing Balance
Numbness or reduction/loss of the sense of touch can be dangerous because it affects balance and muscle strength. This may require braces, canes, or walkers to prevent falls.

Unseen Injuries
Although some nerve damage may cause numbness instead of pain, this can still be harmful. Numbness may mask damage to traumatized extremities like the feet. People with this type of nerve damage can benefit from regularly examining their extremities for possible overlooked injuries.

Nerve Pain Progression
Nerve pain is often progressive, especially if the root cause (for example, diabetes) is not treated. The usual progression of nerve pain is that it begins far away from the brain and spinal cord (hands and feet) and spreads backwards (retrograde) towards the arms and legs. With appropriate treatment, the progression may be halted and, in some cases, reversed.

Assessing Your Pain
Your doctor is your partner in controlling nerve pain. By answering all questions asked (pain type, duration, and how it has changed your lifestyle), you help your doctor to determine the cause of the pain and how to treat it.

Conditions That Cause Nerve Pain
Although some people develop nerve pain for no known reason, many others develop it because of a certain health problem such as diabetes, shingles, or cancer. Treating such conditions can indirectly reduce or stop the pain. However, it’s also possible to treat the pain accompanying these conditions while undergoing treatment for the causative conditions themselves.

OTC Treatments for Nerve Pain
Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers drugs are often the first medicines used to reduce or stop nerve pain. The components may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen. Some OTCs may be incorporated into creams, gels, ointments, oils, or sprays that are applied to the skin overlying the painful area.

Prescription Drugs for Nerve Pain
There are many different prescription drugs that may help to reduce nerve pain. They range from powerful painkillers to drugs that were originally used for depression or seizures but can also reduce nerve pain. However, some of these prescription drugs may be addictive, so you and your doctor need to find a treatment plan that works for you without causing you additional problems.

Natural Treatments for Nerve Pain
Some people with nerve pain respond to other treatments known as complementary, natural, or alternative treatments. For example, acupuncture may help some, while dietary supplements (such as vitamin B-12) may help others. However, you and your doctor should discuss the use of these treatments and supplements to be sure they don’t interfere with other medical therapies.

 

Article Provided By: onhealth
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke or a heart attack. The pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.

CRPS is uncommon, and its cause isn’t clearly understood. Treatment is most effective when started early. In such cases, improvement and even remission are possible.

Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of CRPS include:
Continuous burning or throbbing pain, usually in your arm, leg, hand or foot
Sensitivity to touch or cold
Swelling of the painful area
Changes in skin temperature — alternating between sweaty and cold
Changes in skin color, ranging from white and blotchy to red or blue
Changes in skin texture, which may become tender, thin or shiny in the affected area
Changes in hair and nail growth
Joint stiffness, swelling and damage
Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness and loss (atrophy)
Decreased ability to move the affected body part
Symptoms may change over time and vary from person to person. Pain, swelling, redness, noticeable changes in temperature and hypersensitivity (particularly to cold and touch) usually occur first.
Over time, the affected limb can become cold and pale. It may undergo skin and nail changes as well as muscle spasms and tightening. Once these changes occur, the condition is often irreversible.
CRPS occasionally may spread from its source to elsewhere in your body, such as the opposite limb.
In some people, signs and symptoms of CRPS go away on their own. In others, signs and symptoms may persist for months to years. Treatment is likely to be most effective when started early in the course of the illness.
When to see a doctor
If you experience constant, severe pain that affects a limb and makes touching or moving that limb seem intolerable, see your doctor to determine the cause. It’s important to treat CRPS early.

Causes
The cause of CRPS isn’t completely understood. It’s thought to be caused by an injury to or an abnormality of the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS typically occurs as a result of a trauma or an injury.
CRPS occurs in two types, with similar signs and symptoms, but different causes:
Type 1. Also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), this type occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage the nerves in your affected limb. About 90% of people with CRPS have type 1.
Type 2. Once referred to as causalgia, this type has symptoms similar to those of type 1. But type 2 CRPS occurs after a distinct nerve injury.
Many cases of CRPS occur after a forceful trauma to an arm or a leg. This can include a crushing injury or a fracture.
Other major and minor traumas — such as surgery, heart attacks, infections and even sprained ankles — also can lead to CRPS.
It’s not well understood why these injuries can trigger CRPS. Not everyone who has such an injury will go on to develop CRPS. It might be due to a dysfunctional interaction between your central and peripheral nervous systems and inappropriate inflammatory responses.
Complications
If CRPS isn’t diagnosed and treated early, the disease may progress to more-disabling signs and symptoms. These may include:
Tissue wasting (atrophy). Your skin, bones and muscles may begin to deteriorate and weaken if you avoid or have trouble moving an arm or a leg because of pain or stiffness.
Muscle tightening (contracture). You also may experience tightening of your muscles. This may lead to a condition in which your hand and fingers or your foot and toes contract into a fixed position.
Prevention
These steps might help you reduce the risk of developing CRPS:
Taking vitamin C after a wrist fracture. Studies have shown that people who take a high dose of vitamin C after a wrist fracture may have a lower risk of CRPS compared with those who didn’t take vitamin C.
Early mobilization after a stroke. Some research suggests that people who get out of bed and walk around soon after a stroke (early mobilization) reduce their risk of developing CRPS.

Article Provided By: mayoclinic
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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What You Should Know About Neuropathic Pain

What You Should Know About Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is a pain condition that’s usually chronic. It’s usually caused by chronic, progressive nerve disease, and it can also occur as the result of injury or infection.
If you have chronic neuropathic pain, it can flare up at any time without an obvious pain-inducing event or factor. Acute neuropathic pain, while uncommon, can occur as well.
Typically, non-neuropathic pain (nociceptive pain) is due to an injury or illness. For example, if you drop a heavy book on your foot, your nervous system sends signals of pain immediately after the book hits.
With neuropathic pain, the pain isn’t typically triggered by an event or injury. Instead, the body just sends pain signals to your brain unprompted.
People with this pain condition may experience shooting, burning pain. The pain may be constant, or may occur intermittently. A feeling of numbness or a loss of sensation is common, too.
Neuropathic pain tends to get worse over time.
About 1 in 3 Americans experience chronic pain. Of those, 1 in 5 experience neuropathic pain.
A 2014 study estimated that as many as 10 percent of Americans experience some form of neuropathic pain.
Understanding the possible causes can help you find better treatments and ways to prevent the pain from getting worse over time.
What causes neuropathic pain?
The most common causes for neuropathic pain can be divided into four main categories: disease, injury, infection, and loss of limb.
Disease
Neuropathic pain can be a symptom or complication of several diseases and conditions. These include multiple sclerosis, multiple myeloma, and other types of cancer.
Not everyone with these conditions will experience neuropathic pain, but it can be an issue for some.
Diabetes is responsible for 30 percent of neuropathic cases, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Chronic diabetes can impact how your nerves work.
People with diabetes commonly experience loss of feeling and numbness, following by pain, burning, and stinging, in their limbs and digits.
Long-term excessive alcohol intake can cause many complications, including chronic neuropathic pain. Damage to nerves from chronic alcohol use can have long-lasting and painful effects.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a painful condition with severe neuropathic pain of one side of the face. It’s one of the more common types of neuropathic pain and it can occur without a known reason.
Lastly, cancer treatment may cause neuropathic pain. Chemotherapy and radiation can both impact the nervous system and cause unusual pain signals.
Injuries
Injuries to tissue, muscles, or joints are an uncommon cause of neuropathic pain. Likewise, back, leg, and hip problems or injuries can cause lasting damage to nerves.
While the injury may heal, the damage to the nervous system may not. As a result, you may experience persistent pain for many years after the accident.
Accidents or injuries that affect the spine can cause neuropathic pain, too. Herniated discs and spinal cord compression can damage the nerve fibers around your spine.
Infection
Infections rarely cause neuropathic pain.
Shingles, which is caused by reactivation of the chicken pox virus, can trigger several weeks of neuropathic pain along a nerve. Postherpetic neuralgia is a rare complication of shingles, involving persistent neuropathic pain.
A syphilis infection can also lead to the burning, stinging unexplained pain. People with HIV may experience this unexplained pain.
Limb loss
An uncommon form of neuropathic pain called phantom limb syndrome can occur when an arm or leg has been amputated. Despite the loss of that limb, your brain still thinks it’s receiving pain signals from the removed body part.
What’s actually happening, however, is that the nerves near the amputation are misfiring and sending faulty signals to your brain.
In addition to arms or legs, phantom pain may be felt in the fingers, toes, penis, ears, and other body parts.
Other causes
Other causes of neuropathic pain include:
vitamin B deficiency
carpal tunnel syndrome
thyroid problems
facial nerve problems
arthritis in the spine

What are the symptoms?
Each person’s symptoms of neuropathic pain may vary slightly, but these symptoms are common:
shooting, burning, or stabbing pain
tingling and numbness, or a “pins and needles” feeling
spontaneous pain, or pain that occurs without a trigger
evoked pain, or pain that’s caused by events that are typically not painful — such as rubbing against something, being in cold temperatures, or brushing your hair
a chronic sensation of feeling unpleasant or abnormal
difficulty sleeping or resting
emotional problems as a result of chronic pain, loss of sleep, and difficulty expressing how you’re feeling

How’s it treated?
A goal of neuropathic pain treatment is to identify the underlying disease or condition that’s responsible for the pain, and treat it, if possible.
An important goal is that your doctor will aim to provide pain relief, help you maintain typical capabilities despite the pain, and improve your quality of life.
The most common treatments for neuropathic pain include:
Over-the-counter pain medication
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Aleve and Motrin, are sometimes used to treat neuropathic pain.
However, many people find these medicines aren’t effective for neuropathic pain because they don’t target the source of the pain.
Prescription medication
Opioid pain medications don’t usually reduce neuropathic pain as well as they reduce other types of pain. Plus, doctors may hesitate to prescribe them for fear that a person may become dependent.
Topical pain relievers can be used, too. These include lidocaine patches, capsaicin patches, and prescription-strength ointments and creams.
Antidepressant drugs
Antidepressant medications have shown great promise in treating symptoms of neuropathic pain.
Two common types of antidepressant drugs are prescribed to people with this condition:
tricyclic antidepressants
serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
These may treat both the pain and symptoms of depression or anxiety caused by chronic pain.
Anticonvulsants
Anti-seizure medications and anticonvulsants are often used to treat neuropathic pain. Gabapentinoids are most commonly prescribed for neuropathic pain.
It’s not clear why anti-seizure drugs work for this condition, but researchers believe the medications interfere with pain signals and stop faulty transmissions.
Nerve blocks
Your doctor may inject steroids, local anesthetics, or other pain medications into the nerves that are thought to be responsible for the wayward pain signals. These blocks are temporary, so they must be repeated in order to keep working.
Implantable device
This invasive procedure requires a surgeon to implant a device in your body. Some devices are used in the brain and some are used in the spine.
Once a device is in place, it can send electrical impulses into the brain, spinal cord, or nerves. The impulses may stop the irregular nerve signals and control symptoms.
These devices are typically used only in individuals who haven’t responded well to other treatment options.
Lifestyle treatments
Physical, relaxation, and massage therapies are all used to relieve symptoms of neuropathic pain. These forms of treatment can help ease muscles.
Your healthcare provider can also teach you ways to cope with your pain.
For example, some people with neuropathic pain may experience increased symptoms after sitting for several hours. This might make desk jobs difficult to perform.
A physical therapist or occupational therapist can teach you techniques for sitting, stretching, standing, and moving to prevent pain.

 

How can this pain be managed?
If your doctor is able to identify an underlying cause for the neuropathic pain, treating it may reduce and even eliminate the pain.
For example, diabetes is a common cause of neuropathic pain. Proper diabetes care — which includes a healthy diet and regular exercise — may eliminate or reduce neuropathic pain.
Taking care of blood sugar levels can also prevent worsening pain and numbness.
Multimodal therapy
A multipronged approach can be an effective way to manage the condition.
A combination of medications, physical therapy, psychological treatment, and even surgery or implants may be used to bring about the best results.

Outlook
Neuropathic pain can negatively impact your life if you don’t take steps to treat it and prevent worsening symptoms.
Over time, this can lead to serious disability and complications, including depression, problems sleeping, anxiety, and more.
Fortunately, researchers are learning more about why this condition develops and what can be done to effectively treat it. That’s leading to better treatment options.
Finding the correct treatment options for you can take time, but you and your doctor can work together to find relief from the symptoms of this painful condition.

Article Provided By: healthline
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

 

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Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic Pain

What is neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain can result after damage or dysfunction of the nervous system. Pain can rise from any level of the nervous system. These levels are the peripheral nerves, spinal cord, and brain. Pain centers receive the wrong signals from the damaged nerve fibers. Nerve function may change at the site of the nerve damage, as well as areas in the central nervous system (central sensitization).
Neuropathy is a disturbance of function or a change in one or several nerves. About 30% of neuropathy cases is caused by diabetes. It is not always easy to tell the source of the neuropathic pain. There are hundreds of diseases that are linked to this kind of pain.
What are some of the sources of neuropathic pain?
Alcoholism
Amputation (results in phantom pain)
Chemotherapy drugs (Cisplatin®, Paclitaxel®, Vincristine®, etc.)
Radiation therapy
Complex regional pain syndrome
Diabetes
Facial nerve problems
HIV infection or AIDS
Shingles
Spinal nerve compression or inflammation
Trauma or surgeries with resulting nerve damage
Nerve compression or infiltration by tumors
Central nervous system disorders (stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
What are the symptoms of neuropathic pain?
Many symptoms may be present in the case of neuropathic pain. These symptoms include:
Spontaneous pain (pain that comes without stimulation): Shooting, burning, stabbing, or electric shock-like pain; tingling, numbness, or a “pins and needles” feeling
Evoked pain: Pain brought on by normally non-painful stimuli such as cold, gentle brushing against the skin, pressure, etc. This is called allodynia. Evoked pain also may mean the increase of pain by normally painful stimuli such as pinpricks and heat. This type of pain is called hyperalgesia.
An unpleasant, abnormal sensation whether spontaneous or evoked (dysesthesia)
Trouble sleeping
Emotional problems due to disturbed sleep and pain
Pain that may be lessened in response to a normally painful stimulus (hypoalgesia)
Diagnosis and Tests
How is neuropathic pain diagnosed?
Your doctor will take a medical history and do a physical exam. Neuropathic pain is suggested by its typical symptoms when nerve injury is known or suspected. Your doctor will then try to find the underlying cause of the neuropathy and then trace the symptoms.
Management and Treatment
How is neuropathic pain treated?
The goals of treatment are to:
Treat the underlying disease (for example, radiation or surgery to shrink a tumor that is pressing on a nerve)
Provide pain relief
Maintain functionality
Improve quality of life
Multimodal therapy (including medicines, physical therapy, psychological treatment, and sometimes surgery) is usually required to treat neuropathic pain.
Medicines commonly prescribed for neuropathic pain include anti-seizure drugs such as Neurontin®, Lyrica®, Topamax®, Tegretol®, and Lamictal®. Doctors also prescribe antidepressants such as Elavil®, Pamelor®, Effexor®, and Cymbalta®. A doctor’s prescription for anti-seizure drugs or antidepressants does not mean you have seizures or are depressed.
A topical patch (Lidocaine® or Capsaicin®) or a cream or ointment can be used on the painful area. Opioid analgesics can provide some relief. However, they generally are less effective in treating neuropathic pain. Negative effects may prevent their long-term use.
The pain can also be treated with nerve blocks given by pain specialists, including injections of steroids, local anesthetics, or other medicines into the affected nerves.
Neuropathic pain that has not responded to the therapies mentioned above can be treated with spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, and brain stimulation.
Outlook / Prognosis
What is the outlook for people with neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain is difficult to get rid of, but is not life-threatening. Without rehabilitation and sometimes psychosocial support, treatment has a limited chance of success. With help from a pain specialist using the multimodal approaches listed above, your neuropathic pain can be managed to a level that improves your quality of life.
© Copyright 1995-2020 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved.

Article Provided By: clevelandclinic
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Diabetic Neuropathy, Pain Relief, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Idiopathic Neuropathy

Idiopathic Neuropathy

What is idiopathic neuropathy?
Neuropathy is when nerve damage interferes with the functioning of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). When the cause can’t be determined, it’s called idiopathic neuropathy.
The PNS carries information from the central nervous system (CNS), or brain and spinal cord, to the rest of the body.
There are three kinds of nerves within the PNS. Sensory nerves relay messages from the senses to the brain. This allows sensations of temperature and touch. Motor nerves transmit signals from the brain to the muscles. This helps the brain control the muscles. Autonomic nerves control body functions like heart rate, breathing, and digestion.
Damage to nerve cells can affect how the PNS communicates with the rest of the body. Symptoms can include numbness, pain, and balance issues.
It’s called acute neuropathy when symptoms develop suddenly. Alternately, it’s called chronic neuropathy when symptoms start slowly and increase over time.
Diagnosis involves physical examination and review of medical history. Diagnostic testing may include blood tests, nerve testing, and imaging tests.
There is no cure for idiopathic neuropathy. Treatments including medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications can help you function and feel better.
What are the symptoms of neuropathy?
Symptoms can be vague at onset and are similar to those of other conditions. Symptoms vary depending on which nerves are damaged.
Symptoms of sensory neuropathy may include:
numbness, tingling, and burning sensation, particularly in hands and feet
vague or strange sensations (paresthesias)
pain, or inability to feel pain, touch, or temperature
lack of coordination or loss of reflexes
Symptoms of motor neuropathy may include:
muscle weakness or loss of muscle control
trouble with balance and coordination
muscle twitching, cramping, or spasms
difficulty walking or moving limbs
Symptoms of autonomic neuropathy may include:
dizziness, or fainting
sweating abnormalities
nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
abnormal heart rate or blood pressure
sexual dysfunction
Symptoms may progress quickly and then slowly get better over time in some forms of acute neuropathy. Some chronic neuropathies cause periods of relapse followed by periods of remission.
What are the causes of neuropathy?
Some conditions that cause neuropathy are hereditary. Other things that can cause it include:
injury or infection
nutritional or hormonal imbalances
chemotherapy or exposure to toxic substances
autoimmune diseases such as Lyme disease, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
systemic diseases like diabetes, kidney disorders, and certain cancers
vascular disorders
tumors
Approximately 30 percent of neuropathy cases are due to diabetes, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Between 30 and 40 percent of the remaining cases are idiopathic.

Who is at risk for neuropathy?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates that approximately 20 million Americans have peripheral neuropathy. Anyone can develop neuropathy, but risk increases with age.

How is neuropathy diagnosed?
There is no one definitive test for neuropathy. Testing begins with a physical examination and a complete medical history. Tell your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing. Be sure to let them know about over-the-counter and prescription medications you’re taking. It’s also important to mention if you’ve been exposed to toxins on the job or at home.
Diagnostic testing may include:
blood work
urinalysis
nerve conduction studies (NCS)
electromyography (EMG)
skin, nerve, and muscle biopsies
Imaging tests may include a CT scan, X-rays, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

How is neuropathy treated?
Peripheral neuropathy can cause permanent damage to nerves if untreated. Treatment will target the cause if it can be determined.
Treatment of idiopathic neuropathy revolves around symptom management. Options include over-the-counter and prescription medications, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
Mobility aids can help you move around safely if you’re having trouble with balance or walking. These may include special shoes, braces, and canes.
Lifestyle choices can help to improve day-to-day functioning. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. It’s also important to get plenty of rest and exercise to tone and strengthen your muscles. Quitting smoking and keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum is healthy and may also help with your neuropathy.
Living with a chronic illness can lead to anxiety and stress. It can be helpful to talk with someone who lives with the same condition. Your doctor can refer you to a local neuropathy support group for additional support.

What is the long-term outlook for neuropathy?
The general prognosis for idiopathic neuropathy is good, even if your symptoms are permanent. There are many effective treatments available for keeping your symptoms in check and helping you lead a comfortable, happy life. Working with your doctor to treat any underlying condition you may have, along with your symptoms, is the ticket to your best outcome in the short and long term.

Article Provided By: Healthline
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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Knee Nerve Damage

What are the Symptoms of Knee Nerve Damage?

 

Patti Kate
Last Modified Date: July 03, 2020
There can be a number of different symptoms of knee nerve damage, but the most common include pain, numbness and tingling, and feelings of burning on or around the kneecap. Some people may also find that they have a hard time moving the joint, or they may feel stiffness or a dull ache when the leg bends in certain ways. Discoloration around the site of the damage is common, too, particularly if the nerve damage was caused by some sort of trauma. A number of different nerves run through the knees, but diagnosing damage can be somewhat tricky. Symptoms are often really similar to other joint problems, including cartilage damage and issues related to arthritis. In general, medical professionals recommend that anyone who suspects they may be suffering from knee nerve damage get evaluated and treated.

Numbness associated with knee nerve damage may radiate to the upper leg.
Nerve Damage Basics

The body’s nervous system is a complex series of chemical signals that course along the nerve pathways bringing messages about sensation and pain to and from the brain. Damage can happen almost anywhere, and is usually a result of injury or trauma. Nerves can get pinched, severed, or twisted, and moving joints like the knee provide many different opportunities for this sort of injury. Local nerves can be pinched or squeezed fairly easily between the bones and ligaments that together form the joint.

The pain associated with knee nerve damage may be alleviated with physical therapy.
Some damage is obvious right from the start. This isn’t always true, though, since the damage may not be immediate. Certain knee injuries build on themselves over time. A person may feel as though he or she has healed, but may not realize till later that that healing has actually compromised the nerve structure, for instance; or, a person may not even realize that there’s been an injury at all till certain signs of nerve damage begin appearing.

Knee nerve damage can make standing from a seated position painful or difficult.
Pain
Pain that seems to radiate out of the knee is one of the most common symptoms of localized nerve damage. This often comes in varying degrees, and can alternate between throbbing and mild, dull aching. Sometimes moving the leg or changing the knee’s position can alleviate pressure, but not always. A lot has to do with whether the nerve damage is accompanied by inflammation or swelling at the site, and how seriously the nerves were impacted.

Knee pain may be a sign of nerve damage.
Nerves are usually responsible for carrying signals to indicate pain, and when they’re damaged they can respond in exaggerated ways — in some cases transmitting signals of pain that are disproportionate with the extent of the actual injury. Pathways that have actually been severed, on the other hand, sometimes fail to transmit any signals of pain, even if it would otherwise be warranted.
Numbness and Burning
Anther major sign of knee nerve damage is numbness or a lack of sensitivity. Numbness may be localized in the knee, or it might radiate to the upper or lower leg. Some people also describe the discomfort as a prickly “pins and needles” sensation. Tingling tends to come and go, but is usually most common after periods of inactivity.
People who have suffered these sorts of injuries sometimes also describe a feeling of burning just below the skin. Some of this is just perception, but in certain cases there are actual local skin temperature fluctuations that go hand-in-hand with these sensations. The patient’s knee may feel warm to the touch, or in some cases colder than usual.
Restricted Movement
In many cases nerve damage can also restrict a person’s movement. Quick kicks, sharp bends, and other extreme or rapid movements may be delayed or too painful to perform. This is usually a result of muscle constrictions that happen in response to nerve signals indicating damage — which is to say, it isn’t caused directly by the nerves, but it is nonetheless closely related.
Patients with nerve damage to the knee may also experience weakness and immobility. This weakness may involve the knee or the entire leg. In some instances, the leg may buckle under and the patient may feel unsteady or lose his or her balance
Skin Discoloration
It’s also possible for the skin along the top or backside of the knee to become discolored. A bluish tinge surrounding the knee may indicate nerve damage, although the condition does not always cause this. Color changes are most common when the damage has been caused by a trauma that has otherwise left bruising on the skin, and in these cases it can be tough to distinguish between specific causes.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Injury to the soft tissue of the knee does not necessarily mean nerve damage has occurred. Ligaments or tendons may have been torn, yet surrounding nerves may be left undamaged. Although a physician or other healthcare expert may recommend a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to determine if there are tears of tendons or ligaments, nerve damage will not always show up on this imaging, and as such still more testing may be required. In most cases these sorts of extreme measures are only taken if there’s no other way to treat a patient’s symptoms.
Care providers often recommend diagnostic tests if symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are present, which are basically more systemic nervous system problems. A test known as an electromyography (EMG) can determine if symptoms are related to knee nerve damage. From there, medical teams can come up with treatment plans. Sometimes physical therapy and rehabilitation can bring a person back to normal, but in other cases more invasive therapies like surgery are necessary. It’s not always possible to reverse nerve damage, and a lot of times the best that can be done is to mitigate the problem and stop it from spreading or getting worse.

Article Provided By: Wisegeek

Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

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Allodynia

What to know about allodynia

Someone who has allodynia feels pain from non-painful stimuli. For example, a person may feel pain from a light touch or when brushing their hair.
Allodynia can be a symptom of several different nerve conditions, or it can occur on its own.
Allodynia is not the same thing as an increased response to painful stimuli.
Some people feel extreme pain from something minor, such as a paper cut. Feeling increased pain or being hypersensitive to mild pain is called hyperalgesia.
Individuals with allodynia, however, feel pain when something is ordinarily painless.

Symptoms

Allodynia is characterized by intense feelings of pain with no clear cause.
Pain is one of the body’s protective mechanisms. It tells a person to stop doing something that is harmful.
For instance, a pain response causes a person to pull their hand away from a hot stove, preventing a severe burn. But people with allodynia perceive pain even though there is nothing harmful causing the pain.
The main symptom of allodynia is pain from non-painful stimuli.
Some people with allodynia may experience severe pain even from a few hairs brushing against their skin.
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Some people may feel a burning sensation while others feel an ache or squeezing pain.
Allodynia can limit the activities a person is able to do and decrease their quality of life. Common complications of allodynia include:
depression
anxiety
sleep disturbances
fatigue

Types of allodynia
There are three main types of allodynia, which are classified according to what causes the pain.
Regardless of the type of allodynia, pain is still the main symptom. Some people may only have one type of allodynia. Others may have all three types of the condition.
Types of allodynia include:
Thermal allodynia: Thermal allodynia causes temperature-related pain. Pain occurs due to a mild change of temperature on the skin. For example, a few drops of cold water on the skin may be painful.
Mechanical allodynia: Movement across the skin causes mechanical allodynia. For instance, bedsheets pulled across a person’s skin may be painful.
Tactile allodynia: Tactile allodynia, also called static allodynia, occurs due to light touch or pressure on the skin. For example, a tap on the shoulder may cause pain for someone with tactile allodynia.

Causes and risk factors

Something as simple as hair being brushed may cause intense pain to someone with allodynia.
The exact cause of allodynia is not known.
Allodynia may occur due to increased responsiveness or malfunction of nociceptors, which are a particular type of nerve.
Having one of the following medical conditions may also increase a person’s risk of developing allodynia.
Migraines: Migraines can cause debilitating head pain, but a headache is often not the only symptom. Migraines can also cause additional symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to sound and light. According to the American Migraine Foundation, up to 80 percent of people experience symptoms of allodynia during a migraine.
Postherpetic neuralgia: Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication of shingles, which is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Shingles can cause damage to the nerve fibers, which leads to persistent nerve pain and is associated with allodynia.
Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that causes widespread pain in the body. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but there does appear to be a genetic link in some instances. There also seems to be a connection between allodynia and fibromyalgia.
Diabetes: Over time, diabetes can cause damage to nerves, increasing the likelihood that a person will develop allodynia. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is essential to the nervous system, and some experts have suggested that diabetes can lower NGF levels. A recent study in rodents showed that low levels of NGF led to both hyperalgesia and allodynia.
Complex regional pain syndrome: Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a long-term pain condition that tends to affect one limb, typically after the person injures the area. People believe CRPS occurs due to problems with the nervous systems.

Diagnosis and when to see a doctor
There is not one specific medical test to diagnose allodynia. Instead, a doctor will perform a physical exam, take a medical history, and review a person’s symptoms.
Many common conditions can cause chronic pain, so doctors may need to rule out certain medical conditions before they can make a diagnosis of allodynia.
Various nerve sensitivity tests may also be performed to help make a diagnosis.
Anyone who experiences pain from non-painful stimuli, such as light touch, should see their doctor.
Dealing with chronic pain that develops after even the mildest touch can be frustrating and upsetting. Receiving an accurate diagnosis can help someone start the treatment and management process.

Treatment

Topical creams may help to treat the symptoms of allodynia. Recommended treatment will be based on the cause of the condition.
Currently, there is no cure for allodynia. Treatment is aimed at decreasing pain, using medications and lifestyle changes.
Pregabalin is a medication used to treat nerve pain associated with conditions, such as spinal cord injuries, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and shingles. It may also decrease pain in some people with allodynia.
Topical pain medications, such as creams and ointments containing lidocaine, may be helpful in some cases. Over-the-counter, non-steroidal medicines may also be effective.
Complementary approaches to pain management, such as acupuncture and massage, may not be tolerated as they involve touch and can lead to discomfort for a person with allodynia.
Treating an underlying condition that is causing allodynia may also help. For example, preventing migraines or treating migraines straightaway can help reduce the risk of allodynia symptoms. Getting diabetes under good control can also be helpful.
Some people might find that lifestyle changes, such as light exercise, a healthful diet, and getting enough sleep might help.
Research shows that smokers experience more chronic pain than nonsmokers. Quitting smoking can be beneficial on many levels, from improving circulation to decreasing inflammation.
Although living a healthful lifestyle will not cure allodynia, it can enhance overall health and help people with the condition cope more efficiently.
Identifying and decreasing pain triggers as much as possible may also reduce symptoms. It may not be possible to limit all the things that cause discomfort, but some changes may help.
For example, it might not be reasonable for someone to shave their head if brushing their hair hurts. But switching to a different type of brush or brushing it less frequently may be possible.
Similarly, if certain fabrics hurt the skin, a person can try clothing made of a different, less irritating material.
Stress may make the pain worse in some people. So, learning stress management techniques may also help.
Although stress reduction may not improve allodynia in every case, developing better stress management techniques can help a person cope with their condition.

Outlook
Allodynia is not life-threatening, but it can make daily life difficult and cause frustrating limitations. It can also lead to anxiety and other mental health conditions.
The outlook for people with allodynia varies depending on the severity of the condition. Taking a comprehensive approach to treatment can improve the outlook.
Using a combination of pain management techniques along with lifestyle changes may decrease symptoms of allodynia.
A holistic approach can also help someone feel more in control of their condition and improve their overall quality of life.

Last medically reviewed on August 10, 2017

Article Provided By: Medical News Today

Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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