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Everything You Should Know About Allodynia

Everything You Should Know About Allodynia

What is allodynia?
Allodynia is an unusual symptom that can result from several nerve-related conditions. When you’re experiencing it, you feel pain from stimuli that don’t normally cause pain. For example, lightly touching your skin or brushing your hair might feel painful.
To ease allodynia, your doctor will try to treat the underlying cause.
What are the symptoms of allodynia?
The main symptom of allodynia is pain from stimuli that don’t usually cause pain. In some cases, you might find hot or cold temperatures painful. You might find gentle pressure on your skin painful. You might feel pain in response to a brushing sensation or other movement along your skin or hair.
Depending on the underlying cause of your allodynia, you might experience other symptoms too.
For example, if it’s caused by fibromyalgia, you might also experience:
anxiety
depression
trouble concentrating
trouble sleeping
fatigue
If it’s linked to migraines, you might also experience:
painful headaches
increased sensitivity to light or sounds
changes in your vision
nausea
What causes allodynia?
Some underlying conditions can cause allodynia. It’s most commonly linked to fibromyalgia and migraine headaches. Postherpetic neuralgia or peripheral neuropathy can also cause it.
Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disorder in which you feel muscle and joint pain throughout your body. But it’s not related to an injury or a condition such as arthritis. Instead, it seems to be linked to the way your brain processes pain signals from your body. It’s still something of a medical mystery. Scientists don’t quite understand its roots, but it tends to run in families. Certain viruses, stress, or trauma might also trigger fibromyalgia.
Migraine headaches
Migraine is a type of headache that causes intense pain. Changes in nerve signals and chemical activity in your brain trigger this type of headache. In some cases, these changes can cause allodynia.
Peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy happens when the nerves that connect your body to your spinal cord and brain become damaged or destroyed. It can result from several serious medical conditions. For example, it’s a potential complication of diabetes.
Postherpetic neuralgia
Postherpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles. This is a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chicken pox. It can damage your nerves and lead to postherpetic neuralgia. Heightened sensitivity to touch is a potential symptom of postherpetic neuralgia.

 

What are the risk factors for allodynia?
If you have a parent who has fibromyalgia, you’re at higher risk of developing it and allodynia. Experiencing migraines, developing peripheral neuropathy, or getting shingles or chickenpox also raises your risk of developing allodynia.

How is allodynia diagnosed?
If you notice your skin has become more sensitive to touch than normal, you can start to diagnose yourself. You can do this by testing your nerve sensitivity. For example, try brushing a dry cotton pad on your skin. Next, apply a hot or cold compress on your skin. If you experience a painful tingling feeling in response to any of these stimuli, you might have allodynia. Make an appointment with your doctor to get a formal diagnosis.
Your doctor may conduct a variety of tests to assess your nerve sensitivity. They will also ask about your medical history and other symptoms that you might have. This can help them start to identify the cause of your allodynia. Be sure to answer their questions as honestly and completely as possible. Tell them about any pain in your extremities, headaches, poor wound healing, or other changes that you’ve noticed.
If they suspect you might have diabetes, your doctor will likely order blood tests to measure the level of glucose in your bloodstream. They might also order blood tests to check for other possible causes of your symptoms, such as thyroid disease or infection.

How is allodynia treated?
Depending on the underlying cause of your allodynia, your doctor might recommend medications, lifestyle changes, or other treatments.
For example, your doctor might prescribe medications such as lidocaine (Xylocaine) or pregabalin (Lyrica) to help ease your pain. They might also recommend taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as naproxen (Alleve). In some cases, your doctor might recommend treatment with electrical stimulation, hypnotherapy, or other complementary approaches.
It’s also important for your doctor to address the underlying condition that’s causing your allodynia. For instance, successful diabetes treatment can help improve diabetic neuropathy. This can help lower your risk of allodynia.
Lifestyle changes
Identifying triggers that make your allodynia worse can help you manage your condition.
If you experience migraine headaches, certain foods, beverages, or environments might trigger your symptoms. Consider using a journal to track your lifestyle habits and symptoms. Once you’ve identified your triggers, take steps to limit your exposure to them.
Managing stress is also important if you’re living with migraine headaches or fibromyalgia. Stress can bring on symptoms in both of these conditions. Practicing meditation or other relaxation techniques might help you reduce your stress levels.
Wearing clothes made of light fabrics and going sleeveless may also help, if your allodynia is triggered by the touch of clothing.
Social and emotional support
If treatment doesn’t relieve your pain, ask your doctor about mental health counseling. These services might help you learn to adjust to your changing physical health. For example, cognitive behavior therapy can help you change how you think about and react to difficult situations.
It might also help to seek the advice of other people with allodynia. For example, look for support groups in your community or online. In addition to sharing strategies to manage your symptoms, it might help to connect with others who understand your pain.

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 Treatment, Pain Relief, Chronic Pain, Chronic Pain Therapy, Pain Therpy, Neuropathic Pain Therapy, Greenville SC

Treating Nerve Pain Caused by Cancer, HIV, and Other Conditions

Treating Nerve Pain Caused by Cancer, HIV, and Other Conditions

Nerve pain can be a symptom of many different conditions, including cancer, HIV, diabetes, and shingles. For some, nerve pain is frustrating; for others, nerve pain is devastating and life-changing.
Whether it feels like burning, pinpricks, or sudden shocks of electricity, nerve pain can disrupt your life at home and at work. It can limit your ability to get around. Over time, it can grind you down. Studies show that people with nerve pain have higher rates of sleep problems, anxiety, and depression.
When you have a serious medical condition such as cancer or HIV, dealing with the additional misery of nerve pain can be especially hard. But there is good news. While nerve pain can’t always be cured, it can be treated — and there are a lot of good options available.
If you’re struggling with nerve pain caused by diabetes, cancer, HIV or another condition, here are some answers.

What Causes Nerve Pain?
Countless nerves in the body convey sensations to the brain, including pain. While we might not like pain much, it does have an important function: it prevents injury. When your foot begins to step on a nail, it’s the pain sensation that alerts your brain to the danger.
That’s how it’s supposed to work, at least. But in people with nerve pain, that messaging system isn’t working correctly. Your brain receives a pain signal, and you feel the pain, but there’s no obvious cause. Now, it’s just pain without a purpose — and because of this, there’s no immediate way to relieve it. Since you can’t take away the external threat (there isn’t one), you have to treat the internal source of the pain or the experience.
What makes the nerves behave this way? Usually, it’s damage from a physical injury or disease.
Degenerative joint or disc disease in the spine with spinal cord or nerve compression are very common causes that nerve pain. Also a herniated disc can cause nerve pain.
Cancer and other tumors can cause nerve pain. As they grow, tumors can press on the surrounding nerves. Cancers can also grow out of the nerves themselves. Sometimes, treatments for cancer — such as chemotherapy drugs — can damage the nerves, leading to pain.
HIV can cause painful nerve damage. Nerve pain affects up to one-third of people with HIV, and nerve pain in the hands and feet is often the first symptom that appears. Treatment with antiretroviral drugs can also lead to nerve damage that causes pain.
Diabetes is a common cause of nerve damage in the U.S. Over time, high levels of glucose in the blood (blood sugar) can injure the nerves.
Shingles can be followed by a painful condition called postherpetic neuralgia. This type of nerve pain can be particularly severe and sudden.
Physical injuries can result in nerves that are compressed, crushed, or severed.
These are only a few examples of diseases and conditions that can cause nerve damage and nerve pain. Others include repetitive stress, vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalances, heart disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, Lyme disease, alcoholism, and more. In some cases, nerve pain develops for no apparent reason.
Nerve Pain Symptoms
Symptoms of nerve damage can vary from person to person. Sometimes, the nerves become hypersensitive. Something that normally feels painless — a breeze on your arm, the sensation of a bed sheet on your body — becomes painful.
Damage to the sensory nerves doesn’t only cause pain. It can also result in:
Numbness
Tingling
Pricking
Loss of reflexes
In extreme cases, nerve damage can cause paralysis and affect things like digestion and breathing.
The severity of nerve pain is usually linked to the severity of the underlying disease. So in general, nerve pain tends to be worse as people get older.
Diagnosing Nerve Pain
If you think you might have nerve pain, you need to see your doctor now. Sometimes, the cause might be fairly clear, especially if you have already been diagnosed with a condition known to cause nerve pain, like HIV, cancer, or diabetes.
But in other cases, the cause of nerve pain can be hard to sort out. Because so many conditions can trigger nerve pain, your doctor might need to run a number of lab tests. You’ll also need a thorough neurological exam, and possibly other tests — like CT scans, MRIs, nerve conduction studies and electromyographies. Sometimes, a doctor will recommend a biopsy of the skin or a nerve to examine the nerve endings.
Treating Nerve Pain
When nerve pain is caused by a condition like diabetes, HIV or cancer, getting treatment for the underlying disease is obviously the priority.
But treatments for the underlying disease might not necessarily help with your pain. Nerve pain may need its own treatment, separate from treatment for the disease that’s causing it.
The most effective and suitable treatment for nerve pain varies, because it depends on the specifics — like the patient’s health, the underlying cause, the risks of potential side effects, and the costs. However, doctors generally use the same set of treatments for nerve pain, whether it is caused by cancer, HIV, diabetes, or another condition. Here’s a rundown of the basic options.
Topical treatments. Some over-the-counter and prescription topical treatments — like creams, lotions, gels, and patches — can ease nerve pain. They tend to work best for pain that’s isolated in specific areas on your skin.
Anticonvulsants. These drugs were originally developed to treat epilepsy, but some also help control nerve pain. To boost their effects, they are often used in combination with antidepressants. They might not work as well with all types of nerve pain.
Antidepressants . Certain types of antidepressants can help with nerve pain. Studies have shown that using them along with anticonvulsants may have bigger benefits than using them alone. However, some studies have indicated that while tricyclic antidepressants may help with diabetic nerve pain, they might not help with nerve pain caused by HIV or cancer chemotherapy.
Painkillers. Powerful opioid painkillers might be a first choice for people with especially severe pain or nerve pain caused by cancer. However, for other kinds of nerve pain, doctors generally try anti-inflammatories, over the counter pain relievers, antidepressants and/or anticonvulsants first. Opioids can have serious side effects with a real potential for addiction. Over-the-counter painkillers may not work very well for moderate to severe nerve pain.
Electrical stimulation. A number of treatments use electrical impulses to block the pain messages sent by damaged nerves. These include TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS.) Both are noninvasive and painless. Some other electrical stimulation approaches are more complex and require surgery.
Other techniques. For nerve pain caused by bones or discs in your back, epidural injections with steroid can be very helpful. (There is a little lidocaine=anestheic in them, but mostly it’s the steroids that help.)
Complementary treatments. Many people find that alternative approaches — like acupuncture, meditation, and massage — can help relieve nerve pain. If you’re interested in dietary supplements for nerve pain, talk to your doctor first.
Lifestyle changes. While they won’t cure nerve pain, making some changes to your habits could help you feel better and ease some of your discomfort. Exercising more, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and making time to practice relaxation techniques could all help.
The Costs of Untreated Nerve Pain
Nerve pain can make you feel terribly alone. After all, it’s not an injury that your family or friends can see. You might feel frustrated if they can’t understand what you’re feeling.
But while you might feel alone, you’re not. Experts believe that 40 million Americans are living with nerve pain. The impact of nerve pain is tremendous. Both the costs to the healthcare system as well as loss of wages and productivity are staggering.
Despite the significant price of nerve pain and the millions of people living with it, experts think that it is still underdiagnosed and undertreated. Studies show that even people who do seek out treatment often aren’t getting the right treatment. Too many rely on drugs that are unlikely to help.
So if you have nerve pain — whether it’s caused by diabetes, cancer, HIV, shingles, or another condition — you need to treat it seriously. Don’t assume that it will go away on its own. Don’t assume that following the treatment for the underlying disease will resolve it. Instead, talk to your doctor about treating your nerve pain directly.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on July 31, 2020

Article Provided By: webmd
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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Holiday Self Care

Holiday Self Care

Don’t Take a Vacation from Holiday Self Care!
The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone, whether it’s the positive stress of gathering with loved ones or a more negative experience due to personal hardships. Of course, most of us have a mixed experience of both positive and negative stressors during the holidays.
When you are suffering from the discomfort or pain, holiday stress can take an even bigger toll—not just emotional but physical. You’re likely to be feeling more fatigue or a chronic pain flare-up during this time.
It may seem that self care is just another stressor during the holidays. Sticking to your at-home treatment protocol of a healthy diet, nutritional supplements, light exercise, and mindfulness practice may seem like an imposition or even just another thing on your rapidly growing to-do list!
But the truth is, the most positive step you can take to reduce neuropathy symptoms during the holidays is to prioritize your neuropathy self care above all else.
If you’ve already fallen off the wagon in terms of your neuropathy self care plan, then it’s important to realize that you don’t have to wait for a New Year’s resolution to get back on. You can start right now.
And if that feels too overwhelming, then remember that you can add in healthy habits just one at a time. Every small improvement will have a cumulative effect on your well-being and help reduce neuropathy symptoms.
Here are a few key elements of your at-home care to reduce pain, discomfort and often neuropathy symptoms and holiday stress:
A diet focused on plants & vegetables, with fewer simple carbs, sugars and unhealthy fats
Good hydration with plenty of water
Exercise as prescribed by your medical team, possibly including stretching, yoga, or other low-impact activities
Relaxation exercises or meditation
Above all, try to maintain focus on the joys and pleasures of the holiday season and let go of any preconceptions about how things should go.

 

Article Provided By: neuropathydr
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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Top Twenty Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

Top Twenty Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
By LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS14 Comments

Each person’s experience varies depending on their type of Neuropathy, but in general following are the most common Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy:
1) Severe strange pains in your feet, legs, hands and other parts of the body; including “crawling insects” under your skin;
2) Balance is difficult when walking, getting dressed, getting out of bed or whenever you close your eyes;
3) Numbness / heavy / cardboard / heavy cement feeling/ Novocain feeling in your feet and legs;
4) Tingling or “vibration” like feelings in your feet and hands;
5) Electric shocks starting at the bottom of your feet/foot that shoot up your leg(s) and on almost any part of the body;
6) Bone pain especially in the feet on walking or standing;
7) Painful muscle spasms/cramps;
8) Skin may become painful to touch or loss of the feeling of touch; with Agent Orange skin rash;
9) Burning sensations in your feet and hands;
10) Loss, or lessening, of sensation for hot and cold;
11) Feeling like you are wearing socks when you are not;
12) The feeling you are walking on crumpled socks or stones;
13) Feet feel swollen or large;
14) Difficulty moving your hands or feet;
15) A feeling of clumsiness, tripping (foot drop) or dropping things;
16) Attacks of daily severe exhaustion with strange fatigue;
In more severe case of Peripheral Neuropathy you may also experience the following:
17) Problems with not sweating in lower body with excessive sweating in upper body;
18) Digestive (fullness; alternating diarrhea / constipation) and/or urinary problems (overflow incontinence);
19) Sexual problems (loss of sensation/feeling/moisture);
20) A tightening of your chest with an increased difficulty in breathing and/or swallowing; uncorrectable vision problems.

 

Article Provided By: neuropathyjournal
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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Causalgia

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II (Causalgia)

What is causalgia?
Causalgia is technically known as complex regional pain syndrome type II (CRPS II). It’s a neurological disorder that can produce long-lasting, intense pain.
CRPS II arises after an injury or trauma to a peripheral nerve. Peripheral nerves run from your spine and brain to your extremities. The most common site of CRPS II pain is in what’s called the “brachial plexus.” This is the bunch of nerves that run from your neck to your arm. CRPS II is rare, affecting slightly fewer than 1 person out of 100,000
.
Symptoms of causalgia
Unlike CRPS I (formerly known as reflexive sympathetic dystrophy), CRPS II pain is generally localized to the area around the injured nerve. If the injury occurred to a nerve in your leg, for example, then pain settles in your leg. Conversely, with CRPS I, which doesn’t involve an apparent nerve injury, pain from a hurt finger can radiate throughout your body.
CRPS II can occur wherever there’s a peripheral nerve injury. Peripheral nerves run from your spine to your extremities, which means CRPS II is usually found in your:
arms
legs
hands
feet
Regardless of what peripheral nerve is injured, symptoms of CRPS II tend to remain the same and include:
burning, aching, excruciating pain that lasts six months or longer and seems disproportionate to the injury that brought it on
pins and needles sensation
hypersensitivity around the area of injury, in which being touched or even wearing clothes can trigger sensitivity
swelling or stiffness of the affected limb
abnormal sweating around the injured site
skin color or temperature changes around the injured area, such as skin that looks pale and feels cold and then red and warm and back again

Causes of causalgia
At the root of CRPS II is peripheral nerve injury. That injury can result from a fracture, sprain, or surgery. In fact, according to one investigation, 1.8 percent
of nearly 400 elective foot and ankle surgery patients developed CRPS II after surgery. Other causes of CRPS II include:
soft-tissue trauma, such as a burn
crushing injury, such as slamming your finger in a car door
amputation
However, it’s still unknown why some people respond so dramatically to these events and others don’t.
It’s possible that people with CRPS (either I or II) have abnormalities in the linings of their nerve fibers, making them hypersensitive to pain signals. These abnormalities can also initiate an inflammatory response and induce changes to blood vessels. This is why so many people with CRPS II can have swelling and skin discoloration at the site of the injury.

How causalgia is diagnosed
There is no one test that can definitively diagnose CRPS II. Your doctor will perform a physical exam, record your medical history, and then order tests that may include:
an X-ray to check for broken bones and loss of bone minerals
an MRI to look at soft tissues
thermography to test skin temperature and blood flow between injured and noninjured limbs
Once other more common conditions such as fibromyalgia are eliminated, your doctor can make a CRPS II diagnosis more confidently.

Treatment options for causalgia
CRPS II treatment generally consists of medications and certain types of physical and nerve-stimulating therapies.
If over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) aren’t providing relief, your doctor may prescribe stronger drugs. These can include:
steroids to reduce inflammation
certain antidepressants and anticonvulsants, such as Neurontin, that have pain-relieving effects
nerve blocks, which involve injecting an anesthetic directly into the affected nerve
opioids and pumps that inject drugs directly into your spine to block pain signals from nerves
Physical therapy, used to sustain or improve range of motion in painful limbs, is also often used. Your physical therapist may also try what’s called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which sends electrical impulses through fibers in your body to block pain signals. In research studying people with CRPS I, those receiving TENS therapy reported more pain relief than those not receiving it. Battery-operated TENS machines are available for at-home use.
Some people have found that heat therapy — using a heating pad periodically throughout the day — can also help. Here’s how you can make your own heating pad.

The outlook
Whenever you experience prolonged pain that interferes with your life and isn’t relieved by over-the-counter medications, you should see your doctor.
CRPS II is a complex syndrome that may need a variety of specialists to treat it. These specialists may include experts in orthopedics, pain management, and even psychiatry, as chronic pain can take a toll on your mental health.
While CRPS II is a serious condition, there are effective treatments. The sooner it’s diagnosed and treated, the better your chances are for a positive outcome.

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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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.

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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CRPS

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, is a chronic pain condition in which high levels of nerve impulses are sent to an affected site. Experts believe that CRPS occurs as a result of dysfunction in the central or peripheral nervous systems.
CRPS is most common in people ages 20-35. The syndrome also can occur in children; it affects women more often than men.
There is no cure for CRPS.

What Causes Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
CRPS most likely does not have a single cause; rather, it results from multiple causes that produce similar symptoms. Some theories suggest that pain receptors in the affected part of the body become responsive to catecholamines, a group of nervous system messengers. In cases of injury-related CRPS, the syndrome may be caused by a triggering of the immune response, which may lead to the inflammatory symptoms of redness, warmth, and swelling in the affected area. For this reason, it is believed that CRPS may represent a disruption of the healing process.
What Are the Symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
The symptoms of CRPS vary in their severity and length. One symptom of CRPS is continuous, intense pain that gets worse rather than better over time. If CRPS occurs after an injury, it may seem out of proportion to the severity of the injury. Even in cases involving an injury only to a finger or toe, pain can spread to include the entire arm or leg. In some cases, pain can even travel to the opposite extremity. Other symptoms of CRPS include:
“Burning” pain
Swelling and stiffness in affected joints
Motor disability, with decreased ability to move the affected body part
Changes in nail and hair growth pattern; there may be rapid hair growth or no hair growth.
Skin changes; CRPS can involve changes in skin temperature — skin on one extremity can feel warmer or cooler compared to the opposite extremity. Skin color may become blotchy, pale, purple or red. The texture of skin also can change, becoming shiny and thin. People with CRPS may have skin that sometimes is excessively sweaty.
CRPS may be heightened by emotional stress.
How Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Diagnosed?
There is no specific diagnostic test for CRPS, but some testing can rule out other conditions. Triple-phase bone scans can be used to identify changes in the bone and in blood circulation. Some health care providers may apply a stimulus (for example, heat, touch, cold) to determine whether there is pain in a specific area.
Making a firm diagnosis of CRPS may be difficult early in the course of the disorder when symptoms are few or mild. CRPS is diagnosed primarily through observation of the following symptoms:
The presence of an initial injury
A higher-than-expected amount of pain from an injury
A change in appearance of an affected area
No other cause of pain or altered appearance

How Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Treated?
Because there is no cure for CRPS, the goal of treatment is to relieve painful symptoms associated with the disorder. Therapies used include psychotherapy, physical therapy, and drug treatment, such as topical analgesics, narcotics, corticosteroids, osteoporosis medication, antidepressants, osteoporosis medicines, and antiseizure drugs.
Other treatments include:
Sympathetic nerve blocks: These blocks, which are done in a variety of ways, can provide significant pain relief for some people. One kind of block involves placing an anesthetic next to the spine to directly block the sympathetic nerves.
Surgical sympathectomy: This controversial technique destroys the nerves involved in CRPS. Some experts believe it has a favorable outcome, while others feel it makes CRPS worse. The technique should be considered only for people whose pain is dramatically but temporarily relieved by selective sympathetic blocks.
Intrathecal drug pumps: Pumps and implanted catheters are used to send pain-relieving medication into the spinal fluid.
Spinal cord stimulation: This technique, in which electrodes are placed next to the spinal cord, offers relief for many people with the condition.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on April 27, 2019
Sources
SOURCES:
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: ”Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Fact Sheet.”
UpToDate.
© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Article Provided By: webmd
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Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition characterized by pain coming from the trigeminal nerve, which affects the face — most commonly one side of the jaw or cheek.
The pain of trigeminal neuralgia is unlike facial pain caused by other problems. It is often described as stabbing, lancinating or electrical in sensation and so severe that the affected person cannot eat or drink.
Trigeminal neuralgia is sometimes known as tic douloureux, which means “painful tic.”

What You Need to Know
Trigeminal neuralgia most frequently affects people older than 50, and the condition is more common in women than men.
Trigeminal neuralgia is the most common cause of facial pain and is diagnosed in approximately 15,000 people per year in the United States.
Trigeminal neuralgia pain is exceptionally severe. Although the condition is not life-threatening, the intensity of the pain can be debilitating.
Trigeminal neuralgia relief is possible: Medical and surgical treatments can bring the pain under control, especially when managed by an expert physician and surgeon.
Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia may be caused by a blood vessel pressing against the trigeminal nerve. Over time, the pulse of an artery rubbing against the nerve can wear away the insulation, which is called myelin, leaving the nerve exposed and highly sensitive.
These symptoms can be similar to those caused by dental problems, and sometimes people with undiagnosed trigeminal neuralgia explore multiple dental procedures in an effort to control the pain.
Multiple sclerosis or rarely a tumor can cause trigeminal neuralgia. Researchers are exploring whether or not postherpetic neuralgia (caused by shingles) can be related to this condition.

Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms
Episodes of sharp, stabbing pain in the cheek or jaw that may feel like an electric shock
Pain episodes that may be triggered by anything touching the face or teeth, including shaving, applying makeup, brushing teeth, eating, drinking or talking — or even a light breeze
Periods of relief between episodes
Anxiety from the thought of the pain returning
A flare-up of trigeminal neuralgia may begin with tingling or numbness in the face. Pain occurs in intermittent bursts that last anywhere from a few seconds to two minutes, becoming more and more frequent until the pain is almost continuous.
Flare-ups may continue for a few weeks or months followed by a pain-free period that can last a year or more.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Diagnosis
Diagnosing trigeminal neuralgia involves a physical exam and a detailed medical history to rule out other causes of facial pain. The health care provider will ask what the pain is like, what seems to set it off and what makes it feel better or worse.
The provider may recommend imaging or laboratory tests to determine if the pain is caused by a tumor or blood vessel abnormality or by undiagnosed multiple sclerosis. Certain advanced MRI techniques may help the doctor see where a blood vessel is pressing against a branch of the trigeminal nerve.
Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia
Most common over-the-counter and prescription pain medicines don’t work for people with trigeminal neuralgia, but many modern treatments can reduce or eliminate the pain. The doctor may recommend one or more of these approaches:
Medications: Seizure drugs like carbamazepine, gabapentin or other agents can be helpful. It is important to work closely with a neurologist or primary care provider to monitor dosages and side effects.
Surgery: Several procedures can often help bring trigeminal neuralgia pain under control.
Rhizotomy
There are several kinds of rhizotomies, which are all outpatient procedures performed under general anesthesia in the operating room. The surgeon inserts a long needle through the cheek on the affected side and uses an electrical current or a chemical to deaden the pain fibers of the trigeminal nerve.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery
Stereotactic radiosurgery, sometimes known as CyberKnife treatment, is another outpatient procedure that involves a very concentrated and precise beam of radiation that is directed at the trigeminal nerve to relieve the pain.
Microvascular Decompression (MVD) Surgery
This procedure is currently regarded as the most long-lasting treatment for trigeminal neuralgia and may be suitable for people in good health who can tolerate surgery and general anesthesia and whose lifestyles can accommodate a recovery period of four to six weeks.
The surgeon makes an incision behind the ear and removes a small piece of the skull to gain access to the nerve and blood vessels. Then, the surgeon places a cushion of insulation around the blood vessel so it no longer compresses or rubs against the nerve.
In about one third of people treated with MVD surgeries, trigeminal neuralgia pain returns, possibly due to the blood vessels growing back. The doctor will help individuals with recurring pain choose other options or may recommend repeating procedures.
Managing Trigeminal Neuralgia
Although not fatal, trigeminal neuralgia pain and the anxiety it causes can erode a person’s quality of life. It is essential to work closely with experienced and compassionate health care providers who can help find the best therapeutic approach for each individual.
The surgery for trigeminal neuralgia is delicate and precise since the involved area is very small. Look for experienced neurosurgeons who see and treat a large number of people with trigeminal neuralgia.

 

Article Provided By: hopkinsmedicine
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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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Pudendal Neuralgia

What Is Pudendal Neuralgia?
Pudendal neuralgia is a condition that causes pain, discomfort, or numbness in your pelvis or genitals. It happens when a major nerve in the lower body is damaged or irritated, and it can make it hard to use the bathroom, have sex, or sit down. The pain comes and goes.
It’s not clear exactly how many people have this condition, but experts believe it’s rare.
The pudendal nerve runs from the back of the pelvis to near the base of your penis or vagina, where it branches off into other nerves.
It sends messages to the brain from your genitals, anus, and other nearby body parts. It controls the sphincter muscles that open and close when you use the bathroom.
Causes
There are several things that can damage your pudendal nerve.
It can happen when you’re injured, have surgery, or give birth. A tumor or an infection can squeeze or irritate it. And sometimes, certain types of exercise, like spending a lot of time on a bicycle, can cause the problem.
Symptoms
You usually feel pudendal neuralgia symptoms in your lower body, genitals, or perineum (the area between your genitals and anus). These may include:

A sharp or burning pain
More sensitivity
Numbness or a pins-and-needles feeling, like when your leg falls asleep
A swollen feeling
These feelings might be worse when you sit down. Or you may have symptoms on both sides of your body, and they might go into your belly, buttocks, or legs.
You also may have problems such as:
A sudden or frequent need to go to the bathroom
Trouble or pain during sex
For men, problems getting an erection

Diagnosis
If you have pelvic pain, tell your doctor. At your appointment, you’ll answer questions about your symptoms and get a physical examination. Your doctor will put a finger into your vagina or rectum and put pressure on the nerve to check on it.
You might also get an imaging test with an MRI machine. It uses powerful magnets and radio waves to take a picture of your body’s internal organs.
Your doctor may also give you a pudendal nerve block. This is a shot you get in your pelvis to numb the nerve and see if your symptoms go away.
Treatment
Most people with pudendal neuralgia get treatment with a combination of physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and medicines.
Sit up straight or stand more often to help with nerve pain. This can take pressure off the pudendal nerve.
Don’t do squats or cycle. Certain exercises can make pudendal neuralgia worse.
Go for physical therapy. It relaxes and stretches the muscles at the lower end of your pelvis, known as the pelvic floor. This can ease pressure that may irritate the pudendal nerve. If pudendal neuralgia makes it hard to control your bladder or bowels, physical therapy can help with that, too.
Try prescription medication. Muscle relaxants may help relieve symptoms of pudendal neuralgia. Drugs used to treat other conditions, like depression or epilepsy, might also help.
If these don’t work, your doctor may give you a shot of medications that numb the nerve or lower inflammation, which lessens pressure. These may take several weeks to fully take effect.
In rare cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove anything that presses on the nerve. You may also get a small electrical device put under your skin to stimulate the nerve and interrupt the pain signals it sends to the brain.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler, MD on January 27, 2020
Sources
SOURCES:
National Institutes of Health, Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center: “Pudendal Neuralgia.”
Health Organization for Pudendal Education: “Anatomy of the pudendal nerve.”
Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey: “Diagnostic criteria for pudendal neuralgia by pudendal nerve entrapment (Nantes criteria).”
U.K. National Health Service: “Pudendal neuralgia.”
University of Rochester Medical Center: “Pudendal neuralgia,” “Pudendal nerve block.”
Women’s Health Research Institute of Australia: “Pudendal Neuralgia.”
© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Article Provided By: webmd
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