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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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Foods That Fight Neuropathy

Foods That Fight Neuropathy
By Karen Spaeder Updated November 13, 2019
Reviewed by Rachel MacPherson, BA, CPT

 

If you have a nerve disorder, a neuropathy diet can help improve your nervous system’s functioning.

Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a condition resulting from damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. With diabetes being one of its most common causes, a neuropathy diet and certain neuropathy dietary supplements can help prevent and manage the condition.

To support nerve health, the Mayo Clinic recommends eating foods for neuropathy, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Eating this way is also considered a healthy eating pattern, per the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and will help to prevent many other chronic conditions and diseases. Work with your doctor to find the best foods and any neuropathy dietary supplements that may be best for you.

While diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy, it can also result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes or toxin exposure. Symptoms may vary based on the type of nerves affected, as each nerve in the peripheral system has a unique function, explains the Mayo Clinic:
Sensory nerves receive sensations from the skin, such as temperature, pain, vibration or touch. If sensory nerves are affected, you may experience sharp or burning pain, extreme sensitivity to touch or numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
Motor nerves control muscle movement. If motor nerves are affected, you may feel muscle weakness, paralysis or a lack of coordination and frequent falls.
Autonomic nerves control blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, the bladder and other functions in the body. If autonomic nerves are affected, you may experience heat intolerance, changes in blood pressure or bowel, bladder or digestive problems.
Most people with peripheral neuropathy have polyneuropathy, whereby many different nerves are affected by the condition. If left untreated, neuropathy can have detrimental long-term effects, such as reduced feeling, problems moving and urinary incontinence.
Foods for Neuropathy
If you have a nerve disorder, a neuropathy diet can help improve your nervous system’s functioning, according to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy. Incorporate the following foods for neuropathy into your diet, focusing on whole foods in their least processed form:
Five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily
Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and millet
Legumes such as black beans, chickpeas and fava beans
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, flax seeds and chia seeds
Lean proteins like chicken and turkey
Low-fat or nonfat dairy, such as milk and yogurt
Avoid alcohol on a neuropathy diet, as it can have a toxic effect on nerve tissue. Limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams per day, according to the Dietary Guidelines. In addition, avoid any foods with added sugars and saturated fats. Opt instead for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Nutrients for Neuropathy
According to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, specific nutrients work to support nerve health and can help manage or prevent neuropathy symptoms, such as those listed below.
B vitamins, including B1 and B12: An October 2014 study published in the journal Continuum found that deficiency of B1, aka thiamine, may lead to neuropathy involving the cranial nerves. B1 sources include asparagus, sunflower seeds, green peas, flaxseeds and Brussels sprouts. B12 sources include salmon, trout, canned tuna, sardines, yogurt and 100 percent fortified breakfast cereal.
Folic acid (vitamin B11)/Folate: Sources may include citrus fruits, bananas, peas, beans, romaine lettuce, cucumber, spinach, asparagus and broccoli.
Antioxidants: Aim for a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, including berries, cherries, oranges, grapefruit, red grapes, kiwi, watermelon, tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, onions and bell peppers.
In addition to the the B vitamins mentioned above, an August 2018 report in the journal Clinical Obesity points to vitamin B6, vitamin E and copper as being important for optimal functioning of the nervous system.
You’ll want to watch your caloric intake, too. The USDA recommends filling half your plate with vegetables and fruits, one-fourth with whole grains and one-fourth with lean protein.
Meal planning and shopping the perimeter of grocery stores will help you choose the healthiest foods — if it’s in a box in the center aisles, it’s likely unhealthy. Read the nutrition labels on any packaged foods to be sure you’re selecting foods with ingredients that support nerve health.
If your doctor recommends neuropathy dietary supplements, make sure you’re taking the correct daily dose for optimal nerve health. You may wish to portion them out into a weekly pill organizer to make it easy to stay on track.

Article Provided By: livestrong.com
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 to Know About a Pinched Nerve in the Arm

What to know about a pinched nerve in the arm

The term “pinched nerve” is not a true medical term. Nonetheless, people often use it to describe an injury that results from compression, constriction, or stretching of a nerve or set of nerves.
This article outlines the symptoms and causes of a pinched nerve in the arm.

People may experience pain in the arm, wrist, or hand, depending on the affected nerve.
A pinched nerve in the arm can cause a range of symptoms.
Some possible symptoms that a person may experience include:
radiating pain from the site of the pinched nerve
tingling, numbness, or a loss of sensation in the arm
muscle weakness in the arm
Symptoms also vary, depending on the nerve affected.
There are three main nerves that run through the arm, past the elbow and wrist, and down to the hand.
They are:
The median nerve: This nerve runs down the center of a person’s arm.
The ulnar nerve: This nerve extends along the outer edge of the arm, in line with the little finger. It becomes aggravated when a person hits their “funny bone.”
The radial nerve: This nerve extends along the inside of the arm, in line with the thumb.

Causes
There are many nerves in a person’s arm. The cause of a pinched nerve depends on which nerve is compressed, constricted, or stretched.
Read on for an outline of some possible causes of a pinched nerve in the arm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a passageway of ligaments, tendons, and bones that extend from the wrist to the hand.
The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel and provides sensation to the thumb, ring, and middle finger. It also provides sensation to the inner edge of the ring finger.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that results from long-term or chronic compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel. It is a common cause of symptoms of a pinched nerve in the arm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can result from injury to the wrist, or as a result of frequent and repetitive hand and wrist motions.
Some possible symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Sensations of numbness, tingling, or burning that mainly affect the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.
Pain or tingling that may radiate up the forearm toward the shoulder.
Weakness or poor motor control of the affected hand.
Many people report that moving or shaking their hands can provide temporary symptom relief.
Cubital tunnel syndrome
The cubital tunnel is a passageway of bones, muscles, and ligaments that extends from the elbow joint, down through the forearm.
The ulnar nerve passes through the cubital tunnel, innervating the little finger, the outer edge of the ring finger, and the outer edge of the palm.
Cubital tunnel syndrome is the medical term for chronic compression of the ulnar nerve within the cubital tunnel.
This condition may cause the following symptoms:
numbness or tingling in the ring or little finger, especially when the elbow is bent
aching pain on the inside of the elbow
hand pain
weak grip
The following factors can increase a person’s risk of developing cubital tunnel syndrome:
previous elbow dislocation or fracture
bone spurs or arthritis of the elbow
swelling of the elbow joint
cysts near the elbow joint
Repetitive or prolonged activities that require a person to bend or flex their elbow also increase the risk of cubital tunnel syndrome.
Radial tunnel syndrome
The radial tunnel is a passageway of bone and muscle that runs along the upper part of the forearm.
The radial nerve runs through the radial tunnel. It enables the movement of the wrists and fingers and provides sensation to the skin on the forearm and back of the hand.
Radial tunnel syndrome is the medical term for compression of the radial nerve within the radial tunnel. In some people, the nerve slides back and forth within the tunnel, causing intermittent irritation.
People who have radial tunnel syndrome typically experience pain in the forearm, just below the elbow.
The pain may worsen with the following activities:
extending the elbow
turning the forearm
flexing the wrist

Diagnosis
When working to diagnose a pinched nerve in the arm, a doctor will ask about a person’s symptoms and medical history. The doctor may also order one of the following diagnostic tests:
X-rays: These imaging tests can help to identify bone spurs or other bone-related issues that may be compressing a nerve within the arm.
CT scans or MRI scans: These imaging tests can help to identify whether nerve compression is the result of damage to soft tissues, such as a bulging or herniated disk.
Electromyography (EMG): This test records electrical activity within muscle tissues. A doctor can combine EMG results with nerve conduction studies to find out whether nerve damage is causing a person’s symptoms or compression of a nerve root in the spine.

Treatment
The treatment for a pinched nerve in the arm depends partly on the cause of the condition, and the frequency and severity of a person’s symptoms.
Some potential treatment options are:
Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce swelling around the nerve. This may help to alleviate irritation.
Rest: Wherever possible, a person should rest the arm to reduce further irritation of the affected nerve.
Brace or splints: A brace or splint can help keep the arm in a position that reduces compression or irritation of the affected nerve. This can help to alleviate symptoms or prevent them from recurring.
Surgery: If nonsurgical treatments do not resolve the symptoms of a pinched nerve in the arm, a doctor may recommend surgical options. There are a few surgical procedures that will relieve pressure on a pinched nerve in the arm, and these vary depending on which nerve is affected.

Stretches and exercises
A person should seek the advice of a doctor before undertaking any stretches or exercises for a pinched nerve. Performing these activities incorrectly can cause further damage to the nerve.
A doctor will recommend appropriate stretches and exercises dependent on:
the cause of the pinched nerve
the type and severity of symptoms
the context in which they occur

Management
The following tips can help a person to manage the symptoms of a pinched nerve:
avoiding spending too long in one position
sleeping so as not to put pressure on the nerve
avoiding leaning on elbows or resting an arm on an open window while driving
taking regular breaks from repetitive hand movements, such as when typing, playing video games, or knitting
gently stretching the arms and wrists during breaks from repetitive hand activities
When to see a doctor
A pinched nerve will usually heal by itself without medical treatment. However, a person should see a doctor if their symptoms persist for more than a couple of days, despite rest and appropriate home treatment.
A person should seek emergency medical treatment if they experience either of the following:
sudden and unexpected weakness in an arm, which may be a sign of stroke
sudden pain in the left arm, which may indicate a heart attack
A person who thinks they may be having a stroke or heart attack should phone 911 right away. Prompt treatment of either condition reduces the risk of complications or death.

Summary
A pinched nerve is a nerve that has become compressed by its surrounding tissues. Compression of a nerve in the arm may cause uncomfortable and painful sensations in the arm, wrist, or hand.
A pinched nerve will usually resolve without medical intervention. However, a person should see a doctor if their symptoms persist beyond a couple of days.
A doctor may recommend medical imaging tests to help diagnose the cause of a pinched nerve. Treatment may involve rest, medications, and the use of a brace or splint. In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to release pressure on the nerve.

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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Does Neuropathy from Chemo Go Away?

Does Neuropathy from Chemo Go Away?

What is peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a blanket term for pain and discomfort and other symptoms that result from damage to peripheral nerves, which are the nerves that extend away from the brain and spinal cord.
The peripheral nervous system carries signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, and then returns nerve signals from the periphery to be received by the spinal cord and brain. Any problems along the way can affect the skin, muscles, and joints of your hands, feet, and other parts of the body.
Many things can cause neuropathy, including certain chemotherapy drugs. Damage to peripheral nerves by these drugs is called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, abbreviated as CIPN.
CIPN isn’t uncommon. Of people with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy, about 30 to 40 percent develop CIPN. It’s one of the reasons that some stop cancer treatment early.

What are the symptoms of CIPN?
CIPN generally affects both sides of your body the same way. Symptoms are likely to begin in your toes but can move to your feet, legs, hands, and arms. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Some of the more common symptoms are:
tingling or pins-and-needles sensation
sharp, stabbing pain
burning or shock-like sensations
loss of sensation or complete numbness
trouble with small motor skills such as writing, texting, and buttoning
gripping problems (dropping things)
clumsiness
weakness
You might also experience:
oversensitivity to touch
balance and coordination problems, which can lead to stumbling or falling when walking
differences in your sensitivity to temperature, making it harder to gauge heat and cold
reduced reflexes
swallowing difficulties
jaw pain
hearing loss
constipation
trouble urinating
Severe peripheral neuropathy can lead to serious health problems such as:
changes to blood pressure
changes to heart rate
breathing difficulties
injury due to falling
paralysis
organ failure
What causes CIPN?
Chemotherapy drugs are systemic treatments — that is, they affect your entire body. These powerful medications can take a toll, and some can damage your peripheral nervous system.
It’s hard to say exactly what causes CIPN since each chemotherapy drug is different, as is each person who receives treatment.
Some of the chemotherapy drugs associated with CIPN are:
nanoparticle albumin bound-paclitaxel (Abraxane)
bortezomib (Velcade)
cabazitaxel (Jevtana)
carboplatin (Paraplatin)
carfilzomib (Kyprolis)
cisplatin (Platinol)
docetaxel (Taxotere)
eribulin (Halaven)
etoposide (VP-16)
ixabepilone (Ixempra)
lenalidomide (Revlimid)
oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
paclitaxel (Taxol)
pomalidomide (Pomalyst)
thalidomide (Thalomid)
vinblastine (Velban)
vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)
vinorelbine (Navelbine)
Besides chemotherapy, peripheral neuropathy can be due to the cancer itself, such as when a tumor presses on a peripheral nerve.
Other cancer treatments such as surgery and radiation therapy can also lead to peripheral neuropathy. Even if you’re receiving chemotherapy, the neuropathy can be caused or aggravated by other conditions such as:
alcohol use disorder
autoimmune disorders
diabetes mellitus
HIV
infections that lead to nerve damage
poor peripheral blood circulation
shingles
spinal cord injury
vitamin B deficiency

 

How long does it last?
Symptoms can appear as soon as chemotherapy begins. Symptoms tend to get worse as the chemotherapy regimen progresses.
It’s a temporary problem for some, lasting only a few days or weeks.
For others, it can last for months or years and can even become a lifelong problem. This may be more likely if you have other medical conditions that cause neuropathy or take other prescription drugs that cause it.

How is CIPN treated?
Once your oncologist (a doctor who specializes in cancer treatment) determines that your peripheral neuropathy is caused by chemotherapy, they will monitor your treatment to see if symptoms are worsening. In the meantime, symptoms can be treated with:
steroids to reduce inflammation
topical numbing medicines
antiseizure medications, which can help relieve nerve pain
prescription-strength pain relievers such as narcotics (opioids)
antidepressants
electrical nerve stimulation
occupational and physical therapy
If symptoms continue, your doctor may decide to:
lower the dose of your chemotherapy drug
switch to a different chemotherapy drug
delay chemotherapy until symptoms improve
stop chemotherapy

Managing symptoms
It’s very important to work with your doctor to prevent neuropathy from getting worse. In addition, there are a few other things you can do, such as:
relaxation therapy, guided imagery, or breathing exercises
massage therapy
acupuncture
biofeedback
Be sure to ask your doctor about complementary therapies before you start.
Pain, numbness, or strange sensations can make it difficult to work with your hands, so you should be extra careful with sharp objects. Wear gloves for yardwork or when working with tools.
If symptoms involve your feet or legs, walk slowly and carefully. Use handrails and grab bars when available and put no-slip mats in your shower or tub. Remove loose area rugs, electrical cords, and other tripping hazards in your home.
Wear shoes indoors and out to protect your feet. And if you have severe numbness in your feet, be sure to inspect them every day for cuts, injuries, and infection that you can’t feel.
Temperature sensitivity can also be a problem.
Make sure your water heater is set to a safe level, and check the temperature of the water before getting in the shower or bath.
Check the air temperature before going outside in winter. Even though you might not feel the cold, gloves and warm socks can help protect your feet and hands from frostbite.
If you find it helps to relieve your peripheral neuropathy symptoms, you can apply an ice pack on your hands or feet, but only for less than 10 minutes at a time with at least 10 minutes of breaktime between each repeat application.
Here are a few additional tips:
Don’t wear tight clothes or shoes that interfere with circulation.
Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Take all your medications as directed.
Get plenty of rest while in treatment.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations for diet and exercise.
Keep your oncologist informed about new or worsening symptoms.

Outlook and prevention
Currently, there’s no scientifically proven way to prevent neuropathy caused by chemotherapy. And there’s no way to know in advance who’ll develop it and who won’t.
Some research, such as this 2015 study
Trusted Source
and this 2017 study
Trusted Source
, suggests that taking glutathione, calcium, magnesium, or certain antidepressant or antiseizure drugs might help mitigate the risk for certain people. However, the research is limited, weak, or shows mixed results at best.
Before starting chemotherapy, tell your oncologist about other health conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, that could lead to peripheral neuropathy. This can help them choose the best chemotherapy drug for you.
Your oncologist may try to lessen the risk by prescribing lower doses of chemotherapy drugs over a longer period of time. If symptoms start, it may be appropriate to stop chemotherapy and restart when symptoms improve. It’s something that must be decided on a case-by-case basis.
While mild symptoms may resolve within a short time frame, more severe cases can linger for months or years. It can even become permanent. That’s why it’s so important to keep your oncologist informed about all your symptoms and side effects.
Addressing CIPN early may help ease symptoms and prevent it from getting worse.

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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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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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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The Common Symptoms of Neuralgia

The Common Symptoms of Neuralgia

By Erica Jacques.  Medically reviewed by Scott Zashin, MD
on July 05, 2020

Neuralgia is nerve pain that may be caused by many different things, including nerve damage, nerve irritation, infection, or other diseases. It is caused by irritation or damage to a nerve and is a sharp and very intense pain that follows the path of the nerve.

Neuralgia is also sometimes called neuropathy, neuropathic pain, or neurogenic pain. It is most common in older adults but can affect people of all ages.

Symptoms
How can you tell if the pain you are experiencing is neuralgia or some other type of pain? Neuralgia is typically more severe and has some distinct symptoms:1

Increased sensitivity: The skin along the path of the damaged nerve will be very sensitive, and any touch or pressure, even gentle, is painful.
Sharp or stabbing pain: Pain will occur along the path or the damaged nerve and will be felt in the same location each time. It often comes and goes but can also be constant and burning and may feel more intense when you move that area of your body.
Weakness: Muscles supplied by the damaged nerve may feel very weak or become completely paralyzed.

What Does Nerve Pain Feel Like?

Types
Certain painful conditions are classified as neuralgia because they are caused by nerve damage and lead to nerve pain. You can also experience neuralgia as a side effect of surgery. The pain can range in severity based on the extent of nerve damage and what nerves are affected.1

Some common types of neuralgia include:

Trigeminal neuralgia
Shingle pain
Diabetic neuropathy
Postoperative nerve pain
Pelvic nerve pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Sciatica

Treatment
Unfortunately, treating neuralgia is not an easy task and treatment will vary depending on the cause, location, and severity of your pain. The first step your doctor will likely take will be to identify the cause of the nerve problem and work to reverse or control it. He or she will also likely recommend pain medications to control your symptoms, including:1

Antidepressant medications
Antiseizure medications
Over-the-counter pain medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Narcotic analgesics for short-term pain
Lidocaine patch
Capsaicin or lidocaine medicated skin creams

Other treatment options may include anesthetic shots, nerve blocks, physical therapy, surgery, nerve ablation, or complementary and alternative therapies. Talk to your doctor to discover the source of your pain and find out what treatments may work for you.

 

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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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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