The dysfunction of nerves which causes numbness and a loss of sensation in the body is called neuropathy. Although quite a number of individuals will likely experience neuropathy at one time or the other in their lifetime, only a certain percentage will experience major symptoms like chronic pain.
Aches and pains associated with neurological dysfunction such as damaged peripheral nerves are commonly referred to neuropathic pain. While the reason why the pain arises is unknown, some schools of thought have arisen to explain the causal agents of the disorder.
Contrary to “normal” pain that occurs as a reaction to pressure from an external source like an injury, neuropathic pain is not caused by any form of stimulation. It is usually linked to extreme sensitivity to normal stimuli like touch or sound.
Neuropathic pain can be caused by different diseases which include diabetes mellitus, kidney diseases, alcoholism, injury, and thyroid hormone, etc. There are many different types of neuropathic pain, such as post-herpetic neuralgia, chronic neuropathic pain, peripheral neuropathy, central neuropathic pain and painful diabetic neuropathy, which may require plenty of rest, pain relief, treatment or even surgery to put an end to long-term pain. However, the following are the most common types of neuropathic pain and their associated symptoms:
1. Central Pain Syndrome
The mild or stabbing pain that affects individuals whose Central Nervous Systems are compromised by diseases is called central pain syndrome. This dilapidating neurological condition stems from a multitude of disorders that damage the spinal cord, brain, or brainstem. Some of these illnesses include tumors, strokes, spinal cord traumas, multiple sclerosis, or epilepsy.
The severity of pain linked to central pain syndrome varies greatly, owing to the fact that the etiology of the diseases can be traced to different causal factors. More often than not, this dysfunctional syndrome can spread throughout the body; however, sometimes it might affect some areas like the hands.
The pain associated with this neuropathic disorder can either be mild or very severe and is usually aggravated by factors like changes in temperature, mobility, sound, touch, or even emotions.
In addition to the wrenching, chronic pain it presents, the main sensation experienced by individuals suffering this form of distress is a burning feeling; others include a sensation of being pricked with “pins and needles,” aches or feeling of being lacerated. Some sufferers have also reported feeling numb. It is also very common for individuals with this type of pain to experience these sensations in the extremities.
Simply put, diabetic neuropathy is an injury caused to your nerves as a result of diabetes. This damage is usually very painful and can be traced to one major causal factor: a spike in blood glucose levels. This form of pain syndrome can be divided into four major classes, which include:
This dysfunction is usually felt in the lower part of the body, especially the legs.
In autonomic neuropathy, the damage occurs along the gastrointestinal system, especially in organs like the stomach, the urinary tract, and the reproductive organs.
Proximal neuropathy causes discomfort in areas like the buttocks, hips or thighs. Often, weakness around the legs might be due to this damage.
Occurring at focal points of nerves in areas like the head or torso is focal neuropathy. Sometimes, instead of the persistent throbbing felt by those suffering from this ailment, there is only weakness.
Just as the diabetic neuropathy occurs in various forms, so does the symptoms of the individual variants of the disease manifest different symptoms. However, some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder include double vision, dizziness, nausea, low blood pressure, tingling, a burning sensation, or intense pain.
Irritation of the largest nerve—the sciatic nerve—results in chronic nerve pain, called sciatica. The sciatic nerve courses from the nerve roots located in the spinal cord through the lower back to the buttocks and then the lower limbs. When there is an ache along the nerve, it radiates from the lumbar region toward the back of the thigh before spreading down the knee.
The malaise which results from such gut-wrenching condition is also known as sciatic nerve pain. The major cause of inflammation the sciatic nerve is as a result of herniation of the lumbar disc which lies on the nerve. Apart from lumbar disc herniation, sciatica can be caused by disturbance of the nerve on a muscle, tumors, bone, hemorrhage, infections in the lumbar spine, and injury. Pregnant women are prone to sciatica because the burgeoning fetus sometimes causes irritation to the sciatic nerve.
The main symptoms of the irritation or injury to the sciatic nerve include chronic pain, throbbing, tingling, a burning sensation, and “pins and needles” which spreads from the lower back to the upper buttocks toward the back of the leg. This results in intense aches around the lumbar, buttocks hips, and legs. The most severe symptom of sciatica causes a reduction in mobility.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Causing numbness, pain, and a tingling sensation in the hands and arms is potentially Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a neuropathic pain which occurs when the median nerve of the hand “traveling” through a tunnel in the wrist becomes compressed.
The median nerve is one of the primary nerves that transmit information to the nerve endings of the hands. It is discouraging to know that this dysfunctional syndrome worsens with time and progression of the inflammation causes irreversible damage to the median nerve.
The occasional symptoms associated with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome are tingling, numbness, burning sensations, and pain in the fingers. Sometimes, there might be the feeling of “mild shocks” which spread throughout the fingers. This localized pain in the hands proliferates to the shoulder. Clumsiness and difficulty in performing slight tasks like unbuttoning your shirt might be a tad difficult.
Individuals who have suffered from chickenpox are at risk of developing shingles in their later years when herpes zoster—the virus responsible for it—is reactivated.The unbearable pain associated with shingles is sometimes as a result of a neuropathic pain called Post-herpetic neuralgia.
This disorder, which is the primary complication of shingles, has deleterious effects on the nerve fibers and also on the skin. It results in a burning sensation that outlives the blisters and rashes caused by shingles.
Symptoms of post-herpetic neuralgia include chronic pain, sensitivity to touch, numbness, and itching.
Dietary Supplementation for Neuropathic Pain
Studies have proven that micronutrient deficiency quickens the progression of nerve damages and worsening of neuropathic pain. As part of the treatment of neuropathic pain, vitamins and minerals play an important role in reversing the adverse effects of nerve damage while alleviating symptoms. One of the best ways of supplying nutrients to the body is through supplementation.
Nerve Renew is a powerful supplement that helps in healing neuropathy and dysfunction in nerves. Users of this product claimed that they experienced improvement after constant use over a short period. The supplement consists of high-end ingredients like methylcobalamin, standardized R-Alpha lipoic acid, and Benfotiamine, which have been proven to be power anti-oxidants that can help to reverse nerve damage. Read more about it here.