Neuropathic pain is an extremely painful condition that stems from a number of different causes. When patients feel this pain, many doctors try medication as a first line of treatment. However, there are other treatment methods that can help you get to your goal of being pain free. Here at Interventional Pain Associates, we can help you with neuropathic pain and medication management.
What is Neuropathic Pain?
Neuropathic pain, or nerve pain, is when there has been an injury or damage to the nerves that send signals to your brain. The Brain & Spine Foundation explains that this pain is often described as a burning sensation and the areas affected are sensitive to the touch. Other symptoms of neuropathic pain can be:
- Excruciating pain
- Pain that feels like pins and needles
- Difficulty sensing temperatures
Causes of Neuropathic Pain
There is no one clear cause of neuropathic pain. The pain happens when there’s damage or dysfunction of the nervous system. According to Cleveland Clinic, 30% of neuropathic pain is caused by diabetes. However, there can be other causes, like:
- Amputation (resulting in phantom pain)
- Chemotherapy medication
- Radiation therapy
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Facial nerve problems
- HIV or AIDS
- Spinal nerve compression or inflammation
- Trauma or surgeries with resulting nerve damage
- Nerve compression
- Central nervous system disorders (stroke, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
Treating Neuropathic Pain
The goal of neuropathic pain treatment, Cleveland Clinic further explains, is to treat the underlying disease, provide pain relief, maintain functionality, and improve a patient’s quality of life. For many medical professionals, however, medication is the first line of defense against neuropathic pain. However, this is not always the best route. To summarize, there are three types of medications most commonly prescribed for nerve pain include:
1. Antidepressants or tricyclic antidepressants (TCA’s). The newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressant medications (such as Prozac) are not considered as effective for this condition as tricyclic antidepressants.
2. Anticonvulsants (also called neuroleptic medications). A newer drug, gabapentin (Neurontin), is also considered effective and is generally well tolerated by most patients.
3. Local anesthetics, such as an IV application of lidocaine, tocainide, or mexiletine can often provide relief.
For most patients, however, medication is not a long term solution for pain relief. To explain, there are many things that can help patients with their pain that don’t require taking medications for the rest of your life. For example, many alternative treatment options can help reduce the amount of medication you take, if you have to continue taking any at all.
What is Medication Management?
Medication management is a way to make sure that you are using all of your medications in a safe and effective way. For example, it ensures you’re not taking too much or two medications that could interfere with one another. Due to this, medication managment is important.
When you come in for a medication management appointment, we will first examine and evaluate your current condition and look for the source of your pain. Once this is complete, we will look at the medications you are currently taking to treat your pain. Rather than solely relying on the use of prescription medication, we offer a variety of treatments that could help reduce your need for medication in the future. For example, we offer:
- Epidural injections
- Selective nerve root blocks
- Facet injections and medial branch blocks (cervical, thoracic and lumbar)
- Radiofrequency denervation
- Sympathetic blocks
- Peripheral nerve blocks
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Ultrasound-guided Joint Injections
- Botox injections for migraines
- Trigger point injections
- Stem Cells Injections
- A2M injections
With these, our goal is to improve the quality of your life. Interventional Pain Management focuses on special procedures to treat and manage pain.
Make an Appointment with Interventional Pain Associates
Are you currently suffering from nerve pain? If so, call Dr. Saleemi and our team at Interventional Pain Associates. With an approach that focuses on your physical, social, and psychological health, Dr. Saleemi works with you one-on-one to help you manage neuropathic pain. Click to book an appointment now.
We treat low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, migraines, headaches, and more. Call us to book your appointment today, located in Austin, Texas.