Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain caused by damage or dysfunction of the nervous system, often presenting as a burning, shooting, or stabbing sensation.

The basics

Neuropathic pain is a chronic condition caused by damage to the nervous system. It can result from a variety of conditions, including diabetes, shingles, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries. Symptoms of neuropathic pain include burning, shooting, stabbing, or tingling sensations, and hypersensitivity to touch and temperature changes. Neuropathic pain can significantly affect quality of life, leading to sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, and difficulties with daily activities. However, with appropriate treatment and management, relief from symptoms is possible. Painless has a multidisciplinary team that works with individuals to develop personalized treatment plans that address the biological, psychological, and social aspects of their pain.

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Neuropathic pain presents differently for each individual, but common symptoms include:

  • Burning, shooting, stabbing, or tingling pain in the affected area
  • Hypersensitivity to touch or temperature changes
  • Numbness or weakness in the affected area
  • Electric shock-like pains that radiate down the arms or legs
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain
  • Muscle spasms or twitching
  • Changes in skin color, texture, or temperature
  • Difficulty with balance and coordination in some cases

These symptoms can significantly impact daily life and require appropriate management to improve quality of life. At Painless, our multidisciplinary team focuses on a whole-person approach to address the underlying causes of neuropathic pain and develop personalized treatment plans that incorporate a variety of strategies.

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Therapies & treatments


There are various classes of medications used to manage neuropathic pain, including antidepressants, anticonvulsants, opioids, and topical agents. These medications can be prescribed by a pain management specialist.

Nerve blocks

Nerve blocks involve injecting a local anesthetic or other medication into a specific nerve to provide pain relief.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

TENS uses a small device to deliver electrical impulses to nerve endings, which can help to reduce pain.

Physical therapy

Physical therapists can develop an exercise plan to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion, and may also use techniques such as massage, stretching, and heat or cold therapy to relieve pain.


Acupuncture involves inserting small needles into specific points on the body to stimulate nerve activity and promote healing.

Pulsed radiofrequency

Pulsed radiofrequency is a minimally invasive procedure that uses electrical stimulation to interrupt pain signals along the affected nerve, providing pain relief.

Intravenous (IV) infusions

Certain medications, such as lidocaine and ketamine, can be delivered through IV infusions to provide pain relief.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of therapy that can help individuals with neuropathic pain develop coping strategies to manage pain and improve quality of life.


Biofeedback involves learning to control certain bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure, which can help to reduce pain and stress.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy can help to relax muscles, improve circulation, and reduce pain associated with neuropathic pain. A trained massage therapist can use a variety of techniques to target specific areas of the body.

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Self-care strategies

Engage in relaxation techniques

Practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help to reduce stress and manage neuropathic pain symptoms.

Get enough sleep

Getting adequate restful sleep is important for managing neuropathic pain. Establishing a regular sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleep environment can help improve sleep quality.

Physical activity

Gentle exercise, like walking or yoga, can help to reduce pain symptoms by increasing circulation and promoting endorphin release.

Heat or cold therapy

Applying a heating pad or ice pack to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness meditation and other MBSR techniques can help manage stress and reduce neuropathic pain symptoms.

Distraction techniques

Engaging in enjoyable activities, like listening to music or reading a book, can help shift focus away from pain.

Support groups

Joining a support group or connecting with others who have similar experiences can provide emotional support and help to alleviate feelings of isolation.

Nutritional supplements

Certain supplements, such as alpha-lipoic acid and magnesium, may help reduce neuropathic pain symptoms. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

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