As a rule, pain protects us from damage to the body. For example: when we come close to a heat source like fire we retract our hands to prevent damaging our skin. Nerve pain or neuropathic pain has no function, but is a consequence of damage to the nervous system. That damage can generate in the brain, the spinal cord or the nerve tracts.
In nerve pain the pain can suddenly appear without reason, but can also be the consequence of a viral infection (shingles), an operation or a trapped nerve after an accident. Diabetics can also suffer from nerve pain as a result of their condition. The generated pain can also be experienced as different, you can suffer from nerve pain that comes and goes, but the pain can also be continuous. Nerve pain can feel like a severe, burning, shooting or stinging pain. Besides pain, a damaged nerve can also affect the blood flow to parts of the body.
Treatments of nerve pain
Carbamazepine belongs to the anti-epileptic drugs. Carbamazepine is de preferred choice for many types of nerve pain and will usually be prescribed by the doctor as a first choice.
For diabetics it is essential to have the treatment of the condition under control. The doctor will prescribe amitriptyline for severe nerve pain as a consequence of diabetes or shingles infection. Amitriptyline belong to a group tricyclic anti-depressants, but the drug works a lot faster for nerve pains than to treat depression. A much lower dose is needed to be effective for nerve pains than if the drug is used to treat depression.
Normal painkillers (paracetamol) are preferred for pressure pain (as a consequence of a hernia for example).
If normal painkillers don't work the doctor can prescribe tramadol. Tramadol is a painkiller the (partially) blocks pain signals to the brain. The pain is then experienced as less heavy.