Pain is a protective mechanism in human life. It is the body’s early warning system. It generally occurs with damage and disappears with the healing of the damaged tissue. When we bring our hand close to the fire, the burning sensation on the skin causes pain and we reflexively pull our hand away. Or, due to the pain caused by the friction of the bone ends in a bone fracture, the pain is expected to pass by remaining motionless. These are all protective mechanisms. In some cases, pain ceases to be protective and becomes a disease itself. This is called chronic pain (ongoing pain). Neuropathic pain is a group of chronic pain that is difficult to define, monitor and treat for the patient. Long-term pain that occurs as a result of damage to the nervous system is called neuropathic pain. Most of the pains that are burning, stinging, stabbing or electric shock-like are described as “neuropathic pain” in the medical language. Neuropathic pain can be described by patients in various ways, such as “stinging, piercing, stabbing, burning”. It can be very severe, last a long time, and do not respond to conventional pain medications. Neuropathic pain, unlike many other types of pain, usually increases at night. Neuropathic pain creates physical, psychological, emotional and social effects in our lives. Prolonged pain; It causes sleep disturbance, disruption of social life, depression and tension. Pain may be of different degrees from person to person, and may even be perceived differently in the same person at different times of the day. The pain can be very severe; So much so that some patients cannot work or even dress due to the burning sensation caused by the clothes. The main conditions that cause neuropathic pain include diabetes, kidney failure, infectious diseases such as shingles, various vascular diseases, alcoholism, some neurological diseases and cancer. It is thought that neuropathic pain may occur when long-term pain occurs in people with such diseases.
Neuropathic pain generally occurs in 15 out of 1000 people. Neuropathic pain due to diabetes is the most common type of neuropathic pain in developed countries. It has been determined that neuropathic pain, which is found in 8% of newly diagnosed diabetic patients, can increase up to 61% in people who have had diabetes for a long time. The most reliable evidence in the evaluation of neuropathic pain is what the patient tells us. Neuropathic pain exhibits a specific localization in accordance with the nerve distribution. For example, it is typical for diabetic patients to experience sock-glove-like pain. When you consult a doctor with complaints of long-term pain, stinging, burning, and tingling, your doctor may ask you many questions about your pain, and after the examination, some examinations may include blood tests as well as tests such as EMG (electromyography) to show whether there is damage to the nerves. Your physician may also administer short surveys that measure your pain level.
Neuropathic pain treatment is a versatile treatment; various medications can be used and surgical interventions can be performed. Psychological practices aimed at reducing stress may be beneficial. The disease causing neuropathic pain needs to be treated; for example, in diabetics, it is important to keep blood sugar under tight control. Because neuropathic pain results from the destruction of nerve cells, it does not respond adequately to conventional painkillers. When neuropathic pain cannot be treated with medication, interventional methods applied by Algology (Pain) Specialists can be a solution. Sympathetic nerve blocks, radiofrequency thermocoagulation and cryotherapy methods are some of these. With these techniques, the patient’s severe pain is reduced and at the same time, high doses and long-term use of medication are prevented. Ozonetherapy has recently become an effective treatment method for neuropathic pain due to diabetes or circulatory problems.
Wishing you a pain-free life