Neuralgia is Nerve Pain

Neuralgia, or neuropathic pain, is pain that is coming from the nerve itself. 

Normally nerves transmit the pain signal from the site of an injury to your brain. However, when nerves are scarred, squeezed, injured or otherwise irritated it can be the nerve itself that is causing the pain. 

This is the pain of neuralgia.






Common Causes of Nerve Pain

Pain that is coming from the nerve itself can have a wide variety of causes because nerves are sensitive structures that can be affected by many different diseases and influences. 

Trigeminal Neuropathy

This Trigeminal nerve disorder will cause pain and other symptoms across one side of your face from below your eye to your jaw line. It can be caused by pressure from nearby blood vessels or tumors. 

Nerve Structure

Nerve Structure

Image thanks to Wikimedia Commons

Inflammation from diseases like multiple sclerosis or sarcoidosis can cause trigeminal nerve pain. In many cases the pain is idiopathic, meaning that no clear cause is ever discovered. 

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Occipital Nerve Pain

The occipital nerves run from the very top of your neck and branch out across the back of your skull. These nerves can be injured by trauma, or a blow to the back of your head. 

Occipital nerve damage as a complication of surgery, and inflammation from osteoarthritis in your upper cervical spine, are other possible causes of occipital nerve pain.

Intercostal Neuropathy

The intercostal nerves lie in the space between each of your ribs. They begin in the back very close to your thoracic spine and wrap around both sides of your chest all the way to your sternum in the front. They can cause nerve pain that is felt anywhere along that path.

Pain from the intercostal nerves may develop if these nerves are damaged during surgery or other trauma that injures your chest. 

Pregnancy can cause an upward pressure on your lower ribs causing intercostal nerve pain. 

Costochondritis is a painful inflammation of the rib cartilage. This or any other inflammatory disorder affecting the muscles or cartilage in your rib cage may irritate the intercostal nerves.

Postherpetic Nerve Pain

Postherpetic nerve pain is residual pain following an attack of shingles.

Herpes zoster is the virus that causes chicken pox. After you have had chickenpox this virus can lie dormant within the nerve and then become active many years later causing a shingles outbreak.

After you have had an episode of shingles and the rash and blisters have healed you may still have the residual nerve pain of postherpetic neuralgia. 

Shingles can occur anywhere on your body and so can this residual nerve pain.

Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatic neuropathy or sciatica will develop whenever there is irritation or damage to the sciatic nerve. 

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It originates in your pelvis and then passes into your lower buttock and travels along the back of your thigh. In your lower thigh it branches out into the smaller nerves of your lower leg and feet.

Sciatica may cause shooting pain up into your lower back, or down through your buttock and thigh all the way down to your toes. 

Common causes are a herniated disc in your lumbar spine, lumbar spinal stenosis, and piriformis syndrome.

What You Can Do

Neuropathic pain is nerve pain. It can occur anywhere that you have nerves(which is everywhere). It may develop for many different reasons. Common causes of nerve pain include scarring(phantom limb pain), pressure(spinal stenosis), or inflammation(occipital nerve pain). 

Fortunately, there are things that can be done to treat your pain.

Find out what you can do at Neuralgia or Nerve Pain Treatments.



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