Common Types of Neuralgia

There are many different types of neuralgia. Neuralgia is nerve pain. It is pain that is coming from within the nerve in itself.

Neuralgia can have a wide variety of causes because nerves are sensitive structures that can be affected by many different diseases and influences. 

It can be caused by trauma or injury to a nerve, inflammation of a nerve or nearby structures, or pressure from surrounding bones and tissues.






Postherpetic Neuralgia

This type of neuralgia is residual nerve 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. 

Painful rash of Shingles 

Image thanks to Yesyouisnot via Wikimedia Commons

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

Learn more about residual nerve pain after an episode of Shingles at 
Post Herpetic Neuralgia and What You can Do

Trigeminal Neuralgia

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 on the trigeminal nerve from nearby blood vessels or tumors. 

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 Neuralgia

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 this type of neuralgia.

You can learn more about occipital nerve pain at Occipital Neuralgia Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.

Intercostal Neuralgia

The intercostal nerves run along the bottom edge of 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.

Intercostal neuralgia 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.

Sciatic Neuralgia is better known a Sciatica

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.

Discover more about sciatica at Sciatica Symptoms and Treatments.

What You Can Do

Nerve pain or neuralgia can develop for many different reasons. There are many types of neuralgia and each one will require its own specific treatment. 

Find out more about the types of neuralgia and
what can be done at
Neuralgia Treatments.



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