BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuNeuralgiaNerve pain; Painful neuropathy; Neuropathic painNeuralgia is a sharp, shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve and is due to irritation or damage to the nerve.Common neuralgias include:Postherpetic neuralgia (pain that continues after a bout of shingles) Postherpetic neuralgiaShingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a member of the herpes family of viruses. ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Trigeminal neuralgia (stabbing or electric-shock-like pain in parts of the face) Trigeminal neuralgiaTrigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a nerve disorder. It causes a stabbing or electric shock-like pain in parts of the face.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Alcoholic neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy Causes Causes of neuralgia include:Chemical irritation Chronic kidney disease Chronic kidney diseaseChronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time. The main job of the kidneys is to remove wastes and excess water from the body...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Diabetes DiabetesDiabetes is a long-term (chronic) disease in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Infections, such as herpes zoster (shingles), HIV/AIDS, Lyme disease, and syphilis ShinglesShingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a member of the herpes family of viruses. ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Lyme diseaseLyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread through the bite of one of several types of ticks.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article SyphilisSyphilis is a bacterial infection that is most often spread through sexual contact.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Medicines such as cisplatin, paclitaxel, or vincristine Porphyria (blood disorder) PorphyriaPorphyrias are a group of rare inherited disorders. An important part of hemoglobin, called heme, is not made properly. Hemoglobin is a protein in ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Pressure on nerves by nearby bones, ligaments, blood vessels, or tumors Trauma (including surgery) In many cases, the cause is unknown. Postherpetic neuralgia and trigeminal neuralgia are the two most common forms of neuralgia. A related but less common neuralgia affects the glossopharyngeal nerve, which provides feeling to the throat.Glossopharyngeal nerveGlossopharyngeal neuralgia is a rare condition in which there are repeated episodes of severe pain in the tongue, throat, ear, and tonsils. This can...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Neuralgia is more common in older people, but it may occur at any age. Symptoms Symptoms may include any of the following:Increased sensitivity of the skin along the path of the damaged nerve, so that any touch or pressure is felt as pain Pain along the path of the nerve that is sharp or stabbing, in the same location each episode, comes and goes (intermittent) or is constant and burning, and may get worse when the area is moved Weakness or complete paralysis of muscles supplied by the same nerve Exams and Tests The health care provider will perform a physical exam, and ask about the symptoms.The exam may show:Abnormal sensation in the skin Reflex problems Loss of muscle mass Lack of sweating (sweating is controlled by nerves) Tenderness along a nerve Trigger points (areas where even a slight touch triggers pain) You may also need to see a dentist if the pain is in your face or jaw. A dental exam can rule out dental disorders that may cause facial pain (such as a tooth abscess). Facial painFace pain may be dull and throbbing or an intense, stabbing discomfort in the face or forehead. It can occur in one or both sides.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Tooth abscessA tooth abscess is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Other symptoms (such as redness or swelling) may help rule out conditions such as infections, bone fractures, or rheumatoid arthritis.Rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is a long-term disease. It can also aff...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article There are no specific tests for neuralgia. But, the following tests may be done to find the cause of the pain:Blood tests to check blood sugar, kidney function, and other possible causes of neuralgia Blood sugarA blood sugar test measures the amount of a sugar called glucose in a sample of your blood. Glucose is a major source of energy for most cells of the...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) MRIA magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the body. It does not us...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Nerve conduction study with electromyography Nerve conduction study with electromyog...Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) is a test to see how fast electrical signals move through a nerve. This test is done along with electromyography (EM...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Ultrasound Spinal tap (lumbar puncture) Lumbar punctureCerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection is a test to look at the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. CSF acts as a cushion, protecting the b...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Treatment depends on the cause, location, and severity of the pain.Medicines to control pain may include:Antidepressants Antiseizure drugs Over-the-counter or prescription pain medicines Pain medicines in the form of skin patches or creamsOther treatments may include:Shots with pain-relieving (anesthetic) drugs Nerve blocks Physical therapy (for some types of neuralgia, especially postherpetic neuralgia) Procedures to reduce feeling in the nerve (such as nerve ablation using radiofrequency, heat, balloon compression, or injection of chemicals) Surgery to take pressure off a nerve Alternative therapy, such as acupuncture or biofeedbackProcedures may not improve symptoms and can cause loss of feeling or abnormal sensations.When other treatments fail, doctors may try nerve or spinal cord stimulation. In rare cases, a procedure called motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is tried. An electrode is placed over part of nerve, spinal cord, or brain and is hooked to a pulse generator under the skin. This changes how your nerves signal and it may reduce pain. Outlook (Prognosis) Most neuralgias are not life threatening and are not signs of other life-threatening disorders. For severe pain that does not improve, see a pain specialist so that you can explore all treatment options.Most neuralgias respond to treatment. Attacks of pain usually come and go. But, attacks may become more frequent in some people as they get older.Sometimes, the condition may improve on its own or disappear with time, even when the cause is not found. Possible Complications Complications may include:Problems from surgery Disability caused by pain Side effects of drugs used to control pain Dental procedures that aren't needed before neuralgia is diagnosed When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if:You develop shingles You have symptoms of neuralgia, especially if over-the-counter pain medicines do not relieve your pain You have severe pain (see a pain specialist) Prevention Strict control of blood sugar may prevent nerve damage in people with diabetes. In the case of shingles, antiviral drugs and the herpes zoster virus vaccine may prevent neuralgia.Open ReferencesReferencesKatirji B. Disorders of peripheral nerves. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 107.Scadding JW, Koltzenburg M. Painful peripheral neuropathies. In: McMahon SB, Koltzenburg M, Tracey I, Turk DC, eds. Wall and Melzack's Textbook of Pain. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 65.Smith G, Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 392.AllVideoImagesTogCentral nervous system and peripheral nervous system - illustration The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.Central nervous system and peripheral nervous systemillustrationCentral nervous system and peripheral nervous system - illustration The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.Central nervous system and peripheral nervous systemillustrationSelf Care Postherpetic neuralgia - aftercareRelated Information Trigeminal neuralgia(Condition)Provisional tic disorder(Condition)Tumor(Condition)Multiple sclerosis(Condition)Shingles(Condition)Multiple sclerosis(In-Depth) Review Date: 6/23/2020 Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. 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