Neuralgia and Nerve Pain

Neuralgia is a severe, sharp pain along the course of a nerve. It  is due to a painful inflammation of nerve fibers, and is usually  worse from cold or draughts. It occurs anywhere in the body,  but most notably in the trigeminal nerve of the face Neuralgia  is most common in elderly people, but it may occur at any age.

Many times neuralgia is confused with neuropathy. Neuropathy happens most commonly in diabetes and refers to actual damage of the nerves. This is a chronic condition, whereas most of the time, neuralgia is acute. Because of frequent mis-diagnosis, risk of suicide to seek an end from unrelenting pain is extremely high. Atypical trigeminal neuralgia is sometimes referred to as suicide disease.

Causes of neuralgia

In many cases, the causes are unknown. The underlying causes of trigeminal neuralgia are sometimes difficult to determine. Nerve damage can be challenging to spot on brain scans. Occasionally, such scans show that the trigeminal nerve is affected by a brain tumor, but often the cause of the pain is unknown.

  • Trauma to the nerve (accident, fracture, surgery)
  • Entrapment of the nerve
  • Certain drugs
  • Chemical irritation
  • Chronic renal insufficiency
  • Diabetes
  • Infections, such as shingles, syphilis
  • Porphyria
  • Pressure on nerves by nearby structures (for instance, tumors)

Different type

There are different types of neuralgia that are common in the field of neurology. These are

A. Trigeminal neuralgia

The most common form of neuralgia. Trigeminal nerve is the fifth and largest cranial nerve, which commences deep within the brain and conveys sensation such as pressure, temperature, touch, pain from face to the brain. This nerve is also accountable for the role of the muscles involved in chewing. This type of facial pain becomes apparent due to an aberration of the nerve fibers which carry nerve sensation or an anomaly of the myelin sheath which is the lining that covers the nerve. Trigeminal Neuralgia materializes predominantly in people over age 50, but it can occur at any age even childhood, and is more common in women than in men.

Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia:

  • Genetic due an inborn pattern of blood vessel formation.
  • A blood vessel pressing on the Trigeminal nerve.
  • Nerve impairment following a trauma.
  • Tongue piercing.
  • Post viral infections like Herpes.
  • Post bacterial infections like Leptospirosis, Syphilis, etc.
  • Disorders like Multiple Sclerosis that damage the myelin sheath (nerve covering which serves as an insulator).
  • Stroke impacting lower part of the brain.
  • Compression of the nerve by a Tumor or cyst.
  • Enduring stress.
  • Habitual intoxication from alcohol, lead and other drugs.

Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia:

  • Piercing, electric, shooting, burning pain over one side of the jaw or cheek.
  • Numbness and tingling sensation over the face.
  • Face is very sensitive to touch during pain.
  • Headaches feeling like a migraine.
  • Restlessness from pain.
  • Sleeplessness from pain.
  • Difficulty in chewing the food.
  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Dryness of mouth due to lowered secretion of saliva.
  • Dryness of eyes due to lowered lachrymal secretions.

B. Postherpetic neuralgia

This is fairly easy to diagnose as it generally follows an attack of shingles, an adult form of the chickenpox virus. The pain, however, can be worse than shingles itself, and can continue for a few months or last for several years. The pain is usually located where the shingles rash initiated. Fortunately, not all those who develop shingles will develop neuralgia. Preferred treatments are the same medications used to treat trigeminal and other forms of the condition.

C. Occipital neuralgia

This results in spasms of pain to the back, front and sides of the head and can be caused by spinal injury, such as whiplash, compression of nerves in the spinal column or occasionally by gout or diabetes.

D. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia

causes pain to the throat, tongue, tonsils and occasionally the ears.

Self Care Measures :

  • Avoid mental and physical stress.
  • Avoid exposure to a draft of wind.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar.
  • Avoid eating hard foods.
  • Avoid sudden jerky movements of the neck.
  • Identify your pain triggers and avoid them.
  • Avoid massaging violently.
  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene to avoid dental caries

Homeopathic symptoms and treatment:

Homeopathy is the primary choice of therapy for Neuralgia. Homeopathic treatment has proved effective and has shown an overwhelming response in the treatment of Neuralgia. Homeopathy views Neuralgia as a constitutional disease, and every patient is evaluated as an individual case and treated at a deeper level. Homeopathic medicines help minimize the frequency and severity of Neuralgia attacks, eventually leading to a remission. Homeopathic medicines are absolutely safe, non-toxic .

Homeopathic remedies are prescribed by symptoms rather than conditions, as each case of a particular illness can manifest differently in different people. There are many symptoms which can be effectively treated by homeopathy ­­­­­few symptoms are given below.If your symptoms are matching to any of the symptoms given below, it can be cured mail the disease and symptom number at to know your medicine.

1).Violent burning, or tearing pain, worse at night, or during repose, and relieved by the application of external heat. Great prostration, and sometimes a sensation of coldness in the affected parts. Tendency to periodicity in the attacks. Fine, red-hot, needle-like pains darting from to place . Pine pains course through the face like burning needles; the face is pale and shrunken. Malarial neuralgias.

2). Neuralgias following amputations, and injuries of nerves with fine, shooting, thread-like pains; neuralgia of stumps.

3). Inflammatory or rheumatic prosopalgia, where there is considerable heat and swelling. The pain is throbbing, burning, shooting or stitching, worse at night, appearing in paroxysms and accompanied with great sensibility of the whole nervous system. When there is violent congestion of the parts, and they are hot and swollen; when brought on by exposure to dry, cold winds; and where the pains are tingling and drive the patient to despair; also with numb sensations. Pains worse at night.

4). Paroxysm commencing with an itching in the affected part, and changing to a violent lancinating, aching, crampy or drawing pain in the cheek and nasal bones; the pain is on one side, and is frequently accompanied with an increased secretion of saliva or tears. Pain is worse from the slightest movement, noise, warmth of a bed, or a current of air. Twitching of the muscles of the face. Neuralgic pains, which come on suddenly and disappear suddenly; lancinating pains, aggravated by motion. Convulsions and spasms in teething children, from repelled eruption, with red face, hot head, throbbing carotids, starting from sleep in terror.

5). Rheumatic persons, and where the pains are of a pressing, drawing, lacerating or piercing character; mitigated by moving the part affected: pains in the limbs, and sometimes chilliness followed by fever.

6). Great sensibility and extreme restlessness; swelling of the face; redness of one cheek and paleness of the other; drawing, tearing or pulsative pain, with sensation of torpor in the part affected. Chamomilla : Great impatience and aggravation by heat. paralytic weakness in the parts affected.

7). Neuralgias, which return with clock-like periodicity ; supra-orbital neuralgias or chills of malarial origin, which are regular as a clock.

8). Periodical infra-orbital neuralgias of malarial origin, where the slightest draft makes the patient worse.

9). Violent rending, or darting pains, principally on the left side of the face, and extending to the ears, temples, nose, and teeth, and all parts of the head, worse by the slightest touch.

10).This remedy has been given with marked success in the more violent forms of Prosopalgia, where the pains are of a violent lacerating or throbbing character.

11). Rheumatic persons, with pain worse at night, and night perspiration; sensation of coldness in the parts affected, and great debility.

12). Neuralgia of cheek bones with numbness; neuralgic pains along an eruption as in herpes zoster; ciliary neuralgias

13). Persons addicted to spirituous liquors, and those of a lively and choleric temperament, or those who lead a sedentary life. Drawing and jerking pain, worse in bed, in the cold air, and during meditation.

14). Lacerating or pulsative pain on one side, worse on lying down and during repose; relieved in the open air. Particularly persons is of a mild or timid character

15). Sensation of coldness, or torpor in the affected part, with severe spasmodic pain; or tensive pressure in the bones adjoining the ear, with a sensation of creeping or crawling; worse in the evening, or at rest. Steady compression, with numbness, wants to rub the part.

16). Stinging, burning, or drawing pain, or pain as from subcutaneous ulceration; worse during repose and in the open air, and relieved by movement or warmth.

17). Neuralgia affecting the rib cage, or above the right eye.

18). Pains of a violent lacerating and throbbing character, occurring during menstruation

19). Violent tearing or jerking pain, worse by the slightest touch, or by movement of the parts, or pains appearing to shoot from the centre of the brain to the sides of the head; pains of an aching, pressive character, sometimes with glossy swelling of the affected part. Neuralgia above the left eye, made worse by movement.

20). Sensation as though a nail were being driven into the vertex or frontal eminences, intense stabbing pains driving patient almost to distraction ; patient must lie down.

21). Neuralgia brought on by damp weather or by living in a damp house.

22). Pains coming on at night, with a sensation of numb crawling or coldness, especially in anemic persons.

23). Paralyzing pain in sensitive persons, better by gentle motion and when mind is occupied. Often with insomnia, irritability, exhaustion and oversensitivity.

24). Severe neuralgic pain, but intermittent, with excessive flow of saliva.

25). Severe, throbbing neuralgic pain, like a nail being driven in over the eye, with burning heat and a flushed face.

26). Intense, darting, excruciating or spasmodic pain, relieved by heat and pressure, and aggravated by cold.

27). Insupportable pain, and great excitability of the nervous system

28). Pains in the bones of the face, worse by the slightest touch and in the evening.

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