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Neuralgia

Neuralgia is pain in one or more nerves caused by a change in neurological structure or function of the nerves rather than by excitation of healthy pain receptors. Neuralgia falls into two categories: central neuralgia, where the cause of the pain is located in the spinal cord or brain, and peripheral neuralgia. This unusual pain is thought to be linked to four possible mechanisms: ion channel gate malfunctions; the nerve fibers become mechanically sensitive and create an ectopic signal; signals in touch fibers cross to pain fibers; and malfunction due to damage in the brain and spinal cord.

Source: Wikipedia

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with neuralgia, 73% report having back pain, 64% report having leg pain, and 60% report having loss of sensation. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of neuralgia are loss of sensation, although you may still have neuralgia without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with neuralgia often receive magnetic resonance imaging, physical therapy exercises, other diagnostic procedures (interview; evaluation; consultation), other therapeutic procedures, insertion of catheter or spinal stimulator and injection into spinal canal, examination of foot, physical therapy exercises; manipulation; and other procedures and bone density scan .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with neuralgia include gabapentin, pregabalin (lyrica), carisoprodol (soma), tizanidine, botulism antitoxin, almotriptan (axert), colesevelam (welchol), acetaminophen / diphenhydramine, chloroprocaine, bellergal-s, acetaminophen / caffeine / phenyltoloxamine, caffeine / ergotamine and ammonium lactate topical .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for neuralgia include age 45-59 years. On the other hand, age 5-14 years, age 1-4 years, and age < 1 years almost never get neuralgia.

Age

< 1 years
0.0x
1-4 years
0.0x
5-14 years
0.0x
15-29 years
0.4x
30-44 years
1.4x
45-59 years
1.8x
60-74 years
1.4x
75+ years
1.1x

Sex

Male
1.0x
Female
1.0x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.8x
Hispanic
0.7x
White
1.1x
Other
0.9x
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