Neuralgia (Nerve Pain)

What is neuralgia?
neuralgia (nerve pain)

Neuralgia or nerve pain is a sharp, shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve. Any kind of irritation or damage to the nerve causes neuralgia. The nerve may be anywhere in the body.

Neuralgia or nerve pain can affect any part of the body,  causing mild to severe pain. Certain medications and surgical procedures can effectively treat neuralgia. 

How bad is my neuralgia?

Mild: This means that you have mild pain. Most of the time, mild neuralgia can be managed at home.

Moderate: This means that you have moderate pain; limiting instrumental activities of daily life (preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing housework, and using a telephone). It can sometimes be safely managed at home but may require the attention of your medical team.

Severe: This means that you are having severe pain; limiting self-care activities of daily life (eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet). Severe neuralgia may be an emergency and require additional medical interventions or hospitalization in some cases.

How to manage mild neuralgia?
  • Supplements and vitamins. In some cases, nerve pain can be worsened or even caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12.
  • Anticonvulsant medications – to treat the pain and muscle spasms associated with trigeminal neuralgia
  • Antidepressants – to help relieve pain in some cases
  • Physical therapy (physiotherapy and osteopathy)
  • Alternative therapies (acupuncture, hypnosis and meditation).
  • Topical creams with capsaicin.
  • Assistive devices (canes or splints) can make it easier to move around and reduce pain. 
  • Look into stress management techniques. Try other approaches (yoga, meditation, or deep breathing) that will help you relax.
How to manage severe neuralgia?

Contact your health care provider if you:

  • Develop shingles
  • Have symptoms of neuralgia, if over-the-counter pain medicines do not relieve your pain
  • Have severe pain (consult a pain specialist)
What causes neuralgia?

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