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What Is Neurogenic Pain? The Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Neurogenic pain is pain that originates in the nervous system. The nerves and other structures in the central nervous system (CNS) affect how we feel physically, both when we’re well and when we’re feeling pain. When the CNS receives a signal from an injury, it can change what happens outside of it as well. Some of these changes aren’t terribly helpful, such as being anxious or being confused by new information. Others are harmful, such as experiencing chronic pain or triggering a panic attack. Neurogenic pain is one example of how the physical body can cause unwanted mental or emotional symptoms. It happens when nerve damage causes impulses to be sent to sensory neurons that interpret sensations in the skin, muscles, joints and other parts of the body. The resulting pain signals are transmitted through nerves to the brain where they trigger unpleasant sensations and emotions like anxiety, fear or panic.


  1. What is neuropathic pain?
  2. Causes of neuropathic pain
  3. Treatments for neuropathic pain
  4. How is neurogenic pain different from other types of pain?
  5. Symptoms of neurogenic pain
  6. Mitigating neurogenic symptoms
  7. References

What is neuropathic pain?

Neuropathic pain is a type of neurogenic pain that occurs when there’s damage to the nervous system. It often comes from the spinal cord or brain where it can be caused by a stroke, traumatic injury or other health condition. Neuropathic pain can also result from an adverse drug reaction. In some situations, neuropathic pain may not have any clear cause, but in others it might be due to a clinical disorder such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus erythematosus or fibromyalgia.

Causes of neuropathic pain

The causes of neuropathic pain can vary, but the most common causes are nerve damage and illness. In some cases, there is no specific cause for the pain. Nerve damage can be caused by physical or emotional trauma, or it can be a side effect of disease. Nerve damage may result from prolonged pressure on nerves like from sitting in a chair for hours at work or from wearing tight clothing that presses on one’s skin. Illness can also lead to nerve damage, either as a direct result of the disease or due to treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. One common cause of neuropathic pain is shingles, which are typically caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).

Treatments for neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain can be treated by using oral medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. For more severe pain, doctors may prescribe antidepressants like amitriptyline or SSRIs like fluoxetine. Other options for treatment include nerve blocks, anesthesia, surgery and physical therapy.

How is neurogenic pain different from other types of pain?

Neurogenic pain is different from other types of pain in that it originates in the nervous system, not the body. It also doesn’t respond to traditional treatments like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There are many causes of neurogenic pain, including injuries and disease affecting the peripheral nervous system, spinal cord and brain. Some common causes include:

– Brain tumor

– Cerebrovascular accident (stroke)

– Cervical spine injury

– Chiari malformation

– Degenerative disc disease


– Head injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Infection of a disc space

– Neck sprain or strain

– Osteoarthritis of spine or joints

– Stroke (cerebrovascular accident)

Symptoms of neurogenic pain

Common symptoms of neurogenic pain include:

– Sharp, shooting or stabbing pains

– Weakness, numbness or a feeling that the limb doesn’t belong to you

– Fatigue

– Headaches

– Blurry vision or double vision

– Vomiting or nausea

If neurogenic pain is misdiagnosed and not treated immediately, it can lead to some serious consequences like permanent nerve damage, muscle atrophy and severe depression.

Mitigating neurogenic symptoms

Neurogenic pain can be mitigated with medication and physical therapy. There are some things that you can do to reduce the intensity of your chronic pain and manage the stress response. One thing you can do is identify trigger points that may exacerbate your pain. These triggers may cause your body to react in ways that make it more difficult to experience relief from your symptoms, like making it harder to sleep at night or triggering an anxiety attack. Trigger points are areas where muscles are tight, which increases tension on a nerve and impairs blood flow to surrounding tissue. It’s worth noting that there isn’t a one size fits all solution for relieving neurogenic pain because everyone has different symptoms, but one way or another, the goal is usually the same: Reduce the amount of discomfort you experience so that you’re able to maintain function and improve quality of life.





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