Neuropathic Pain: That Annoying Nighttime Pain
The phrase “neuropathic pain” might sound a little strange to you. But we’re talking about that pain, itching or numbness in the hands and feet that intensifies at night.
This might sound familiar to you.
This type of disorder is very similar to an electrical shock. Sometimes it feels like burning, tingling, and while it can disappear for weeks, it later returns with a vengeance.
It can even preventing you from getting deep, healing sleep.
Neuropathic pain affects 10% of the population. It steals away your quality of life, and sometimes there is no effective treatment than can help the problem disappear completely.
It can also be accompanied by other symptoms, which are valuable to keep in mind.
If this is your situation, we recommend seeing a specialist. There are various different types of therapeutic focuses, and most likely you’ll have to try whichever therapy adapts to your own needs.
But we are going to explain some of the basic keys below. We’ll explain why this pain intensifies at night.
What causes neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain is caused by a slight change in the nervous system. It is also associated with people that suffer from chronic pain.
Sometimes, it is associated with small lesions is the spinal column that lead to these annoying “shocks.”
Be that what it may, oftentimes the discomfort is localized in the trigeminal nerve in the face, or in the intercostal nerve.
It is a very complex type of pain; so much so, that it goes much further beyond the classic symptoms of hands and feet “going to sleep.”
Specialists will always be the ones to offer you an appropriate diagnosis according to your symptoms.
What symptoms could I experience?
Neuropathic pain is chronic. As we stated at the beginning of this article, it comes and goes, in periods of time. But patients always complain that at night, the pain becomes unbearable.
Discomfort that is localized in the feet and hands also generally comes with other sensitivities throughout the body, like feeling pain when someone grazes your skin.
Why is the discomfort more intense at night?
Specialists say that neuropathic pain is often misdiagnosed. If this is true, this could be due to several different reasons:
- The pain is not related to bones or joints. We’re talking about nerves and neuroglia, which is to say, this type of central sensitivity is located in the glial cells.
- The neuropathic pain isn’t eased with aspirin. In fact, patients often feel exasperated when they can’t find relief. Over time, if you’re unable to find a solution, you could end up feeling defeated.
If, in your case, the pain intensifies at night, it’s because you’re finally still. When you’re moving, the movements soothe your body to a certain extent, thereby calming the nerve disruptions.
So when you rest for a while, the electrical shocks become more intense. Muscles are no longer being worked, and now the tension is concentrated even more in your extremities, such as the feet and hands.
Hypersensitivity also increases at night. It’s like having pins and needles all over your body.
Is there any effective treatment for neuropathic pain?
You’re facing a chronic ailment. This requires, above all, a certain level of understanding.
This discomfort, the pain that sometimes renders you unable to do things, and that robs you of sleep, is always going to be with you.
But the key is not to give up, but instead, continually search for a good quality of life.
This is a very personal battle. This means that while a certain kind of treatment may work well for a friend, you might need something different.
So with that being said, it’s important to remember different alternatives:
- Medication: As said earlier, pharmaceuticals do not guarantee they can stop neuropathic pain 100%. However, you should try different medications, like anti-inflammatory steroids, or others that your doctor may recommend.
- Passive physiotherapy, like massages or heat/cold applications, could be effective. Also, active therapies like moderate exercise could be a great help.
- Surgery: Your specialist will have to inform you of these possibilities, in efforts to find what is causing the pain, and then to correct it.
- Neurostimulators: This type of clinical technique also offers a good quality of life. It sends very small, gentle electrical impulses to the epidural space near the spine. This helps alleviate the sense of intense pain, replacing it with a nearly imperceptible tingling.
So to finish, neuropathic pain is truly very delicate, but there are various different types of treatment for it.
It would be a good idea to try them all to see which one works for you, so you can move on with your life and reduce the impact that the pain has on your life.