Neuropathic pain occurs when the nervous system is damaged or working incorrectly, causing pain in parts of the nervous system, including the peripheral nerves, the brain, and the spinal cord.
Neuropathic pain is usually a chronic condition that results from progressive nerve disease. It may also occur from infection or injury. Neuropathic pain generally occurs in flare-ups, which may appear at any time, even without a pain-inducing factor or event.
Neuropathic pain is often described as a shooting or burning pain. It may also present as numbness or loss of sensation.
Some causes of neuropathic pain include:
- Disease (e.g., multiple myeloma, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, alcoholism)
- Cancer treatment
- Injuries to the muscles, tissue, or joints
- Infections (e.g., syphilis, shingles)
- Spinal nerve inflammation or compression
- Limb loss
- Thyroid problems