Neuralgia Treatment in Saint Michaels, MD
Have you been experiencing a burning or stabbing pain at one or both sides of your face, the top of your head, or in your throat? Are you suffering from nerve pain related to shingles? Is this recurring pain stifling your quality of life?
You may be suffering from neuralgia, a type of nerve pain that occurs either in isolation or as a shingles complication. Neuralgia pain doesn’t have to control your life – you can manage it with the help of a neuralgia specialist. Learn how to improve your quality of life – call (410) 266-3613 or contact Annapolis Integrative Medicine online today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of neuralgia?
Each type of neuralgia presents different symptoms:
- Postherpetic neuralgia: a complication of shingles, which is a viral outbreak of rash and blisters. This pain presents in shingles-infected areas. Pain may be minor or severe, and may occur along the path of the affected nerve, most commonly on one side of your body. You may also feel skin sensitivity or a burning pain on the infected area.
- Trigeminal neuralgia: occurs when a blood vessel presses down on the trigeminal nerve where it meets your brain stem. Multiple sclerosis can cause this pain, as well as nerve injury or a number of other causes. Most common in people over the age of 50, trigeminal neuralgia usually causes severe pain on one side of the face.
- Occipital neuralgia: affects the nerves running from the top of your spinal cord to your scalp, causing aching, burning, or throbbing pain that starts at the base of your skull and travels up to the scalp. This condition is often confused with migraine because the conditions present similar symptoms.
- Glossopharyngeal neuralgia: a rarer condition, this type of neuralgia typically occurs in the neck or throat area and causes burning or stabbing pain.
What Causes Neuralgia?
Although a wide array of conditions may cause neuralgia pain, the most common are:
- infection: infections such as shingles, tooth infections, or other body part infections can irritate or damage nerves, causing pain
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS): this disease causes deterioration of myelin, the covering of nerves, and can trigger trigeminal neuralgia
- nerve pressure: pressure from a blood vessel, tumor, bone, or ligament irritating nearby nerves can cause neuralgia
- diabetes: excess glucose in your bloodstream may cause nerve damage in your hands, arms, legs, and feet
When nerve pressure or infection isn’t the cause of your neuralgia, a less common condition may be causing the pain. Rarer causes of neuralgia include:
- chronic kidney disease
- cancer medications
- some antibiotics
- surgery trauma
- chemical irritation
How is Neuralgia Diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine the location of your pain and determine what type of pain it is. Neuralgia is typically a clinical diagnosis, requiring no imaging or laboratory tests. However, your doctor may recommend blood tests or imaging to rule out possible underlying medical conditions or to discover other causes of your pain.
How is Neuralgia treated?
Your doctor may prescribe anticonvulsant medication to prevent your nerves from reacting to irritation. Prescription muscle relaxants may also provide some relief. Over time, these medications may lose their effectiveness, at which point your doctor may recommend surgery.
Many of the following procedures provide long-term or permanent pain relief, and are generally performed on an outpatient basis:
- microvascular decompression: moves or removes blood vessels affecting the nerves
- Gamma Knife radiosurgery: uses radiation to target your affected nerves
- rhizotomy: destroys nerve fibers, disrupting their ability to send pain signals to the brain
- neurolysis: applying heat or chemicals to block the nerve’s pain signals to the brain
Book Your Appointment Today
Neuralgia can severely impact your health and quality of life by preventing you from doing things you want and need to do. Take the first step toward managing or eliminating your neuralgia. Speak with a specialist today by calling (410) 266-3613 or contact Annapolis Integrative Medicine online.
Annapolis Integrative Medicine
Address1819 Bay Ridge Ave
Annapolis, MD 21403