People who have neuralgia have often described the feeling as a sharp nerve pain that comes about suddenly. This can be caused by many factors including injury to the area, a damaged nerve, a disease, or some type of infection. The pain can occur in any part of the body where the nerve pathway has been affected. 

Types of Neuralgia

There are several types of neuralgia that can affect various parts of the body and cause significant pain. 

Trigeminal Neuralgia

A chronic condition that causes pain to the trigeminal nerve. Affecting the facial area, any slight pressure can cause tremendous discomfort. 

Possible Symptoms:

  • Stabbing pain
  • Spasms or burning in the facial area
  • Pain that comes suddenly
  • Lasting pain affecting the cheek or jaw area
  • Pain on one side 

Possible Causes:

  •  Contact pressure from a vein to the trigeminal nerve
  • Age
  • Disorders 
  • Tumors
  • Brain lesions
  • Stroke
  • Trauma to the face

Postherpetic Neuralgia

Severe pain is caused by having shingles, even after the blisters are gone away. The skin can remain painful for several months. 

Possible Symptoms:

  • Pain for several months
  • Numbness
  • Sensitive skin
  • Itchiness

Glossopharyngeal  Neuralgia

Considered a rare condition that affects the ninth cranial nerve. It is known to cause tremendous pain in the tonsils, middle ear, and throat. Often, the cause is unknown but there are some possibilities. 

Possible Symptoms:

  • Pain in the throat, ear, and tonsil areas
  • Painful swallowing
  • Slow heart rate (rare)

Possible Causes:

  • Irritation to the glossopharyngeal nerve
  • Uncharacteristically long bone beneath the ear
  • Aneurysm
  • Multiple sclerosis

Occipital Neuralgia

When the occipital nerves are damaged, this causes pain to run up the spinal cord and into the scalp area. This can be due to several things.

Possible Symptoms:

  • Sharp pain near the base of the skull
  • Pain that affects both sides of the head
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pain behind the eye 
  • Neck pain
  • Tenderness in the scalp

Possible Causes:

  • Head trauma
  • Neck issues
  • Infection
  • Tumors 
  • Cervical disc disease
  • Inflamed blood vessels

Treatment Options

There are several treatments available for helping with the pain caused by neuralgia. 

Medications: 

  • Antidepressants 
  • Antiseizure medications
  • Narcotics (in some cases for short-term use only)
  • Capsaicin 
  • Muscle relaxers

Radiofrequency Ablation:

A surgical procedure that may help where other methods have fallen short, radiofrequency ablation, is used in cases of chronic pain. The procedure removes tissues using high-frequency heat. The intense heat is aimed directly at the affected areas with tumors or nerve damage. By using this method to directly target the nerve, receptors can no longer send pain signals from that area.  

For more information on the types of treatment we offer or to learn more about radiofrequency, contact us. Pain does not have to define your life. Imagine how much better you could feel if you were pain-free. Fill out the form below to get in touch with our team today: