When you have been diagnosed with nerve pain or neuralgia one important aspect to consider are the muscles around the irritated or damaged nerve. Tension in your muscles impinges on the nerves that can cause a sharp or burning pain that is different to normal muscle pain.
Although having a massage can give relief by releasing tension and 'knots' in your muscles, in a day or two when tension returns, so may the pain as you haven't found the cause of the pain, but relieved the resulting symptoms.
Sciatica is a problem for many
When the sciatic nerve is 'irritated' by a muscle the result may be pain in the hip, lower back, plantar fasciitis, cramps in calf muscles, quadriceps or hamstrings. This illustrates why only treating cramps or foot pain are only treating local conditions, whereas the origins of the pain are elsewhere in your body.
The sad story of Sally whose pain started with sciatica, sciatic for over eight years, under the watchful eye of a pain specialist who, due to the constant pain had back surgery, and after three months the pain was worse and so were the side effects of opioid medication.
Trigeminal pain is the irritation of the nerves in and around the face, as it’s nerve pain that is generally burning and extremely uncomfortable.
12 Years of Pain
Imagine having this unrelenting pain for 12 years. Myself I find simple toothache hard to bear. Toothache if how Jill’s pain began al those years ago. The dentist’s solution was to remove two teeth that were causing her pain.
That was twelve years ago. Since then Jill has had permanent pain on the left of her face and upper jaw. In my profession of pain management many, many times I have heard recounted phantom limb syndrome when pain is felt in the arm that has been amputated. So removing her teeth didn’t resolve the pain in her face and jaw.
Pain Management Clinic
One of the health resources available in Christchurch is the Pain Management Clinic at Burwood Hospital where those people with chronic or persistent pain are referred by other health professionals generally a doctor or a specialist in a particular area of the body.
Therefore when painkillers and epilepsy medications that can be used for nerve pain, had little or no effect on per pain Jill was referred to Burwood hospital, under going their programme that includes education about the nervous system and its’ response to pain. I think this is an important, albeit difficult to understand explanation, though almost impossible for many lay people to understand.
Pain Medication Doesn’t Solve Pain Problem
After going to the pain management clinic Jill another medication was added, so Jill has been taking three different medications for her neuralgic pain. The reason she was sitting talking with me was that her pain was causing her feel tired and although a cheerful and bubbly person, some days she felt down when the pain was particularly severe, causing this very sociable person to want to stay alone at home.
How constant pain affects your life
This story illustrates two very important points that can be overlooked or not fully understood by doctors; chronic pain impacts so much on how we feel and how we live our lives. It wasn’t till I saw Jill on her last appointment that serious effect could be seen. She had been completely without pain for over six weeks, she had so much energy that only now did she realize how difficult pain had made her life for the past twelve years.