Neuropathic Pain

Where Does Neuropathic Pain Occur?

You’re overweight, you’ve been warned about A1C levels and the threat of diabetes, and now you have frequent pain in your hands and feet. You don’t remember getting hurt or being sick recently, so what’s going on? You may be experiencing the warning signs of something called neuropathic pain.

What is Neuropathic Pain?

You may feel neuropathic pain if your nervous system is injured or not working properly, and the pain sensations can radiate from any part of it, like your brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves. Sometimes, the pain can come from more than one and spread throughout your body. Thankfully, the discomfort can be treated.

What Are The Symptoms?

Neuropathic pain symptoms may include:

  • Gradual numbness and tingling in the hands or feet, which can spread to your legs and arms
  • Pain that’s sharp or burning pain
  • You may have intense sensitivity to being touched
  • You may feel pain when you normally wouldn’t, like placing your feet under a blanket
  • Poor coordination and falling
  • Weakened muscles
  • Hands or feet as if they’re wearing gloves or socks when they’re not
  • Immobility if motor nerves are injured

What Causes Neuropathic Pain?

Neuropathic pain can be caused by illness, medicine, or certain medical procedures, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Facial nerve difficulties
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or other central nervous system disorders
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Shingles (severe rashes)
  • Chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, paclitaxel, vincristine, and others can trigger nerve pain
  • Radiation therapy
  • Amputation and phantom pain
  • Spinal nerves get compressed or inflamed
  • Trauma or surgeries causing nerve damage
  • Nerve compression or tumors

According to the United States National Institutes of Health, neuropathic pain may affect between three and 17% of the general population in any given year, including men, women, and children. It’s a significant cause of suffering.

Where Can You Feel Neuropathic Pain

Because pain results from problems with the nervous system, you can experience the discomfort of neuropathic pain anywhere in your body. Your brain and spinal cord route messages back and forth, making it not uncommon to experience the pain in multiple locations, often more than one, and at the same time.

  • Bodily organs such as your heart, blood vessels, intestines, and others are critical for breathing, digestion, and gastrointestinal functions. One study pointed to the possibility of using heart rate variability as a diagnostic tool for neuropathic pain. Some people also experience vasculitis neuropathy, or inflammation in the blood vessels.
  • Arms, chest, and shoulders may be a hot zone for neuropathic pain, resulting in the diagnosis of a condition called brachial neuritis. This refers to damage to the brachial nerves and can also affect the hands.
  • Fingers can also experience neuropathic pain, primarily because of nerve compression in the wrist, hand, and fingers. 
  • According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, it’s not unusual to experience typical neuropathic pain symptoms in your legs or toes.
  • You can also experience neuropathic pain in your neck. In this case, mild to severe pain goes from your neck to the back of your head, and is described as cervical radiculopathy.
  • If you twisted your lower back funny or otherwise experienced a minor injury, you may eventually get neuropathic pain in this part of your body, too. It’s often the result of a pinched nerve or damaged lumbar discs.
  • Muscles throughout the body.
  • In some cases, you could be diagnosed with geniculate neuralgia or, more rarely, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, which can result in neuropathic pain in the ears.
  • The hips are critical in how mobile you can be, and excessive compression or stretching of the nerves can trigger nerve pain which is uncomfortable and hard to treat. According to the U.S. National Institute of Health, this can result in sudden pain in the hips, buttocks, and thighs.
  • The spine is a vital part of the nervous system, meaning if nerve pain can happen anywhere, it’s here.

Fortunately, most symptoms linked to neuropathic pain can be treated with medicine, physical therapy, and novel options, including ketamine delivered intravenously through licensed specialty clinics.

Find a Specialty Clinic for Treatment

If you’re experiencing neuropathic pain, it’s essential to see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and to learn about treatment options. An existing illness or condition which causes pain may be treatable, with certain medicine or therapy being recommended based on the specifics of your diagnosis. You may also seek out expertise from a clinic specializing in ketamine infusion therapy to treat neuropathic pain symptoms.

Anxiety

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Anxiety is a normal emotion that is just a natural part of the human experience. How it feels, however, is unique to each person. Some people seem to be able to just glide through their life without anxiety, while others face debilitating fears. If anxiety is preventing you from living your everyday life, it might be time to seek treatment.

What Is Anxiety?

Most people experience fear or even a brief alarm when faced with a threat. Under those conditions, you may realize you’re undergoing a physical reaction, like a pounding heart, problems breathing, or a lump in your stomach. Anxiety’s like that but is a reaction to an imagined threat, not something immediate.

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Anxiety Symptoms

The different kinds of anxiety disorders can feature various symptoms and are unique to everyone. But generally, all have something in common:

  • Anxious beliefs or thoughts that are difficult to manage. They may trigger feelings of restlessness, tension and hamper daily life. They don’t go away and can worsen over time.
  • The presence of physical symptoms, which may include a throbbing or fast heartbeat, mysterious aches and discomfort, dizziness, and temporary breathing troubles.
  • You or someone else may notice changes in behavior, like if you’ve begun avoiding something that you used to enjoy participating in.

Many of these symptoms can be treated with a combination of strategies, including therapy and ketamine infusion.

Anxiety in their own words

The stigma surrounding mental illness has been a driving factor in people not seeking the medical care they need. Think back to your own family – have you ever heard your grandparents or an elderly family member talk about anxiety and depression? Probably not. But recent global awareness of the causes and consequences of mental illness have made discussions – and seeking treatment – more possible than ever.

“In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down, I’m gonna be in serious trouble.'” – Oprah Winfrey during a discussion with ABC News.

“I’ve had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it, but it’s not something I feel I’ll ever overcome. I want to make sure I’m healthy. If that’s good, everything else will fall into place.” – Selena Gomez, quoted in Harper’s Bazaar.

But you don’t have to be a celebrity to get care for anxiety. Talk to someone you trust and ask a doctor or mental healthcare specialist about treatment options.

Diagnosing & Treating Anxiety

If you’re experiencing anxiety and are worried it could morph into a chronic disorder, the best way to begin managing the symptoms is through diagnosis and treatment.

How do you diagnose anxiety?

  • Through a medical exam, where a doctor will try and find an underlying cause for your symptoms. This may involve blood tests and other diagnostic procedures.
  • Through a psychiatric assessment. In this case, a mental healthcare specialist will delve into any personal or family history of mental illness and want to know your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. You may be asked to fill out a mental health questionnaire, and your doctor may also want permission to talk to family and acquaintances about your symptoms.

In either case, your healthcare provider will compare your symptoms to criteria in other diagnostic tools. One of the most popular ways to assess your mental health is by referring to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Besides psychotherapy, symptoms of anxiety can be treated in other ways.

  • Ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine was created as an anesthetic but has been used to treat mental health symptoms for decades. 
  • Stay physically fit. Even low-impact exercise two or three times a week can be beneficial. Try going for a walk or basic stretching routines, but also set a schedule for yourself.
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of stress management techniques. A doctor may recommend meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises.
  • Get enough sleep for your age group and stick to a healthy and nutritious daily meal plan.

Final Thoughts

These symptoms are probably familiar enough to every person, but for many of us, the symptoms are too much to continue with everyday life. Know that treatment options are available that can help you find relief.

At Exodus Health, our vision is to help as many individuals as possible achieve freedom from mood disorders. It is our desire to be a light in a dark place and provide an avenue for restoring hope. Contact us today to get started!

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