Neuralgia: symptoms and treatment
Neuralgia is a pathological condition that progresses due to the defeat of certain parts of the peripheral nerves. For this ailment is characterized by the occurrence of acute and intense pain along the entire length of the nerve fiber, and also in the zone of its innervation. Neuralgia can begin to develop in people of different age categories, but more exposed to her are women after 40 years.
Peripheral nerves have certain receptors that take over all the information about the state of organs and systems, and then transmit it to the dorsal and brain. In the case of squeezing or irritation of a specific area of the nerve, this information is distorted, which leads to the onset of pain syndrome. Usually, the pathology progresses against the background of the already existing pathological process in the body.
Muscular neuralgia is more often manifested in those parts of the human body where the nerve fiber passes through narrow channels. It is there that there is a high probability of its squeezing or infringement. It should be noted that this ailment can affect any nerve. More often diagnose neuralgia of the back, neuralgia of the sciatic nerve, neuralgia of the glossopharyngeal nerve, and also trigeminal. Diagnosis, as well as therapy for ailment, is performed by a neurologist.
Many people confuse neuralgia and neuritis. But these are two completely different diseases. With neuritis, there is inflammation of the nerve fiber, manifested not only the onset of pain syndrome, but also a decrease in sensitivity in the area of the skin that innervates the affected nerve. It is important to immediately seek medical attention for the diagnosis of the neuralgia of the heart, trigeminal nerve, back and other organs and tissues for diagnosis and a correct treatment plan.
Neuralgia can «attack» any nerve, but more often clinicians diagnose such types of ailment:
- Neuralgia of the facial nerve or trigeminal
- Neuralgia of the back;
- Neuralgia of the sciatic nerve
- neuralgia of the glossopharyngeal nerve
- Neuralgia of the occipital nerve
The causes of the progression of the disease may differ depending on which particular nerve fiber was affected.
Causes of the defeat of the occipital nerve:
- a benign or malignant tumor localized in the cervical vertebrae;
- traumatization of the cervical spine of various degrees of severity;
- cooling of the neck.
Etiology of facial nerve neurology:
- Aneurysm of the arteries feeding the brain
- a benign and malignant tumor localized in the brain
- hypothermia of the face
- infectious processes with a chronic course in the face. In this case, we are talking about sinusitis, caries, pulpitis, etc.
Etiology of sciatic nerve neuralgia:
- intervertebral hernia
- Lumbar traumatism
- fracture of pelvic or femur bones
- a benign or malignant tumor localized at the site of the nerve passage
- supercooling of the loin, thighs and buttocks
- Increased physical. Load on the waist
- presence of infectious or inflammatory ailments in the pelvic organs
Etiology of the glossopharyngeal nerve:
- the presence of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, influenza, parainfluenza and others
- an allergic reaction
- metabolic disorder
- intoxication of the body
- excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
Symptoms of neuralgia, as well as the reasons for its progression, directly depend on which nerve fiber has been squeezed or injured.
Depression of the trigeminal nerve
Neuralgia of the facial nerve occurs quite often. The reason is simple — this nerve leaves the skull through a very narrow opening, and so nearby tissues can squeeze it. This nerve is responsible for the innervation of the face.
Usually, the ailment begins to progress rapidly — there is intense pain in the face area. It is paroxysmal. Patients note that this is similar to the passage of an electric current. Often they freeze and try not to do any movements during such an attack. Its duration for each person is different — some are just a few seconds, and others have a few minutes. It should be noted that seizures can be repeated up to 300 times per day, which is very exhausting person. Pain syndrome is more often localized on the right side of the face. It is rare when neuralgia is bilateral.
A trigeminal attack can begin to progress by physically affecting some of the special points on the face (nose wings, corners of the eyes, etc.). This is often observed when chewing food, brushing teeth, applying make-up or shaving.
Sciatic nerve compression
Neuralgia of the sciatic nerve is manifested by such symptoms:
- «shooting» pain along the nerve;
- There may be a burning sensation in the lower back, buttocks
- mostly one nerve branch is affected;
- the patient notes that from the affected side he had a feeling of «creeping crawl.»
Compression of the occipital nerve
- A painful attack overtakes a person suddenly. Sometimes it can be preceded by a slight irritation of the nerves, for example, a person can simply scratch his head or turn it sharply
- severe pain syndrome in the form of «lumbago» occurs in the back of the neck, occiput or behind the ears
- The pain syndrome is more often localized only from one side of the head and neck, but a bilateral defeat is possible.
- girdle pain
- A painful attack occurs spontaneously. But still more often it is preceded by a sharp change in body position, a deep breath, a strong cough;
- duration of pain varies from a couple of hours to several days
- at the site of localization of the affected nerve fiber, a decrease in the sensitivity of the skin can be noted.
Lesion of the glossopharyngeal nerve
Provoking a manifestation of symptoms of neuralgia of the glossopharyngeal nerve may be yawning, eating or coughing. As a result, the patient has severe pain at the root of the tongue, in the place of localization of the tonsils, pharynx. During an attack, dry mouth is noticed, and after its termination — increased salivation. It is noteworthy that all the food that a person will take at this time will seem to him bitter.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to perform a comprehensive diagnosis and prescribe a correct treatment plan. It is possible to presume the presence of such an ailment by the doctor during the initial examination and assessment of the patient’s complaints. To confirm the preliminary diagnosis, the patient is referred for additional examinations.
Methods of diagnosis:
- blood test
- Urine analysis
- blood biochemistry
Begin to treat neuralgia as soon as the diagnosis has been confirmed. Many believe that this condition is not dangerous for the human body. This is not entirely correct assumption. As already mentioned above, neuralgia progresses again, and this means that before its manifestation in the body has already progressed any dangerous pathological process. Here it may pose a serious threat to human health and life, and first of all it is necessary to treat it. Especially dangerous is neuralgia during pregnancy, as it can aggravate its course and even provoke a miscarriage.
All methods of treating neuralgia are divided into conservative and surgical. Doctors usually first conduct conservative therapy, and only because of its ineffectiveness resort to surgical methods of treatment.
Conservative methods of treatment:
- administration of anti-inflammatory and analgesic pharmaceuticals. It is necessary to treat neuralgia with such means, as they will help to stop the pain syndrome and to remove the inflammation in the affected nerve fiber. An example of an integrated approach can be the treatment of pain in a two-stage scheme. At the first stage — the reception of Neurodiclovitis, which provides a persistent anesthetic effect due to a combination of B vitamins and diclofenac. Due to the lower dosage of diclofenac than in conventional regimens, the incidence of side effects is significantly reduced. Admission to the second stage of treatment Neuromultivitis, containing vitamins B1, B6 and B12 in the therapeutic dosage will help restore the myelin sheath of nerves, improve the conduct of nerve impulses and give an additional analgesic effect, and also help to avoid chronic pain and its relapse
- acupuncture gives very good results in the treatment of the disease;
- physiotherapy treatment. They use ultraviolet, laser, magnetic fields, etc.
Therapy can be supplemented by one or another remedy depending on which type of ailment was diagnosed:
- With intercostal neuralgia, spinal cord stretching, swimming and wearing special corsets are shown. Also included in the treatment plan are sedative pharmaceuticals
- compression of the trigeminal nerve is treated with anticonvulsants. Sometimes doctors resort to surgical destruction of a part of the affected nerve fiber;
- In the pathology of the sciatic nerve, bed rest, the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, nerve blockades and electrical stimulation are shown.
With extreme caution, neuralgia should be treated during pregnancy. To treat pregnant women is necessary only in stationary conditions, so that doctors can constantly monitor the condition of a woman.