What is Neuralgia?

Neuralgia is an intense pain that follows the path of a nerve in the body. It is caused by compression or inflammation of the nerve, often resulting from infection, injury, or a tumor. Neuralgia can be extremely debilitating, and can occur in nearly any part of the body. It is usually episodic and is described as a burning, stabbing, or shooting pain.

Common Types of Neuralgia

The most common types of neuralgia include:

  • Trigeminal neuralgia (face)
  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (throat)
  • Occipital neuralgia (back of the head and neck)
  • Intercostal neuralgia (rib area)
  • Sciatic neuralgia (legs)

Causes of Neuralgia

Neuralgia can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Vascular disease
  • Injury
  • Infection, such as shingles
  • Tumors
  • Pressure on the nerve, such as from a herniated disc
  • Autoimmune diseases

Treatment of Neuralgia

Treatment of neuralgia depends on the underlying cause, but may include:

  • Prescription medications such as anticonvulsants or pain relievers
  • Physical therapy to help improve strength and mobility
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Counseling for chronic pain management