Learn more about nerve pain and neuralgia, as well as symptoms and treatment options
Nerve pain sometimes called neuralgia or neuropathic pain, can occur when a certain health condition affects or damages the nerves that carry sensation to the brain and can feel very different to other kinds of pain. There are many types of nerve pain, including post-herpetic (which can occur after you’ve had shingles), trigeminal (which causes pain in the cheek or jaw), occipital (which causes pain at the base of your skull), and pudendal (which can cause pain in the area between your legs, sometimes referred to as the ‘saddle area’). In some cases, nerve pain can also be caused by problems affecting your central nervous system, as well in the nerves which run from your brain and spinal cord to your muscles and organs and could be due to a medical condition or injury.
What are the symptoms of nerve pain?
Some of the symptoms of nerve pain include:
- Localised pain.
- Shooting, stabbing or a burning sensation.
- Sudden or sharp ‘electric shock-like’ feeling.
- Heightened sensitivity to touch or cold.
- Disturbed sleep.
- Impaired ability to exercise or perform work.
- Mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
What are examples of traditional treatments for nerve pain?
Some traditional treatments for nerve pain include:
- Pain relieving medications: including aspirin, paracetamol.
- Treatment for any underlying conditions: such as surgery removing bone pressing against a nerve.
- Anticonvulsant medications: which are used to treat pain and muscle spasms associated with trigeminal neuralgia.
- Antidepressants: which can be used in some cases to treat pain.
- Surgery: can be used in some cases to block pain messages and desensitise the nerve.
- Physical therapy: including physiotherapy and osteopathy.
- Alternative therapies: including meditation, hypnosis, and acupuncture.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): which can be used to block the transmission of pain sensations to your brain.
- Psychological treatments: to reduce distress and help you feel in control of your pain.
Medicinal cannabis and nerve pain
If you’ve exhausted other treatment options and haven’t experienced any relief or improvement, it might be worth chatting to your doctor to see whether medicinal cannabis could be suitable for you.
We spoke to Dr James Stewart, one of Australia’s leading minds in cannabis medicine who provided a medical view about nerve pain and traditional treatments.
Dr Stewart is a true believer in focusing on overall health and always promotes a healthy lifestyle as the key. Click below to learn more about nerve pain, traditional and alternative treatments you may wish to discuss with a Doctor.
“I suffer sharp nerve pain through my neck and shoulders, which can make it hard to play with my son.”
“The nerve pain in my neck and shoulders is relentless. I can’t swing a golf club and I wake up in pain about a dozen times every night.”