Neuropathic pain is pain that is caused by damage to the nervous system. Simply put, it is nerve-related pain. It is characterized by chronic pain that is burning and tingling. The pain can be intense—shooting from one location to another. Fortunately, there are drugs and medications available that can help relieve neuropathic pain.
Neuropathic pain is a special and complex type of pain in how it's treated. What that means is that it generally won't respond to traditional analgesics, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or opioids. In treating your pain, your doctor may refer to a "neuropathic agent," which is anything that acts on neuropathic pain. In other words, neuropathic agents will help treat your pain.
Common medications or agents used to treat neuropathic pain are (listed in the order they are typically prescribed):
Other medications that may relieve neuropathic pain include corticosteroids and topical drugs, such as capsaicin cream. However, you may have to wait longer before their pain-relieving benefits become apparent.
When it comes to neuropathic pain, the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more difficult it is to control your pain with medication. Don't be afraid to seek medical advice early on if you notice chronic pain symptoms.
It is important to remember that back pain and leg pain display both types of pain: neuropathic and nociceptive. Treating both types of pain together is what can be especially challenging. As always, talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have regarding neuropathic pain or your medication.