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Old 07-07-2006, 09:49 PM   #1
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Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Hi everyone, in my reading I hear about 'nerve pain' vs other types of pain. Can anyone answer what they believe the differences to be? Differences in how they feel, and how they are treated?

In my personal experience, I have just started trying Lyrica this year and find that it works on some pain where the opioids don't seem to barely touch it. I know Lyrica is supposed to be good for nerve pain.

Thanks in advance for any info,
Maine

 
Old 07-08-2006, 06:19 AM   #2
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Maine-
So many people respond and/or feel pain differently. I have saphenous neurpoathy, and the nerve pain I have from that is a constant burning pain, like someone has poured acid down the inside of my right leg from the hip to my ankle. I also will get some numbness across the top of my foot and down into my 2nd & 3rd toe. But, that numbness is also painful in a way too, but I haven't been able to find the words to describe that pain. I mean, numbness means the loss of feeling/sensation, but my numbness can be painful. Weird, huh?

As far as the pain I have with my knee and back- they aren't a steady burning feeling usually. Those pains are more like stabbing and throbbing along with a deep achy kind of feeling.

Pain killers such as vicodin do not make the neuropathy pain levels better, so my doctor has prescribed Cymbalta for that, but for the knee and back pain he put me on Avinza which I had to stop taking because I had an allergic reaction. Not sure what he's going to do for that.

Anyway- different types of pain require different types of medications because different types of medications work on different pain receptors, or something like that.

I'm going to keep checking this thread to see what other people's experience is with this. This is a very interesting question Maine!

Lezlee

 
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:31 AM   #3
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Hi Maine, (again) For me with my nerve pain whether it be in my legs or arm, I can best describe it as a jolt of electricity being shot thru me. The nerve problem will also cause the tingling and numbness also. My muscle pain causes the burning and aching. I believe when my discs are down right hurting me that is more of a sharp, stabbing feeling, the kind that really makes you not want to move.

Hope this helps--I'm sure it's differant for everyone, but this is how it feels for me.

 
Old 07-08-2006, 07:40 AM   #4
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Maine,

My nerve pain is a burning ,electrical shock type pain.sudden jolting bursts that can knock me off my feet.My calf numbness,even though they are essentially numb I can expeience some pain at times.Basically a sensory pain.

The pain from failed back surgeries times two is achey and throbbing and can be relentless on some days

The pain from multiple sclerosis is over all deep muscle pain that aches to the bones.This is and can be extremly painful.

For the nerve pain I don't take anything.I've tried 7 different meds and allergic to all seven.

The failed back surgeries and the MS I take baclofen and zanaflex for the muscle spasms and oxcotin and vicidon for the pain.

 
Old 07-08-2006, 08:05 AM   #5
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

My nerve pain feels much like the other posters - it's like electrical shocks. Sometimes it feels like a burning poker, other times it feels like I've touched something electrical while standing in a bit of water. I also get the numbness and tingling feelings sometimes and that can produce its own kind of pain. Since I've started taking Topomax I've noticed that the numbness/tingling type pain has pretty much gone away and I've not had nearly the incidents of electrical shock pain that I had previously. I think the Topomax is making a huge difference. KathyMac

 
Old 07-08-2006, 08:15 AM   #6
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

I get more of a shock wave of pain down leg and get foot cramps (like the ones from swimming in a pool after eating). It usually starts in the lower back as very dull nagging stabbing pain then radiates down slowly, but my PM doctor thinks my MRI of L1, L2, L3, L4, and S1 Bulging isn't that bad so I suffer a lot w/ 5/500 MG of hydrocodone the reliefs me for an hour.

Thank God I am going to get a injection this Friday because I am extremely fustrated w/ pain at times.......

Mark

Take care all of you and try to stay pain free

 
Old 07-08-2006, 04:34 PM   #7
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Hi everyone,

I have pain that fires in consecutive pulses with what seems minor pauses in between. They pulse from 4 to 10 times and then stop and don't hurt anymore. They happen absolutely anywhere in my body. From the sides of my fingers, in my legs, arms, back, chest, face, ears, and feet. I have had these pains since I was a child not occuring very often. But now that I'm now 19, I encounter these pains very frequently everyday. Especially within the last 6 weeks. They do happen at different intensities, but some can be quite unbearable at times. They feel very deep within my body and exhibit a very stong ache like sensation as well. I don't have a clue to what can cause this. Is it similar to a MS pain symptom or from some other neurological problem? Any thoughts? I thank anyone who can share some help. The hope the very best for everyone else.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 01:16 AM   #8
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Hi, guys

My nerve pain has two sides to it; one is best described as the feeling that you get when you are towards the end of "pins and needles" in you legs (that's what we call it in the UK, like when you've been sitting on a leg too long,) and just before it comes back to normal there's that awful feeling where you can't walk on it; well I have a very sore of that and generally I can get the spasms and shooting pains; but overall it can be very sore internally and does respond to opiates and also Anti Seisure meds etc.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 06:52 AM   #9
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

unfortunetly,there are many many different types of actual neuropathic pain syndromes that actually have a patterned set of ongoing symptoms,the type of syndrome usually corrolates with a specific type of damage to a specific area.

I have two totally seperate neuropathic type pain syndromes that are beinag caused by two totally different areas of damage to my spinal cord.

the first is reflex sympathetic dystrophy or the newer name complex regional pain syndromethis little gem was triggered solely by the damage that was done to my sympathetic nerveous system.it has horrid burning that when it flares actually feels like there is a blow torch inside of my knee and lower leg that just goes up and down thruout the entire lower leg and knee that feels like my flesh is actually burning from the inside out,it also has another deep deep bone ache component that feels kind of like having a migrane headache inside the femur.its just plainnasty.it also makes certain areas of my knee and the arch in the foot very very hypersensitive to any touch,it just burns like hell.

the other syndrome is called central pain syndrome and this wonder is caused by the direct damage to the spinothalamic tract that runs within the cord to the brain.this tract also carries the pain pathway to the pain receptors in the brain so all of the "normal" pain signals i have anywhere in my body,as soon as they hit the damaged area(right about the c 8 nerve area)they will become "deranged; and kind of morphed into some ungodly bizarre sensations.this is actually seperate from the central pain sydrome(just an added bonus)the pain pathway damage can also cause delayed pain?I can have an injury to my R side(this is also affected by another syndrome called brown sequard that is due to the thalamic tract damage too)the injury I did to my RSD knee last falll where i actually tore the meniscus,on top of everything else.but i got an initial pain right away that subsided within just a few hours,but I knew I had done something nasty to the knee just because of the hit that my knee took,well not until two full days later,while sleeping in bed around 2;00am.it hits out of no where,that pain from the injury i did two days ago?out of the blue,it nailed me with this excruciating non stop scream inside my knee.

the CP is alot like the RSD but this is a very constant non stop feeling like a severe second degree burn that just never heals.the raw nerve feeling and any air that actually blows over it will send the skin surface into these hidious spasm like stabs or jolts of pain.this actually runs pretty much right on in correlation to the c 8 nerve dermatome.it also runs all the way from the tip of my middle finger now thru the palm area and all the way to that shoulderblade area.this syndrome I actually woke up with post op after the spinal cord surgery,it was just "there' as I was coming out of anesthsia.and has been constant now for over two and a half years.the only thing that even touches this pain is the lidocaine patches.

no narcotics work on any of those two syndromes except for the deep bone ache in the femur,it will tone that down somewhat.i also have a severely messed up c spine that the narcotics work well on too,but the only thing that helps the neuro crap is the lyrica that I recently started.tho it is giving me some really bad side effects i am working with my PM to try and get me slowly back onto it in baby steps.this is the only anti siezure med I have tried that has actually touched my central pain at all,even a little bit.i have alot of hope for this med and am hoping that we can finally work around the nasty side effects.

sometimes people will just have neuro pain in a given area because of the direct nerve damage,but in some cases,like mine,i have actual syndromes thatw ere triggered by very specific types of damage.I had alot of seperate damae to spinal nerves and tracts and each and every part that we have damage in all appear to have their own very specific and individual ways of showing that.really creepy and bizarre stuff.

i hope your pain isn't too over the top and is manageable and stable.mine is in constant flux,no two days in a row are ever the exact same with regard to overall neuro weirdness.life is just one big adventure now.

good luck,marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 09:04 AM   #10
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Gosh Marcia - I guess I've never really read your complete "pain" history before. I had no idea you suffered like this!! My heart goes out to you. My aches and pains are nothing compared to what you suffer on a regular basis. I had some RSD in my foot several years ago for about 6 months. Thankfully it went away on its own. Take care and try and have a good Sunday - KathyMac

 
Old 07-09-2006, 10:08 AM   #11
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Thank you for sharing your experiences...I am so sorry you all suffer so much. My heart goes out to you all. It seems like nerve pain can be a lot more severe than other types of pain, and harder to treat.

My nerve pain seems minimal in light of your experiences. It really varies based on what I do. It's manageable if I stay within a narrow range of activity. If I move outside that range, I get burning, stabbing pain in my buttocks and down my legs and into my feet, along with numbness and tingling. It feels like someone is stabbing a hot poker into my groin. And once it's flared, it can take days to bring it back under control...it seems to have a mind of it's own. Has anyone tried Tiger Balm? One nite in desperation I tried it on my feet when nothing else was working and it actually helped. Has anyone found any other 'alternative' therapies' that work?

In my admittedly limited experience, one of the other things that is hard about nerve pain is it's constancy....going to bed with it, waking up with it.

KathyMac, I'm glad to hear that Topomax works so well for you. I tried it for a week and found it made me depressed. Did you find that at all? Did it go away? I'm thinking that maybe I didn't give it long enough and should try it again.

Again, thanks to all of you for sharing so generously. You are all so amazingly brave.
Best, and take care,
Vickie

Last edited by mainecoon66; 07-09-2006 at 10:13 AM.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 10:32 AM   #12
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Vickie-
Don't think that your pain is any less important than ours. Any pain that interferes with your ability to live a full life is a problem, and it sounds like your pain is interfering with your daily activities. Any chronic, long term pain is a debilitating issue to deal with.

My pm doctor has put me on Cymbalta for my nerve pain and it's only been a couple of weeks, but it seems to be showing some improvement. For the past few days, my nerve pain has seemed to be less frequent which I am so thankful for. Most of these type medications, as explained to me by my pm doctor, don't start working imediately and need time to build up and become consistant in your body.

I may have missed it in your earlier posts, but are you currently seeing a pain management doctor? If not, then please try and get a referral to one. Some pm doctors specialize in neuropathy and it sounds like you would benefit if you aren't seeing one yet.

Keep us posted!

Lezlee

 
Old 07-09-2006, 11:27 AM   #13
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Lezlee - thanks for your kind response.
I am currently seeing a PM doctor. However, I am trying to get into the PM clinic at the University Hospital near me to see if they have any new ideas. I tried Cymbalta a while back and didn't really find it helped that much. That said, I am beginning to think that I haven't always given some of these meds a long enough chance, as you said they can take time to work. So I think I am going to go in with a bit of a blank slate and an open mind and see what they recommend for nerve pain. Right now I am taking lyrica which helps but i've gained quite a bit of weight on it. I tried Topomax, but felt it depressed me. Again, though, this is one of those meds I feel I should give another, longer chance.

Right now I feel that with my current PM doc, she is great, but I feel that I drive what meds I try, rather than the other way round. She is very supportive and never makes me feel guilty (a gem all by itself). However, I would like to know if there are new ideas that I haven't thought of. So at my next appt with her I am also going to go with an open mind and ask her what else she thinks I could try - especially in the way of adjuctive meds and alternative therapies.

I noticed that you mentioned that you had tried Avinza for your other pain and had an allergic reaction to it. I was on Avinza for several months and got pretty good pain relief for my non-nerve pain. I did find it made me pretty sedated and affected my mood, but that was just my personal experience. I am now on oxycontin, at a lower dose, and getting as good relief with less side effects, so that may be something you might want to look into with your doc.

Take care. I hope you feel better soon.
Vickie

Last edited by mainecoon66; 07-09-2006 at 11:37 AM.

 
Old 07-09-2006, 11:56 AM   #14
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Thank you Vickie-
I am going to speak with my pm doctor as soon as I can about the oxycontin. My cousin was in pain management and got very good results and never had that "groggy" drugged feeling when she was taking. When she first started taking it, she had to adjust of course, but after that everything went smoothly.

You know, before I started seeing my pm doctor, my referring doctor had started me on Lexepro for the nerve pain. My pm doctor said it is good for treating nerve pain, but his initial course of action was Cymbalta.

Have you ever been on Lexepro? Might be worth looking in to.

I wish you pain free days, and some much needed relief!! Nerve pain sure is a baffling condition isn't it? If we could better understand it, I think we would all live a better quality of life!!

Lezlee

 
Old 07-09-2006, 02:24 PM   #15
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Re: Difference between nerve pain and other types of pain?

Thanks Lezlee - I will definitely add Lexapro to my list of meds to talk to my doc about. Every new idea is a new hope

Vickie

 
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