neuropathic pain

neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain is a localized sensation of unpleasant discomfort caused by damage or disease that affects the somatosensory system. The IASP’s widely used definition of pain states: “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.” Neuropathic pain may be associated with abnormal sensations called dysesthesia, and pain from normally non-painful stimuli (allodynia). It may have continuous and/or episodic (paroxysmal) components. The latter resemble stabbings or electric shocks. Common qualities include burning or coldness, “pins and needles” sensations, numbness and itching. Nociceptive pain, by contrast, is more commonly described as aching. Up to 7% to 8% of the European population is affected, and in 5% of persons it may be severe. Neuropathic pain may result from disorders of the peripheral nervous system or the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Thus, neuropathic pain may be divided into peripheral neuropathic pain, central neuropathic pain, or mixed (peripheral and central) neuropathic pain.

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