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Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic Pain

The Neuropathic Pain Knowledge Centre is a unique resource containing a wealth of current information in this field of medicine.

The nervous system (central and peripheral) constantly receives and interprets information about the body's surroundings and the body's own functioning, responding by sending out messages to tissues and organs.

The Knowledge Centre addresses the two types of pain: nociceptive and clinical. Nocicpetive pain aims to protect individuals from harm. Clinical pain results from damage or inflammation of a part of the body and consists of both spontaneous pain that may arise with no apparent peripheral stimulus, and from hypersensitivity to peripheral stimuli1 due to peripheral and central sensitisations.

Neuropathic pain is often described as a shooting, stabbing or burning sensation. Estimates suggest that neuropathic pain may affect as much as 3% of the population.

Different types of neuropathic pain exist depending on their origin, details of which can be found in the Knowledge Centre: Painful Diabetic Neuropathy, Herpes Zoster and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN), HIV Associated-Neuropathy (HIV-AN), Cancer-related Neuropathic Pain, Post-surgical/Post-traumatic Neuropathic Pain.

In the clinic, the diagnosis of neuropathic pain relies on an accurate history and examination and some pain evaluation tools are used.

As Neuropathic pain doesn't respond to conventional therapy with analgesics, the different treatment regimens are antidepressants, anticonvulsants, opioids, topical agents and combination treatment.

To help physicians in the pharmacological management of this condition, recent guidelines are available.

Enter the Neuropathic Pain Knowledge Centre


References:

1. Ji R-R, et al. Central sensitization and LTP: Do pain and memory share similar mechanisms? Trends in Neuroscience 2003;26(12):696–705

Date of preparation: August 2012 PAIN/12/0003/EUd

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Recent Drug Updates

Clinical Guidelines

Management of chronic pain

Dec 2013

This guideline provides recommendations based on current evidence for best practice in the..

... assessment and management of adults with chronic non-malignant pain in non-specialist settings. It does not cover: - interventions which are only delivered in secondary care. - treatment of patients with headache - children. While chronic pain occurs in children, some of their treatment options are different to those of adults, and evidence on the paediatric population has not been included in this remit. - underlying conditions. Chronic pain is caused by many underlying conditions. The treatment of these conditions is not the focus of this guideline so the search strategies were restricted to the treatment of chronic pain, not specific conditions.

Neuropathic pain – pharmacological management: The pharmacological management of neuropathic pain in adults in non-specialist settings

Nov 2013

This short clinical guideline aims to improve the care of adults with neuropathic pain by making..

... evidence-based recommendations on the pharmacological management of neuropathic pain outside of specialist pain management services. A further aim is to ensure that people who require specialist assessment and interventions are referred appropriately and in a timely fashion to a specialist pain management service and/or other condition-specific services.

Clinical Trials

Treatment of Chronic Pain From Osteoarthritis

08-01-2014

Osteoarthritis is a common joint disorder in the elder population.The current treatment options include both a non-pharmacological approach (physiokinesitherapy, diet) or if this fails, a pharmacological approach that relies in the first instance on drugs such as paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (including..

... inhibitors of cyclo-oxygenase). However, the use of these drugs is limited, by the roof effect concerning analgesia, and by the potential side effects. When pharmacological treatments with non-opioid medications fail, and a moderate-to-severe pain reduces the quality of life of the patient, international guidelines suggest the use of opioid drugs.

Comparison of the Efficacy of rTMS and tDCS of the Motor Cortex in Patients With Chronic Neuropathic Pain

07-01-2014

The present study aims to compare directly the efficacy of two noninvasive neurostimulation techniques : repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct electrical current of the motor cortex in patients with chronic lumbar radiculopathy on pain intensity.

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