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A neurological pain syndrome is chronic (long-term) pain that occurs when your nervous system does not work properly because of a disease or direct damage to a nerve or nerves.
With some syndromes, the nerves signal pain even when there is not real feeling of pain. In other cases, the nervous system’s pain sensors are no longer able to properly recognize the pain you feel. Some common neurological pain syndromes include diabetic neuropathy, shingles, and radiculopathy from a pinched nerve.
At Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California, we provide expert neurological care to patients with neurological pain syndromes in Sacramento and the surrounding areas. Find a Doctor to learn more about our advanced treatment options.
Symptoms of Neurological Pain Syndromes
Neurologists group the signs and symptoms of chronic neurological pain into three main categories:
- Spontaneous pain, which happens without any kind of painful trigger. The feelings range from mildly unpleasant sensations like tingling or numbness to more severe shooting, stabbing, or burning pains.
- Evoked pain, which means you feel pain after touching something that is not normally painful, such as brushing up against a blanket.
- Hypoalgesia, which is when you feel less pain after touching something that is usually painful.
If you have a neurological pain syndrome, you also may experience trouble sleeping and mental health problems, including depression.
Neurological Pain Syndrome Causes
Hundreds of disorders can affect the nerves in such a way as to cause chronic neurological pain. Our pain specialists know that the initial nerve damage or injury affects nerve function and, with time, results in changes to neighboring nerves. This is what leads to chronic pain.
Common causes of a neurological pain syndrome include:
How We Treat Neurological Pain Syndromes at Dignity Health
Chronic pain can interrupt so many parts of your day-to-day life. Fortunately, there are many approaches that our experienced neurologists can use to reduce or eliminate neurologic pain. Treatment of a neurological pain syndrome includes identifying the specific cause and often treating an underlying condition, such as shrinking or removing a tumor pressing on a nerve.
Early treatment can stop some kinds of chronic neurological pain disorders, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
Our neurological pain treatments at Dignity Health include:
Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California offers a variety of treatment options for neurological pain syndromes in the Sacramento region.
- Physical therapy to preserve the function of the affected area and prevent or limit disability from pain
- Nerve stimulation, including spinal cord stimulation, which delivers mild electric shocks to block pain signals
- Complementary medicine approaches, including acupuncture, may provide additional relief
- Nerve block, including sympathetic nerve block, which is an injection of anesthesia or steroids to block pain signals
- Medication, particularly the active ingredients in certain antiseizure drugs, antidepressants, and anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs