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Cane and Able: #18 Getting On My Nerves!

Discussion in 'BoM Blogs' started by 8people, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

    Apr 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I have Neuropathic pain that has spread as a result of my Ehlers Danlos.
    To the uninitiated this means: My nerves hurt.

    Neuropathic pain is caused by damage on the nerves, deficiencies in certain vitamins, repetative injury, toxins, diabetes, infections, conditions that affect the immune system, nerve affecting diseases such as herpes and shingles and even a possibility of genetic inheritance.

    Neuropathy often starts innocently, it certainly did in me! Just a mild itching or tingling sensation - or even numbness that strikes you as a bit odd but just phases away. Is often dismissed as 'pins and needles' and suspicions start to arouse when the pins and needles doesn't occur in the legs. The sensation can occur anywhere there are nerves - the head, the face (facial neuropathy is recognised as an individual condition), the extremities along the spine and back and even over the chest and stomach though this is rarer.

    The condition isn't necessarily painful, I had neuropathic problems for half a dozen YEARS before proper pain began to manifest. The compression on the nerves and the difficulties from proprioception (awareness of where body parts are without visual input - if you close your eyes you can still sense where your hands are even if you fumble a bit) caused by Ehlers Danlos and Dyspraxia meant that the pain was registering a couple of inches away from the source of pain - which can also a common attribute of neuropathy; Similar in part to Phantom Limb Syndrome where the termination in nerves causes 'white noise' which triggers a pain response, kind of like in a film where they have a group of people communicating by radio and suddenly one of the radios goes silent and all they recieve is white noise (possibly after a theatric scream) they clutch the radio for a few minutes shouting "BOB! BOB ARE YOU THERE!?!?! BOB!!!!" then there is the anxiety from the white noise and none of the group knows what to do because they don't want to go the way of Bob either.


    Essentially there are a few ways to help neuropathic pain, medications that target nerve pain being the most obvious and the most reccomended. If neuropathy is seconday to a primary condition management of that condition can ease the neuropathy though in many instances damage to the nerves isn't easily reversed. Nerve cells and brain cells do not replicate and replace themselves like every other cell in the body (red blood cells live about four months, heart cells about seven years, others last differing amounts of time) so the possibility of the nerves repairing themselves is proportional to the amount of damage they have sustained, if the nucleus is destroyed then a nerve is unable to control its repairs and dies. Sometimes the best that can happen is nerves patch themselves up but are never 100% again, if the pain is caused by repetative injury, compression or lifelong condition - Sorry! Am in the same boat though.

    Some medicines cause neuropathic pain - these are often opiate based painkillers but there are plenty of others. If neuropathic pain starts after starting a course of medication, inform your doctor, a smaller doseage my reduce the nerve pain but might also reduce the effectiveness against the pain you are taking the medications for. Sometimes rubbing a lotion or gel into the affected area can help, pretty much the combination of massage improving circulation and relaxing the muscle puts less compression on the nerves. A gel with a numbing agent or a cool or heat gel might. As always - if something makes the pain worse STOP IT. Speak to a professional about an alternative. TENS machines generally do not help with neuropathic pain as it's electrical, though there have been one or two that say it helps with theirs so up to you really.
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