Information for the public
Neuropathic pain happens when the nerves don't work properly and send the wrong signals to the brain.
It can feel like shooting, stabbing, an electric shock, burning, tingling, tight, numb, prickling, itching or a sensation of pins and needles. The pain can come and go, or be there all the time.
Neuropathic pain is different from pain caused by, for example, a pulled muscle or a sprain. It can be caused by conditions such as diabetes, shingles and trigeminal neuralgia (which affects the face). A common cause is a trapped nerve, for example, in the back or neck. It can also occur after a stroke, after amputation of an arm or a leg, and in people with cancer or multiple sclerosis.
There are many ways of managing neuropathic pain, and drug treatment is just one aspect of that. As well as talking to your doctor about drug treatments that could help, it is important to talk to your doctor about what you can do to help yourself feel better.