Neuropathic pain results from injury or disease affecting nerves anywhere in the body. It is normally associated with characteristic symptoms, which can include electric shock sensations, aching, stabbing, burning pain in the skin on light touch or even on blowing against the skin or if clothing or bed sheets touch the affected area, which is a feature called “allodynia”. Other characteristic symptoms include the sensation of having insects crawling over the skin, something called “formication”.
It requires specialist treatment, and while in most cases significant improvement can be achieved, it can sometimes be difficult to treat. It does not respond well, if at all, to conventional painkillers and normally requires special anti-neuropathic medication, such as Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Amitriptyline or Duloxetine. Other drugs may be used in difficult cases, and sometimes spinal cord stimulation or neuromodulation can be used.