Friday, October 12, 2007
Nerve Pain Is Different
In the beginning it was hard for me to distinguish my pain because I experience pain in the joints, muscle, and nerves. All I knew was I was in pain and I wanted it to stop. Now that I know how to distinguish my pain, I know what pain medication works for me which is Cymbalta for my nerve pain and the Duragesic patch for my joint and muscle pain.
The following is an article from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Mid South Chapter newsletter called the Connection. It is about nerve pain and I can vouch for Cymbalta when it comes to nerve pain it is also an anti-depressant. That’s one capsule that attacks two symptoms of MS and I highly recommend it over Neurontin. Why take three Neurontins a day that only helps with nerve pain when you can take one Cymbalta that helps with nerve pain and depression?
All pain is transmitted by nerves, but nerve pain is different. "Phantom limb pain" is a vivid example of "neuropathic" or nerve pain. This type of pain originates in the central nervous system in injured nerve pathways, not in the bones or muscles. A person with phantom limb pain feels pain in a body part that was amputated in the past.
MS lesions can injure nerve pathways and produce neuropathic pain - or unpleasant sensations called dysethesias (or "di-es-THESE-ee-ahs"). The burning, aching, stabbing, prickling, or itching may start and stop or drag on. MS lesions may also cause "allodynia" (Al-oh-DIN-ee-ah") - which is pain from something that shouldn't be painful. A soft touch, the weight of bed covers; even a cool breeze can be the trigger.
Neuropathic pain is not soothed by the over-the-counter medications that work on muscle pain. Even powerful prescription medications such as Percocet, Lortab, Oxycontin, or Darvocet are not effective for this kind of pain.
Instead, physicians need to prescribe medications that work on nerves. They may be anti-convulsants (such as Tegretol, Dilantin, or Neurontin), antidepressants (such as Elavil), or new drugs approved for diabetic pain (such as Lyrica or Cymbalta). It's not uncommon to try out several drugs to find what works best.