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Thread: Pain and itch linked?

  1. #1

    Pain and itch linked?

    I've had chronic nerve pain on my left side for nearly 22 years and I also have a lot of itching in and around my ear and neck on my left side. What I find strange is when my left arm is hurting really bad, my left ear often itches severely... and inversely sometimes when my left ear starts to itch and the moment it gets scratched, my nerve pain kicks in. It's hard to imagine that it is a coincidence but doesn't exactly make sense. And before you ask, my ears get washed and cleaned thoroughly so it isn't itching due to uncleanliness. Anyone else have this problem, or is it me?

  2. #2
    I don't really no anything about it, but there is such as thing as neuropathic or neurogenic itching.

    Sounds quite ear-itating. (sorry, couldn't help myself)

    Edit to add:
    It also brings to mind the central pain syndrome on my website that's termed circulatory pain ("pins and needles").
    http://painonline.org/circ.htm

  3. #3
    Scott, I have similar issues and have come to view burning and itching as different versions of neuropathic pain.

  4. #4
    Anyone with SCI found relief of nerve pain with meds like Lyrica?

  5. #5
    Scott, I also have neurogenic itching. It started as a specific itchy spot on my upper left arm that appeared when my central pain flared and couldn't be calmed by any traditional means. The itching has now spread to much larger areas of my body. I'm so relieved it's not constant like so of the other manifestations of central pain I have are or I'd be covered in open wounds -- I once scratched the inner wrist area raw because the itching was so intense and maddening.
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar


  6. #6
    My ear itching can be quelled by a Qtip soaked with alcohol at times, but it doesn't always help. I have very little left arm use, so when my left ear itches really bad and there's no one here to scratch, I bang my head against the headrest or lay back and stretch my right arm over and bang on my ear. And yes, it is very ear-itating.

  7. #7
    Scott - one other thing to know about itching and I know this doesn't relate to neuropathic itching that you and THC are referring to, but all opiates have a side effect of itching. So if you are getting itchy after taking narcs or opiates, it is a common S/E of the drug. But I know what you are talking about is "phantom" itching from NP/central pain phenomena. Other than burning off the map every day for the past 10 yrs and 1 month (whose counting?), I will get the distinct sensation that warm liquid is running down my leg and I reflexively look to see if I have leaked on myself (which is quite possible) but it is a "phantom" sensation from our friend, NP pain.

    Too bad we can't make a video "Nerves Gone Wild" that can go viral on youtube.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by arndog View Post
    Scott - one other thing to know about itching and I know this doesn't relate to neuropathic itching that you and THC are referring to, but all opiates have a side effect of itching. So if you are getting itchy after taking narcs or opiates, it is a common S/E of the drug. But I know what you are talking about is "phantom" itching from NP/central pain phenomena. Other than burning off the map every day for the past 10 yrs and 1 month (whose counting?), I will get the distinct sensation that warm liquid is running down my leg and I reflexively look to see if I have leaked on myself (which is quite possible) but it is a "phantom" sensation from our friend, NP pain.

    Too bad we can't make a video "Nerves Gone Wild" that can go viral on youtube.
    I'm not on any opiates. Baclofen, Ditropan, Valium and Elavil are all I take. And the Valium and Elavil are taken at night to relax. I took a Loritab after a surgery once, but it made me loopy so I quit taking them. If they had a pain pill that wasn't addictive or caused a lack of cognition, I'd take it, but they don't. At least they haven't since I went to search out pain relief. Anyhow, I'm still in chronic pain and occasion severe itching. grr...

  9. #9
    One of the weirdest things about this type of itching is that (for me, anyway) it is so nonspecific - I'll think I know where it itches, but when I go to scratch it, the itch seems to be everywhere and nowhere. Like thehipcrip, I'm really glad it isn't constant.

  10. #10
    Neuropathic itching was mentioned at least as far back as the Civil War era when the pioneering surgeon S.Weir Mitchell mentioned phantom itching in his fiction story The Case of George Dedlow. It's sort of a strange little story, but most notable for using fiction to relate the concepts of neuropathic pain and phantom limb sensations.

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