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Thread: Neuropathic pain....what is it?

  1. #1

    Neuropathic pain....what is it?

    Our son has been complaining about having a lot of pain in the back of his legs, hamstring area, and lower back while he is sitting in his chair as well as laying on his back in bed. I'm a massage therapist so he gets at least 1, one hour massage every day as well as stretching and range of motion exercises. He describes his pain as a burning, pounding kind of pain. Is this neuropathic pain? Exactly what is neuropathic pain? He does have al ot of sensation type of feeling all over his body, and he also has reflexes. But unfortunatly he does not have any motor below his neck. Anyone out there that can explain what is going on? Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    bellevue, wa, usa
    hi ddj--

    unfortunately, there are lots of people here who suffer from neuropathic pain, and I'm sure some of them will chime in.

    Here's what I know from watching my husband deal with it for the last 5 years:

    It's usually triggered by light touch, like soft stroking.
    It's hard to medicate, but not impossible. Bruce takes gabapentin (same thing as neurontin) and has also experimented with lyrica.
    It's a good idea to stay ahead of it . . . if he forgets to take the meds, it can suddenly grab him, and then it takes awhile to get it to quiet down again.
    It can change in intensity over time. The first couple of years, he was constantly having to be vigilant w/ the meds, and there were still times when it got the better of him. Over the last year or so he's been gradually cutting back as much as he possibly can and is down to about a third of the original dose.

    (I'm typing this and thinking, omg, I'm speaking in years here. Years of living with this already gone by . . . it's weird. I remember when I first came here, how impossible it seemed that we would ever learn to deal with everything.)

    Anyway, I'm sure others will jump in and tell you the exact neurological mechanism that causes the pain--my impression is that it's the sensory version of the thing that causes spasms and spasticity--partial signals through the injury site that the body misinterprets.

    Hope this helps, and btw, good on you for the massage and range of motion. Your son is lucky!

  3. #3
    i'm pretty sure a mod will move this to the pain forum. oops! hi kate! how ya doing? i'd like to get together again for dinner sometime!

    neuropathic pain can result after injury, damage or trauma to the central or peripheral nervous systems. burning, pins and needles, abdominal pain are a few common descriptions of the pain. it sounds like your son, unf., may be dealing with neuropathic pain.

    an online source you may want to look at is painonline. the pain forum moderator (david berg) runs that site.
    Last edited by cass; 07-16-2006 at 10:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Thanks Cass, I realized after I posted in this forum that I should have put in under pain. Thanks for the link though.

  5. #5
    Moderator Obieone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    My husband Bill has this type of pain as well and Kate's description pretty much covers how I would describe it. He's on a fentanyl patch and oxycontin which dulls the pain but he says its still always there just under the surface ..... the meds make him sort of flat and spacey but the alternative is just not an option. We juggle meds always searching for the right combination. I used to use my Reiki on his shoulders and back and that did help somewhat but he (and I) weren't patient enough .. a regular massage has always been one of the most beneficial pain management techniques for Bill not just because it doesn't come in a pill but because of the mental benefits it brings with it. He had someone come to the house once a week until just recently but she had to stop for awhile because she had a baby ... we are looking forward to her coming back. They usually visit and he vents about his pain and she often will suggest stretches or exercises etc. for him to do between visits ... "her" word carries more weight than anything I might suggest ... whatever works I say !

    Last edited by Obieone; 07-17-2006 at 09:21 AM.
    ~ Be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandi

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  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    I found this description of naturopathic pain from Dr. Wise here earlier, here is a link;

    I have some of this pain, not to severe though but I take Neurontin (gabapentin) for it, and for me it helps, I take 600mgx3/day. Don’t know if this will help for your son though; check it out with a physician.
    Last edited by Leif; 07-17-2006 at 09:43 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by cass
    an online source you may want to look at is painonline. the pain forum moderator (david berg) runs that site.
    Thanks for the reference Cass, but my website is slightly different, The .com site has much in common and is "sort of" a sister site, but they are seperate.

    DDS, Dr Young's post is a great description of neuropathic pain. My short explaination when someone asks me what neuropathic pain is is this; Damage caused to sensory nerves that causes pain sensations. Perhaps the easiest way to explain the sensations is that they don't feel like anything "normal". The burning sensations, the hypersensitivity, the "lightening", shock feelings...neuro pain can take many forms. Perhaps this page on my site with descriptions from folks with central pain, which is neuropathic pain caused by damage to the CNS, will help a little.

  8. #8
    DDJ, one more note. One possible component of central pain is neuropathic pain that can manifest as muscle pain. Some people with this benefit from massage that stretches the muscle spindle by using deep pressure without rubbing. See

  9. #9
    Thanks for all your responses. I think I have a better understanding now. Let me ask you this, we were told that Adam would never sweat below the site of his injury. However, since this pain started in his legs he has been sweating all over! Do you think it is related? Also, yesterday was really the first day that his pain was pretty bad, but he didn't have a single spasm. He usually has bad spasms all day long. Weird things are happening, any insight?

  10. #10
    sorry, david, i don't know why i always make that slip. and i was just at your site (the org one) the other day.

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