Neuropathic pain is the result of an injury or problem with the nerves themselves. The pain is often triggered by an injury or an operation. Any event that can cause an injury to your body has the potential to damage the nerves at the same time.
For example, if a muscle is crushed, then the nerves within the muscle may also be crushed. Nerves can also be damaged or squeezed by tumours and scar tissue, or irritated by an infection.
Neuropathic pain often feels like burning, stabbing, or an electric shock. Strong pain from a light touch is also common. Neuropathic pain may last for months or years – long after the injury appears to have healed. Such pain means the problem is with the nervous system itself.
Examples: Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, Neuralgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (nerve damage), certain cancer pain, phantom limb pain, a trapped nerve, and peripheral neuropathy (widespread nerve damage).
There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy, diabetes being the most common. But it can also be caused by chronic alcohol abuse, exposure to toxins (unhealthy chemicals), lack of certain vitamins and a large variety of other problems. The cause is often never known.