Neuralgia is a sharp, shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve and is due to irritation or damage to the nerve.
Common neuralgias include:
Causes of neuralgia include:
Chronic renal insufficiency
Infections, such as herpes zoster ( shingles), HIV, Lyme disease, and syphilis
Medications such as cisplatin, paclitaxel, or vincristine
Pressure on nerves by nearby bones, ligaments, blood vessels, or tumors
Trauma (including surgery)
In many cases, the cause is unknown.
Postherpetic neuralgia and trigeminal neuralgia are the two most common forms of neuralgia.
A related but less common neuralgia affects the glossopharyngeal nerve, which provides feeling to the throat.
Neuralgia is more common in elderly people, but it may occur at any age.
Increased sensitivity of the skin along the path of the damaged nerve, so that any touch or pressure is felt as pain
Numbness along the path of the nerve
In the same location each episode
May come and go (intermittent), or be constant, burning pain
May get worse when the area is moved
Weakness or complete paralysis of muscles supplied by the same nerve