Neuralgia

Rush providers offer relief from all types of neuralgia through medication, nerve injections, nerve stimulation, surgery and more.

Rush providers offer relief from all types of neuralgia through medication, nerve injections, nerve stimulation, surgery and more.

Rush providers offer relief from all types of neuralgia through medication, nerve injections, nerve stimulation, surgery and more.

Neuralgia, or neuropathic pain, is pain associated with nerve damage or a nerve disorder. Although not life-threatening, nerve pain can be physically and mentally disabling due to the unpredictable and severe pain.

Neuralgia Symptoms

  • Pain that can be described as sharp, stabbing, burning or throbbing
  • Numbness
  • Increased sensitivity along the path of the nerve
  • Weakness in the surrounding muscles

Neuralgia Types

Types of neuralgia include the following:

  • Trigeminal neuralgia, pain from the trigeminal nerve that carries sensation from your face to your brain
  • Postherpetic neuralgia, nerve pain that remains after shingles
  • Occipital neuralgia, pain from the occipital nerve that runs through the scalp
  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia, pain in the throat, ear and tongue

Neuralgia Treatment at Rush

If you have severe nerve pain that does not go away, is not helped by over-the-counter medication and feels disabling, talk to your primary care doctor.

Depending on how severe your pain is and where it is located, your primary care doctor may refer you to a neurologist, pain medicine or other specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

  • Your treatment will depend on the cause (if known) of your nerve pain, its location and how severe it is. For instance, if you have nerve pain related to diabetes, your doctor will work with you to control your blood sugar.
  • Your doctor will recommend an individualized treatment plan to address your needs. Your plan may include the following:
    • Medications to control your pain
    • Nerve injections directly to the affected nerve (can be used in both diagnosis and treatment)
    • Surgical procedures, such as microvascular decompression, to reduce feeling or take pressure off a nerve
    • Occipital nerve stimulation for occipital neuralgia
    • Radiosurgery to destroy the pain-causing nerve fibers for trigeminal neuralgia

Rush Excellence in Neuralgia Care

  • Nationally recognized expertise: Neurology and neurosurgery at Rush University Medical Center is consistently ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report in its annual "Best Hospitals" issue.
  • Neurosurgery experience: Neurosurgeons at Rush have extensive experience treating neuralgias, including glossopharyngeal neuralgia and trigeminal neuralgia. This experience gives them a deep understanding of all surgical options, so they can recommend the best choice for your needs.
  • Occipital nerve stimulation: To treat occipital neuralgia, Rush pain medicine physicians can perform occipital nerve stimulation. This procedure can provide long-term pain relief. Physicians at Rush were among the few in the country to participate in the initial clinical studies for occipital neuralgia and the use of nerve stimulators.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia relief with precision: Rush offers TrueBeam Stx radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia. TrueBeam has an advanced computer-imaging system that compensates for small head movements, allowing patients to lie comfortably during the procedure.

Get a Second Opinion

A second opinion can confirm your neuralgia diagnosis and point to new treatment options.

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