Neuropathic Pain

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Houston Methodist is a national leader in the treatment of neuropathic pain (pain caused by nerve damage). Our board-certified specialists offer a precise diagnosis and the full range of advanced treatment options.  

Neuropathy, also known as neuralgia, occurs when nerves are damaged or do not function properly. The result is burning or stabbing pain, numbness or tingling that can interfere with day-to-day life. Though complex, neuropathic pain is manageable with specialized care.

Understanding the root cause of your symptoms is key to creating a successful treatment plan — and diagnosis requires an experienced team of pain specialists. Houston Methodist’s team approach collates decades of expertise, backed by leading-edge research innovation, to improve your quality of life. 

Diagnosing & Treating Neuropathic Pain

How is neuropathic pain diagnosed?

Diagnosis starts with a complete medical history and conversation to understand your symptoms. Neuropathic pain often affects the face, neck and limbs with symptoms that may include:  


  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Numbness 
  • Oversensitivity of skin 
  • Sleep problems  
  • Tingling 
  • Intense stabbing or shooting pains, commonly felt in face and neck 


In the initial meeting, our team will discuss with you the location, severity and duration of your symptoms, as well as possible triggers. One of our board-certified pain specialists will then conduct a physical exam and possible, additional testing to rule out or identify underlying conditions causing your symptoms.  

Neuropathic pain can be caused by an injury, illness, treatment or condition that damages the delicate nerve fibers that run from your spine to the rest of your body. Possible causes can include: 



Based on your results, we can design a personalized treatment plan to reduce symptoms and potentially restore nerve function. 

What treatments are available?

Houston Methodist’s pain management team is experienced in a wide range of treatment options, from the latest pain medications to advanced nerve surgery. Treatment of neuropathic pain may include any of the following treatment options: 


  • Blood sugar management for patients with diabetes  
  • Physical therapy  
  • Acupuncture or massage therapy 
  • Injections, including steroid or Botox®, can relax overactive nerves 
  • Surgery to remove or relieve pressure on the nerve  
  • Severing, heating or blocking a nerve  
  • Implanted nerve stimulator therapy 
  • Brain stimulation  


Medication can help relieve symptoms, depending on the severity of your condition. Your doctor may recommend drugs to manage the pain, including:


  • Antidepressants (amitriptyline, nortriptyline, duloxetine) 
  • Anticonvulsants (carbamazepine) 
  • Opioids (morphine, oxycodone, tramadol) 
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) 
  • Topical creams with lidocaine or capsaicin 

What if I need advanced care or a second opinion?

Neuropathic pain is manageable with specialized care. Houston Methodist’s compassionate team of pain experts can precisely diagnose your condition and design a personalized treatment plan to improve your quality of life. 

Understanding Chronic Pain

Struggling with chronic pain? Explore suggestions for dealing with debilitating symptoms. 

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