Managing pain caused by neurological disease.
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Stabbing paroxysmal pain due to neurological disease can often be controlled by anticonvulsants, whereas steady burning pain is often responsive to tricyclic antidepressants, and to neuroleptics. Overuse of opiates may actually aggravate the pain, necessitating detoxification. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is helpful for conditions in which pain is localized, especially if there is a 'trigger area' or neuroma, or if paresthesias can be stimulated within the painful area. Local anesthetic injection, possibly with corticosteroid, relieves painful scars and neuromas, neuritis, and tender trigger points. Sympathetic blocks are used for post-herpetic neuralgia and sympathetic dystrophies. Relaxation therapy is a very useful psychological treatment.
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