Guide to neuralgia

Neuralgia is a broad term used to describe sharp and shooting pain related to nerve dysfunction. Neurological pain can affect any part of the body and often is the result of a minor injury, such as a strained muscle or sprained ligament. Another major cause of neuralgia is nerve compression or irritation associated with a degenerative spine condition.

The components of the spine, such as the vertebrae, discs, facet joints and ligaments, can begin to break down over the years due to normal degeneration. When this happens, sections of the spine may move out of alignment and space is then reduced to the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing an onset of symptoms to occur.

Compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots can produce localized pain at the site of the compression, pain that radiates along the length of the affected nerve, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness — all of which are forms of neuralgia. To learn about the treatments for these debilitating symptoms, read the following article.

Conservative treatment for neuralgia

Because the term neuralgia is used to describe such a wide variety of neurological symptoms, treatment options vary greatly. In general, spinal neuralgia can be treated using conservative methods such as:

  • Pain medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching exercises
  • Chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • TENS therapy

These methods can often be combined under the guidance of your physician or spine care specialist. Typically, these nonsurgical treatments require several weeks or months before lasting relief can be experienced, though some patients may find relief sooner. However, if you still are not experiencing adequate relief, then you may be a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

Minimally invasive neuralgia surgery

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery as a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^ Depending on the severity of the nerve compression and the damage in the spine, we may recommend a minimally invasive spine procedure. We offer two categories of minimally invasive spine surgery — a decompression and a stabilization procedure.

Both procedures aim to relieve pressure on the compressed nerve near the spine. For many patients, a decompression surgery is the most appropriate choice to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve near the spine. However, some patients require a stabilization surgery, which both relieves nerve compression and returns stability to the spine.

Since 2005, Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 75,000 patients find lasting relief from their chronic neck or back pain. To determine if our minimally invasive spine surgery would be effective for you, contact Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a free MRI review.* Let us help you take the next step toward pain relief by recommending the best treatment option available to you.