What causes neuralgia?

If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from neuralgia, or pain caused by nerve damage or nerve compression, you know how much this condition can disrupt your life. The pain and limited mobility can make it difficult to get through a day of work or spend quality time with friends and family.

While neuralgia can occur anywhere in the body, it is common for symptoms to originate in the spine, where degenerative conditions can cause nerve compression that radiates to other parts of the body. Finding treatment that can return you to a better quality of life is possible and learning about what causes neuralgia is an important step in getting it.

Degenerative causes of neuralgia

The spine is prone to degenerative conditions that cause neuralgia because it must be both strong enough to support the upper body and flexible enough to allow for movement. To do this it is constructed of tubular bones called vertebrae that are linked by facet joints and cushioned by discs. Because there is so much weight and movement on these intricate parts, the spine is vulnerable to wear and tear, leading to conditions such as:

  • Bone spurs
  • Herniated discs
  • Bulging discs
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis

These conditions aren’t painful by themselves, but can lead to nerve compression and neuralgia if they interfere with any of the tightly-packed nervous tissue in the spine.

In addition to degenerative causes, other factors like obesity, poor posture, overexertion, disease, infection and congenital disorders can contribute to spine conditions. While some of these are unavoidable, others can be controlled by exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, practicing proper body mechanics and not smoking.

Treating neuralgia

If conservative treatments — such as pain medication, lifestyle changes and hot/cold compresses — have proven ineffective after weeks and months, Laser Spine Institute may be able to help you find lasting pain relief.

We perform minimally invasive spine surgery that can relieve the symptoms of neuralgia by treating nerve compression at the source. Our procedures offer many advantages compared to traditional open back procedures such as a smaller incision, shorter recovery time^ and less scarring.

Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to see if you’re a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.