Nerve pain causes serious quality of life issues, and can be complicated to treat. You want cutting-edge solutions from a team of multidisciplinary specialists, working together to treat your individual issues. At the Neuropathic Pain Clinic, part of the Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan Health System, our expert physicians provide accurate diagnosis and innovative therapies to relieve your pain so you can get back to your daily life. Nerve pain is caused by damage to one of your nerves. It can feel like severe shooting pain, burning, numbness, tingling or a combination of symptoms. And if it’s not treated effectively, it can become a chronic condition. We treat the full scope of nerve pain and conditions that cause nerve pain, including:
- Herniated disc
- Surgical procedures
- Inflammation of the nerve
- Infectious diseases
To diagnose, we conduct a comprehensive neurological exam and collect a thorough history. We may order an MRI to look for structural changes that damaged the nerve, an electromyography (EMG) to study the damage of the nerve’s conduction, and/or a lumbar puncture – also known as a spinal tap – to see what’s going on in your central nervous system to cause your pain. We treat more than 1,000 patients each year, and collaborate with experts from other disciplines, including neurosurgery, neuropsychology, neuroradiology, pain neurology, anesthesiology, pain psychology and physical therapy to determine your best care. A number of treatment options are available, depending on your particular nerve pain and issues. Medication therapy can be effective, and since addiction from long-term drug use is a possibility, we also have addiction specialists to support you. Injections, such as peripheral nerve injections and epidurals may be recommended. We also offer spinal cord stimulation, an implanted device, which sends electrical pulses to the spinal cord to mask the pain. In some cases, surgery will be necessary. Alternative therapies are also available and can also be considered, such as acupuncture, and herbal and supplemental therapies, which have shown to be effective in clinical trials. Physical therapy and nutritional therapy often have positive effects, as well.