Neuralgia is a condition characterized by a sharp pain along the path of a nerve. Neuralgia is caused by compression, damage, and injury to the nerve. There are various types of neuralgia depending upon the type of nerve affected. Several treatment options are available to manage the symptoms of neuralgia.

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  • Post-herpetic Neuralgia: It is a common complication of shingles characterized by prolonged pain in skin areas with shingles. People above 50 years, with compromised immune systems, who have itching before the shingles rashes break out, severe shingles, and delay receiving the antiviral therapy after the occurrence of rashes are at increased risk of developing post-herpetic neuralgia. The symptoms of post-herpetic neuralgia include constant or intermediate pain, numbness or itching sensations, sharp or burning pain at the site of the shingle rash, extreme sensitivity at the affected skin, and worsening pain at night.
  • Occipital Neuralgia: This condition is caused due to inflammation and injury to the occipital nerves. Patients with occipital neuralgia experience pain at the skull base or the back of the head. Other occipital neuralgia symptoms include pain behind the eye, increased light sensitivity, pain in one or both sides of the head, scalp tenderness, and pain while moving the neck. Chronic neck tension is one of the common reasons for occipital neuralgia. Underlying medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, gout, infection, blood vessel inflammation, and tumors that affect the nerve roots, may also play a role in developing occipital neuralgia.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia: It is also known as tic douloureux and is characterized by short episodes of severe pain, numbness, and tingling sensations, as well as recurring pain and aches in the area of the jaw and cheek. The pain is caused by irritation of the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve has three branches that transfer nerve impulses to different facial areas. These branches include the ophthalmic branch (face and forehead), maxillary branch (nostrils, cheek, and upper lip), and mandibular branch (jaw area and lower lip). The two types of trigeminal neuralgia include typical and atypical trigeminal neuralgia.
  • Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia: It is a rare condition that causes stabbing, sharp, or shooting pain in the ear, tongue, and tonsils. The pain lasts for a few seconds to a few minutes. It is caused by irritation of the glossopharyngeal nerve, the ninth cranial nerve. In most cases, the exact cause of nerve irritation is not known. The condition usually occurs in people above the age of 50 years. The possible causes of glossopharyngeal neuralgia include pressing of the nerve by blood vessels, growth of the tissue, and infection or a tumor in the mouth or throat.
  • Intercostal Neuralgia: Intercostal neuralgia is a condition that involves intercostal nerves. Patients with this condition experience sharp, aching, radiating, stabbing, or burning pain in the upper chest, upper back, or around the ribs. It is caused due to compression, inflammation, or irritation of the intercostal nerves. The nerve can be affected due to chest trauma, injuries during a surgical procedure, and viral infections.