How does pain help the body

Pain attacks -
How to recognize neuralgia

Over 5 million people in Germany are familiar with these sudden, violent attacks of pain1. They can be harmless and go away after a few days or weeks. Sometimes they persist and become chronic. Neuralgia spreads in the supply area of ​​one or more nerves, which is why they are often named after their area of ​​spread. Trigeminal neuralgia, for example, occurs in the supply area of ​​the trigeminal nerve. Those affected then have persistent pain in the face, mostly on one half of the face. Sciatica, also popularly known as "sciatica", describes pain in the area supplied by the sciatic nerve. These arise in the leg nerve through the persistent irritation of the nerve roots and often radiate from the buttocks over the back of the thighs into the lower leg to the foot. If pain in the lumbar spine also occurs at the same time, this is known as lumbar sciatica. This is to be differentiated from a lumbago or "lumbago": Severe, acute back pain in the lumbar area. It is not caused by nerve irritation, but by pinched or squeezed nerves due to cramped back muscles, vertebral blockages or a herniated disc as well as a bulging disc. The post-zoster -Neuralgia, on the other hand, owes its name to the varicella zoster virus, which causes herpes zoster (shingles), an inflammation of the nerves, which in turn can permanently damage the affected nerve.

The attack-like burning, stabbing or dull pain (neuropathic pain) of neuralgia is triggered by permanent irritation or damage to nerves. This distinguishes them from nociceptive pain, which is caused by acute irritation of the pain sensory cells (toe on the edge of the bed). Nerve damage, on the other hand, has a variety of causes: inflammation, viruses, diabetes mellitus, operations or mechanical influences can destroy the nerve tissue. But even after the damage to the nerve has healed, pain can still occur. The reason for this is: Nerve cells learn and can form a (pain) memory. The nerves are then so overly sensitive that even weak pain stimuli or psychological stimuli such as stress or strong emotions are sufficient to trigger severe pain. In any case, the psyche plays a special role in the perception of pain. The brain processes and stores pain particularly efficiently when it is accompanied by negative feelings (e.g. fear, sadness). Severe and especially chronic pain is an enormous burden for those affected, which can even lead to depression. The associated negative emotions can in turn lead to an increased sensation of pain. To prevent this vicious circle, nerve pain should be treated early.