Most of the current medical literature states that HNPP does NOT cause pain. And for most people that is true. Painless numbness and weakness is the norm.
But for an estimated 10-15% of people with HNPP, neuropathic pain is very real. The following information is based on talking to individuals with HNPP, not from the medical literature. Individuals report:
The pain is described as sharp, dull, hot, cold, pressure, burning, aching, electrical jabs
The pain complaint of PPN (Painful Peripheral Neuropathies) has three main categories: (1) a continuous deep, burning, aching, or bruised pain; (2) Paroxysmal (sudden) lancinating pain, like electric shocks or sharp stabs; and (3) abnormal cutaneous (skin) sensitivity, "like a bad sunburn". Patients may experience some or all of these pain descriptions. In addition, annoying paresthesias may be present, such as sensations of "bugs crawling under my skin."
A "stocking-glove" distribution is typical of PPN, with pain more at distal sites and Paresthesias/dysesthesias more proximal; (Figure 12.15). The typical pattern of progression is for pain to start symmetrically in the toes or feet and progress up the calf. Galer (1994) reports that once pain has reached the upper calf or knee, painful symptoms then start in the fingers. The upper extremity symptoms may eventually become more painful than the lower extremity. Patients report their pain is worse in the evening."
A difficulty with finding pain sites is that while HNPP pain is indeed a chronic pain, all of the usual chronic pain remedies do not necessarily apply. Many chronic pain sites seem to concentrate on the psychological aspects and remedies and the desire to return individuals to work ASAP! Certainly people with HNPP may find some of the remedies helpful (meditation, distraction, etc.). But exercise needs to be done in moderation and working (what, how much) should be determined on an individual basis by your neurologist.
Remember : HNPP causes nerve injury by pressure, stretch and repetitive use.
Advanced Pain Care
America Doctors - type in chronic pain in the search area
Information from your family doctor
NINDS - via healthtouch
American Academy of Pain Management
American Chronic Pain Association
Last updated: 1201