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JCOM Abstract

J Clin Outcomes Manage 
2010 Aug;17(8):371-383
Identification, treatment and clinical outcomes of neuropathic pain for the primary care physician
Berry JD, Cochrane TI

Abstract Objective: To provide an overview of and roadmap to using the options available for the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of neuropathic pain. Methods: A literature review was conducted to collect current data regarding the diagnosis and treatment of neuropathic pain. Results: Neuropathic pain is common, impacts patientsí quality of life, and can be costly to patients and society if left untreated. Its clinical characteristics can be used to distinguish it from other types of pain, and ancillary tests such as electromyography, autonomic testing, and skin biopsy are often useful to confirm a diagnosis, though no ancillary test is diagnostic on its own. After a diagnosis of neuropathic pain is made, it should be localized clinically. Underlying etiologies should be sought and treated if possible. Symptomatic treatment of the pain is best performed in a multidisciplinary setting and typically begins with local therapies and systemic medications, but might eventually involve the use of invasive techniques, and in some cases, surgery. Little data regarding the efficacy of alternative therapies exist. Conclusion: Further research and new treatment approaches are needed to improve our management of neuropathic pain.

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