NEURALGIA OR NEUROPATHY
Definition: Neuropathy refers to a disease or disorder that affects one or more nerves, causing damage. It is a functional disturbance or pathological change of nerves resulting in pain, numbness, and sometimes muscle weakness. The most common forms of nerve damage include peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, auditory neuropathy and cranial neuropathy. Neuralgia is sharp nerve pain that may occur as a symptom of many diseases. The most common forms of neuralgia are trigeminal neuralgia and postherpetic neuralgia (caused by shingles or herpes).
In neuralgia, the patient experiences short episode s of excruciating pain, usually for less than two minutes. The pain can be described in a variety as stabbing, sharp, burning and even "itchy". Simple stimuli such as eating, talking, washing the face, or any light touch or sensation can trigger an attack. The pain can occur in clusters or as an isolated attack.

Aetiology/Major causative factors and risk factors that can contribute to the incidence of neuropathy and neuralgia include the following:
• Nutritional deficiencies, such as magnesium, zinc, iron and B vitamins.
• Musculoskeletal issues (e.g., tension, misalignment)
• Diabetes
• Multiple sclerosis
• Herpes zoster infection
• Chronic or acute trauma
• Neurotoxins
• Autoimmune disease
• Alcoholism
• Surgery
• Cancer (peripheral nerve compression by a tumour)
• Side effect of many chemotherapy drugs
• Electrical injury
• Infections (e.g., syphilis and Lyme disease)
• Bright lights and loud sounds can trigger an attack
• Genetic inheritance.

Common signs and symptoms of neuropathy and neuralgia include:
•Neuropathy often results in numbness, tingling, sensitivity to touch, neuralgia, muscle weakness, muscle wasting and paralysis, and organ dysfunction.
• Neuralgia is usually perceived as a steady burning and/or "pins and needles" and/or "electric shock" sensations.