Murray J. McAllister, PsyD
Murray J. McAllister, PsyD, is a pain psychologist and consults to health systems on improving pain. He is the editor and founder of the Institute for Chronic Pain (ICP). The ICP is an educational and public policy think tank. In its mission is to lead the field in making pain management more empirically supported, the ICP provides academic quality information on chronic pain that is approachable to patients and their families.
What is piriformis syndrome?
Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular condition that occurs when the piriformis muscle in the buttocks pinches the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is a large muscle on each side of the buttocks. The sciatic nerve is a nerve which starts at the spinal cord in the low back, extends through the piriformis muscle in the buttock, and branches down the back of the leg, all the way to the foot.
What is phantom limb pain?
Phantom limb pain is pain in a limb that has been previously amputated. When people experience phantom limb pain after an amputation, the nervous system continues to function as if the limb is still there. As a result, patients with phantom limb pain continue to feel pain in the limb that in fact is no longer present. In addition to pain, patients can feel other sensations in the missing limb, like tingling, cold or heat.
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Neuropathy is damage to nerves that causes pain, numbness and/or tingling. While technically many conditions are a form of neuropathy, most people tend to think of peripheral neuropathy when using the term neuropathy.
What is diabetic neuropathy?
Neuropathy is damage to nerves that causes pain, numbness and/or tingling. Patients most often describe the pain as a burning type of pain or as if they are persistently walking on a pebble or other sharp item. The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy in the hands or feet is diabetes.
What is it?
Neuropathy is a condition of the nerves that causes pain, numbness and/or tingling. While, technically, many conditions are a form of neuropathy, most people tend to think of peripheral neuropathy when using the term neuropathy.
What is trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a condition that causes pain in the face and head. The pain is usually on one side of the face. It is related to the trigeminal nerve, which runs from the brain to the side of the face.
What is post-herpetic neuralgia?
Post-herpetic neuralgia is a nerve pain condition that can result from having shingles. Shingles is a painful rash of blisters on the skin. Shingles itself is caused by the chicken pox virus, which usually lies dormant once having had the chicken pox. The dormant virus can, however, flare up and cause shingles. The onset of shingles oftentimes occurs when someone is under stress. After a number of weeks, shingles usually goes away. Sometimes, however, the nerve pain associated with the shingles continues long after the healing of shingles blisters. This on-going nerve pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia.
What is neuralgia?
Neuralgia is a sharp type of pain that is associated with a problem in a nerve or nerves. It can range in intensity from mild to severe.
Neuralgia is most often associated with two unrelated conditions, trigeminal neuralgia and post-herpetic neuralgia.
What is nerve pain?
Nerve pain is a catchall phrase that is used to refer to a loosely associated group of pain disorders. It’s somewhat of a curious use of the phrase because, in a sense, all pain is nerve pain. Pain would not occur without nerves and the nervous system. No matter what the cause of pain, messages related to the cause are nerve impulses that travel along a system of nerves in the body, including the spinal cord and brain. So, again, in a sense, all pain is nerve pain. Nonetheless, the phrase ‘nerve pain’ is used to refer to a group of pain disorders that have some loosely associated features.
What is knee pain?
Knee pain is a common. Sometimes, it occurs acutely, such as when someone falls and tears a ligament. Other times, its onset is slow, due to strain on muscles or ligaments from repetitive motion. It can also come and go, such as when people have bursitis. Sometimes, however, it lasts longer and can become chronic. In most cases of chronic knee pain, it is due to osteoarthritis.
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