Neuropathic pain (NP) is defined as pain caused by lesion or dysfunction of the somatosensory system, as a result of abnormal activation of the nociceptive pathway (small fibers and spinothalamic tracts). The most common causes of this syndrome are the following: diabetes, post-herpetic neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, HIV infection, cancer. In the last few years, the NP has been receiving special attention for two main reasons: (1) therapeutical refractoriness of a variety of pain syndromes with predominant neuropathic characteristics and (2) the development of diagnostic tools for neuropathic pain complaints. The present review article provides relevant information on the understanding and recognition of NP, as well as evidence-based therapeutic approaches.
neuropathic pain; nociceptive pain; diagnosis; treatment