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Treating Nerve Pain Caused by Cancer, HIV, and Other Conditions

The Costs of Untreated Nerve Pain

Nerve pain can make you feel terribly alone. After all, it's not an injury that your family or friends can see. You might feel frustrated if they can't understand what you're feeling.

But while you might feel alone, you're not.  Experts believe that somewhere between 2%-8% of the general population is living with nerve pain. The impact of nerve pain is tremendous. In the U.S., the health care costs of nerve pain are estimated at $40 billion per year; the suffering it causes is beyond measure.

Despite the significant price of nerve pain and the millions of people living with it, experts think that it is still underdiagnosed and undertreated. Studies show that even people who do seek out treatment often aren't getting the right treatment. Too many rely on drugs that are unlikely to help, such as over-the-counter pain relievers. 

So if you have nerve pain -- whether it's caused by cancer, HIV, shingles, or another condition -- you need to treat it seriously. Don't assume that it will go away on its own. Don't assume that following the treatment for the underlying disease will resolve it. Instead, talk to your doctor about treating your nerve pain directly.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on April 18, 2012

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