What is peripheral neuropathic pain?
In peripheral neuropathic pain, the initiating lesion is located outside of the CNS—in the periphery. A classic example is painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy, in which there is confirmed damage to the peripheral nerves in the hands or feet. While the initiating problem is in the periphery, peripheral neuropathic pain is often accompanied by changes in CNS function and physiology that may be more important than peripheral changes in maintaining the ongoing pain. An interesting example is phantom limb pain, in which the initial injury (amputation of a body part) is clearly outside the CNS, but the main pathology for ongoing pain is often in cortical and subcortical structures in the brain.