No one likes nerve pain and living with neuropathic pain can be a long-term experience. Sometimes neuropathic pain gets better with treatments or on its own. Other times, the pain may hang on for long periods of time. Your doctor can help you find the right treatments for your particular type of neuropathy but there are also many treatments and actions you can take at home to help yourself.
WHAT CAUSES NERVE PAIN
To really help find treatments that work, it is important to understand the condition. Neuropathy comes from nerve damage. It can be caused by medical conditions like diabetes, or by the side-effects of drugs or chemotherapy, or injuries. These damaged nerves often misfire sending pain signals when there is no cause for pain. They can also increase the risk of other more serious conditions, such as foot infections.
Although the cases of nerve pain are still a big mystery, researchers have discovered several ways that nerves misfire and this has led to treatments that may help with neuropathic pain. However, many people who suffer with this pain report that in spite of all efforts made through medicine, their pain still goes un-checked. If you are one of these who have no relief despite the medicine, you may want to look beyond the medical world and try alternative treatments to help with neuropathic pain.
APPROACHES TO EASE NERVE PAIN
Although these strategies help relieve pain, they also prevent more serious problems and lead to overall good health. Some may induce the body’s own natural painkillers, an added benefit that will make you feel good.
- Keep diabetes in check. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control. Normal blood sugar levels are a key point in reducing diabetic neuropathy.
- Walk to fitness. Exercise has multiple benefits. For one thing, it increases the blood flow to the legs and feet and the expansion of blood vessels in the feet can help damaged nerves heal over time. Start gradually and keep walking, increasing distance and frequency as time goes by.
- Protect the feet. If your feet are affected by nerve pain, then it’s time to pamper and protect the feet. Examine your feet daily and wear comfortable shoes and socks. Check for injuries and see your podiatrist for toe nail clipping and for any sores or wounds to the feet.
- Take a soak. A warm bath might be the easiest and least expensive way to ease nerve pain. The warm water increases blood flow to the legs and feet and melts away any stress. Avoid burns by measuring the water temperature with your arm or elbow instead of your foot.
- Avoid happy hour and be happy. Alcohol has a terrible effect on nerve pain. Although there is no magic number as to how many drinks one can have without nerve pain, experts agree that the total should be four or less per week.
- Keep the sandman happy. Sleep is very important for those with neuropathy. Oft times good, deep sleep is hard to achieve with nerve pain, but keeping strict bedtime habits can help. Allow for at least eight hours for good sleep, limit caffeine intake in the afternoon, and be sure to maintain a decent bedtime hour. Also reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex.
- Burn it out. Capsaicin cream is made from hot chili peppers. It is reported as being beneficial for relieving nerve pain. However, it does create a burning feeling when first applied and many people do not tolerate this sensation. However, for those who stick it out for a few weeks, the relief from nerve pain is wonderful. Also, the burning sensation becomes less through time.
- Numb it up. A temporary relief from nerve pain can be found by using the anesthetic, numbing cream. Whether applied as a gel, ointment, or patches, this medicine is satisfying but, as I mentioned earlier, it is temporary.
- Rub it away. There are many therapeutic ointments and topical oils that can have a beneficial effect on nerve pain. Geranium oil is known for helping postherpetic neuralgia. Lavender oil is a good relaxing treatment which may help get the mind off the nerve pain.
- Meditate on it. There are several techniques that help people mentally control the pain they experience. Practices such as meditation, biofeedback, guided imagery, and hypnosis have helped those who suffer from nerve pain to live better. Do your homework to get the right professional at a good price. Ask for a referral from your doctor or from someone you can trust.
Relieving nerve pain can be challenging but not impossible. There are good medicines for this purpose and there are actions you can take to help yourself at home. Try some of these suggestions and see which ones work for you. Between your efforts and your care practitioner’s suggestions, relief is out there for you to find, apply, and experience.
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