Nerve pain is caused by many issues, from diabetes to trauma. Whatever the cause, nerve pain is debilitating and its effects on your lifestyle can be crippling. However, there is no reason to tolerate this pain when there are many ways to alleviate and perhaps reverse the damage to nerves. There are many prescription medications available from your doctor that could help with the symptoms and there are other over-the-counter medicines that may provide the relief you need if your symptoms are mild. There are also alternative treatments to medicine if you are one who does not like the side-effects of drugs. Here is a run-down of options for you to consider.
OVER-THE-COUNTER TREATMENTS FOR NERVE PAIN
Topical painkillers – Many painkillers in the form of creams and ointments are sold to relieve nerve pain. Some of these painkillers numb the pain, others have capsaicin, and still others have botanical oils. The advantage of using topical treatments is that you can apply it directly to the area of pain.
Painkilling medicines – Some people turn to over-the-counter pain medicines like acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. While these may be suitable for mild pain, those with major neuropathy pain need stronger medications. Also, you don’t want to take this type of medicine too long. If you are still taking these type drugs for more than 10 days, it’s time to switch treatments.
Supplements and vitamins – Sometimes neuropathy pain can be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency. If your doctor prescribes it, injections may be the best way to solve this problem. Also, other supplements may be helpful for nerve pain. Acetyl-L-carnatine, alpha-lipoic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid, are a few for which preliminary studies have been conducted to see their links to and help with neuropathy pain. There is still much research to be done in this area but the prospects are good.
OTHER NON-PRESCRIPTION TREATMENTS FOR NERVE PAIN
There are other treatments for you nerve pain that is alternative to medicine. Here are some options:
- Acupuncture – This treatment has been helpful for many types of pain. Researchers speculate that this treatment might release chemicals that actually numb pain or that it blocks pain signals that are sent from the nerves. You would have to try a few treatments to see if it works for you.
- Physical therapy – Muscle weakness and atrophy can be a consequence of neuropathy pain. Working with a physical therapist can help reverse the process and may help relieve the nerve pain.
- Massage – While it is not clear what the benefits of massage has for chronic nerve pain, it has few risks and many people report that it is beneficial to relieve painful muscle spasms.
- Assistive devices – Sometimes using a device like a cane or a splint can provide relief from pain. Other assistive devices like the ergonomically designed chairs or desks can help as well.
- Biofeedback – This treatment teaches you how to control bodily functions that are normally involuntary – like heartbeat and blood pressure. As you learn how to relax your muscles, neuropathy pain may also be reduced.
- Hypnosis – There is evidence that hypnosis can help with various types of chronic pain.
- Relaxation techniques – Try some stress management techniques or other relaxation activities like yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises. Not only will these help relieve stress but they may improve nerve pain as well.
- Talk to someone – Sometimes, everyone needs someone to talk with. Those who suffer with chronic nerve pain also experience depression. Discussing other issues bothering them or engaging in constructive conversation to solve problems may help them deal with their nerve pain.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES THAT HELP NERVE PAIN
Changes you establish to your lifestyle may not remove your nerve pain but they will improve your quality of life and may help relieve the symptoms of pain. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Eat a healthy diet – This cannot be overstated. You are what you eat. If you eat a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, your body is going to feel better and look better. Cut out the processed foods, alcohol, cigarettes, and junk foods. You will notice the difference and perhaps feel the difference in nerve pain.
- Regular exercise – This is something vitally important to your health. Studies have shown that people who do regular exercise feel less pain, have more energy, and have better moods than those who do not. Walking, using a stationary bike, swimming, and other low-impact exercise is beneficial without causing damage to joints, muscles, and other parts of the body. Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise routines to get his personal recommendations. Also, always start slowly and build endurance over time.
Good changes to your lifestyle are bound to have a beneficial result for your body and even your pain, especially if your nerve pain is caused by other conditions like diabetes. Applying these changes and using other treatments available will help alleviate and possibly reverse chronic nerve pain.
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