If you suffer from nerve pain or peripheral neuropathy, you know how difficult it can be to do even the simplest of tasks.
Living with nerve pain such as nerve damage, sciatic pain, a damaged spinal cord, or similar neuropathic pain is not an option for millions of people because the pain can be so severe.
Whether it's caused by diabetes, a hereditary condition or a virus, nerve pain can be tough to live with. Fortunately, there are effective ways to treat the pain and improve your quality of life. While many treatments work well, some have more benefits that others.
It’s important to do what you can at home to reduce your nerve pain. While you will still want to see a doctor and get any potential problems worked out, especially for more serious ailments like sciatic nerve pain, you can get started with home remedies to try and tackle the symptoms of your nerve pain.
First things first. Find out what’s causing your nerve pain. It may be something you need to get addressed, like a medical condition you don’t even know you have like diabetes. From there, you can tackle your nerve pain.
Here are the best home remedies for nerve pain. Get started today and you may see an improvement in no time.
1. Manage the Underlying Condition
Nerve pain is usually caused by another condition. Diabetes, alcoholism, shingles and autoimmune disorders are just a few of the conditions that can lead to neuropathy. Usually, the first step to managing nerve pain is figuring out a way to manage the condition behind it.
If you have diabetic neuropathy, getting your blood sugar levels down will help slow down the progress of the disorder and reduce pain. Controlling your blood sugar levels can also reduce any current symptoms you're experiencing.
Your doctor will work with you to help you keep your blood sugar in check. Reducing your blood sugar often requires monitoring your diet and losing weight if needed. You might have to take your blood sugar reading daily to determine what you can eat or drink for the day to avoid raising your sugar levels.
Managing autoimmune disorders or getting treatment for a viral or bacterial infection that causes nerve pain also helps improve your symptoms. Your doctor can recommend the best way to get those conditions under control to relieve your nerve pain.
2. Take Medication
Medication is also often an effective way to treat nerve pain. Different medications work for different people. Some people are able to get relief by taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. A doctor might prescribe a stronger pain reliever to a patient if an over-the-counter product isn't effective.
Sometimes, medications designed for other uses helps people with nerve pain. Antidepressants help relieve nerve pain in many people. Both tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have been shown to help relieve nerve pain.
The antidepressants work by getting in the way of certain chemical processes in the brain. When those processes are blocked, pain is reduced. The trade off is that many people experience a range of often unpleasant side effects from antidepressants. According to the Mayo Clinic, those side effects can include drowsiness, weight gain and dry mouth.
Anti-seizure medicines such as Gabapentin (neurontin) can also help dull the pain. The same chemicals that help prevent seizures or convulsions are able to block the chemicals that cause pain. Like antidepressants, anti-seizure medications often cause side effects. Those effects can include swelling, dizziness and drowsiness.
3. Take Vitamins and Supplements
Neuropathy is often caused by certain vitamin deficiencies. Even when a person isn't deficient in certain vitamins, taking vitamin supplements can help reduce the pain.
Low levels of vitamin B12 can cause nerve damage. Nerve cells also need adequate levels of vitamin B1 to properly function. Low levels of vitamin B6 can interfere with the brain's chemical processes.
If a person isn't getting an adequate amount of B vitamins from food, supplements can help. Clinical studies of various B vitamins have shown that taking the supplements helped reduce nerve pain in patients.
The product Nerve Renew contains these three B vitamins, in forms that are easily absorbed by the body. Many people have reported not just relief, but significant improvement. Because Nerve Renew works to restore damaged nerves, your cells will begin to heal, leaving you with less discomfort and a smaller likelihood of continued suffering.
It also contains vitamin D. Vitamin D can be a tricky vitamin to get enough of, since the natural way to get involves spending time in the sun. It's difficult to get the full, recommended daily amount of vitamin D from your food.
Studies have shown that people with lower levels of vitamin D in their system were more likely to experience nerve pain. Those who took a vitamin D supplement on a weekly basis were able to reduce their symptoms after just two months.
The antioxidant alpha lipoic acid (ALA) has also been shown to help people suffering from nerve pain get relief. ALA is used widely in Europe and has been for years. A study showed that people taking a supplement that contained 600 mg of ALA had a 19% improvement in their nerve pain symptoms after just five weeks.
4. Get More Exercise
If your pain allows you to exercise, do it as often as you can. Exercise is a fantastic natural painkiller, as it releases your endorphins.
Getting more exercise can help many people ease their neuropathy symptoms. In the case of people with diabetes, regular exercise can help lower blood sugar levels. Lowering blood sugar helps control nerve damage.
Plus, if you’re suffering from nerve issues in your legs or feet, exercise also help improve the flow of blood to your extremities. The more blood there is pumping to your feet and hands, the less likely you are to feel numbness, tingling or pain. Exercise also strengthens the muscles overall, which can help fight symptoms of neuropathy that lead to muscle weakness.
In fact, there have been tons of research and studies that show exercising on a regular basis can create a long-term expansion in your feet’s blood vessels. That means your damage nerves can actually be nursed back to health.
Studies have shown that exercise is an effective way to relieve nerve pain. A study from the University of Kansas Medical Center examined the effect of exercise on patients with diabetic neuropathy. Those who exercised were less likely to have their pain interfere with their overall quality of life.
There is one thing to keep mind before you lace up your sneakers and head out for a brisk walk or run. If your neuropathy has advanced so much that your feet regularly feel numb, it might be best to avoid exercises that put a lot of weight on your feet.
Swimming or cycling might be better options to help reduce pain and improve your symptoms. Yoga is another great low-impact exercise for improving flexibility, which has positive effects on circulation. It's always a good idea to speak with your doctor before you start any new exercise routine.
Start small if you aren’t ready to jump head-first into exercise. Take a short walk around the block or down the driveway, then work your way up. You want to start small so you are sure to stick with it. Make goals and try to surpass them when you can.
5. Take A Deeper Look at Your Diet
There are plenty of studies that show certain kinds of food can not only cause nerve pain but actually make it worse. With that being said, there are some kinds of foods that can actually help it.
Meat has been known to make nerve symptoms worse. While you don’t have to cut it out completely, you may want to try limiting your intake. The same goes for preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Cut these out when you can.
Focus on your diet and make sure you have a lot of vitamin B, as well as vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids. These have all been known to stop nerve pain in its path and help provide relief as well.
Whenever you can, stick with raw foods. When you heat up or cook your food, a lot of the nutritional value that comes along with it goes right out the window. That means you’re losing the protein and the vitamins you want and your body needs! Therefore, stick with raw food when you can.
6. Apply a Topical Pain Relief Cream
Some topical creams or patches can help minimize nerve pain. Creams that contain capsaicin, the ingredient that makes hot peppers spicy, can often ease pain.
Often, capsaicin creams make pain a bit worse before they make it better. Some people find the initial burning too intense while others find that the pain relief makes the initial discomfort worth it.
A topical product containing lidocaine can also effectively reduce pain. Lidocaine works by numbing the area, so pain signals are blocked. It's a temporary solution at best, but it works for some people.
The most effective nerve pain treatment is one that provides relief, without disrupting your day to day life too much. Many people have to go through a number of treatments before they find the one that works best for them.
7. Use Heat and Cold For Relief
Switching between heat and ice can shock your body right out of pain.
Here’s how it works: heat tells the nerves that are sending pain signals to your brain to relax. Then, when you put the ice on, this numbs them. It’s a great combination.
You can use an ice pack or just fill a bag with ice. Then, place a wet paper towel between your skin and the pack in order to avoid injuries. Keep the ice on for 20 minutes, then switch to the heat.
A moist hot towel or heating pad is great for providing relief. Try to alternate the heat and the ice (for 20 minutes) at least 3 turns for each one.
Regardless of how long you’re able to do it, you want to make sure you end with ice to numb those nerves.
8. Implement A Stretching Routine
One thing a lot of people suffering from nerve pain don’t know: tight muscles can be to blame. When your muscles are tight, they can pinch your nerves. If you’ve ever dealt with sciatic nerve pain, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
Therefore, stretching your muscles is one of the best things you can do. You want to increase the strength of your muscles but also cut back on their tightrope hold they have on your nerves. If you’re able to do this, you will get instant pain relief.
If you’re suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you will want to stretch your wrists, forearms, neck, and shoulders. On the other hand, if you have nerve pain in your back or sciatica, stretch your hips, legs, and butt. Alternatively, if you’re suffering from pain in your shoulder area or face, focus on stretching your neck, upper back, and shoulders.
While home remedies for nerve pain are right for some, make sure you talk to your doctor about getting a course of treatment that’s aligned with your needs. If you have an underlying medical issue that’s causing your nerve pain, it’s essential to get that taken care of first.
Therefore, you can work toward getting that under control and have less nerve pain in the meantime. However, if you’ve already tackled your medical condition and you’re still suffering from nerve pain, home remedies are one of the best ways to get a jump start on the pain. Stick with it and you’ll find yourself getting relief.