Nerve Pain: Top Strategies For Relieving The Pain
Nerve pain is random, painful, and can take a serious toll on the quality of life of the sufferer. Because this pain is caused by nerves that have already been damaged, it is sometimes impossible to completely eliminate the problem. Pain can be minimized, however, with some lifestyle changes and topical medications. Below are few strategies that will help you minimize nerve pain.
Practice Better Blood Sugar Control
An A1C of 7% or less reduces the risk of damaging nerves by 60%. Maintaining blood sugar control greatly reduces the risk of further nerve damage and reduces the pain caused by previously damaged nerves. Reaching your blood sugar goals won't repair previous damage, but it will cause less aggravation in the damaged areas.
Get Your Vitamins
Vitamins B12 and B6 are crucial to maintaining a healthy nervous system. These vitamins keep the nerves themselves healthy and ensure they receive adequate levels of certain brain chemicals. Most people get adequate levels of B vitamins through diet alone, so ask your doctor before taking a vitamin B supplement. Vitamin D has also been shown to play a role in nerve health, but this vitamin is difficult to gain through diet alone and may require a supplement boost.
Take a Bath
A warm bath is relaxing and opens blood vessels for improved circulation. Though not a permanent solution for nerve pain, the increased blood flow a bath provides can temporarily ease the pain of a flare. A bath provides almost instant relief from nerve pain when you're uncomfortable.
Exercise can help the body to reduce nerve pain. Like a warm bath, exercise increases blood flow through the body. In addition, exercise floods the brain with feel-good hormones that can both ease pain and make it easier to deal with. Any movement is beneficial, so start with yoga, water aerobics or another low impact exercise if you have concerns about stressing joints.
Capsaicin is the chemical in peppers that makes them hot. Although eating capsaicin doesn't ease the pain of neuropathy, wearing it might. Topical creams and patches containing capsaicin have been shown to reduce nerve pain by up to 30% with continued use. Capsaicin cream is available over-the-counter while stronger creams and patches can be prescribed by your doctor.
As a chronic pain sufferer, you should know that you're not alone. Chronic pain impacts many people and, as a result, is the subject of much research and experimentation. This means there is a wealth of information available about pain management. Invest some time researching pain management methods and give them a try to see what works best for you. People have used hypnosis, biofeedback, meditation, acupuncture and many other methods of pain control with varying results. Research and experimentation under your doctor's supervision may be the only way to know what works best for you.
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. For more information on chronic pain management, Emma recommends resources like Chronic Pain Daily. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2