Question

Neuralgia

What are natural treatments for nerve pain?

A Answers (2)

  • AJacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Nerve pain (neuropathy) is characterized by pain that is burning, shooting (often to distant areas), or stabbing. It also has an "electric" quality about it. Tingling or numbness (paresthesias) and increased sensitivity with normal touch being painful (allodynia) are also commonly seen.

    Nerve pain can be triggered by malfunction of nerves associated with illness (e.g., diabetes, low thyroid, etc.), infections (e.g., shingles), pinched nerves (e.g., from muscles or disc disease), nutritional deficiencies (e.g., vitamin B6 and B12), injury (e.g., stroke, tumors, spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis), fibromyalgia, and medication/treatment side effects.

    Nutritional support is critical! Use a good multi-nutrient supplement along with a B complex capsule. This, along with the items below, may take 6 months to kick in (but may begin working after a few weeks) - so start now.

        - Lipoic acid 300 mg 2 times a day.
        - Acetyl-L-Carnitine 1,000-3,000 mg a day. This has been supported in studies involving nerve pain from diabetes and also from cancer chemotherapy.
        - Vitamin D 2,000+ units a day. In one study, this decreased diabetes nerve pain by 47%.

    Do blood testing to check for diabetes, low thyroid, or vitamin B12 deficiency (I give B12 injections if the B12 level is under 540 in nerve pain).

    About medications:

    Many medications can be very helpful for nerve pain. For small areas, begin with the Lidoderm patch and topical gels. For large areas, or if these are not effective, use the oral medications.

    Give the medicines and topical medications 2 weeks to work. If the medications cause side effects, start at a lower dose that is comfortable and raise it slowly as your body adapts. Give the natural remedies 3-6 months to work (they are going in to heal the nerve which takes time) though they often help much more quickly.

    Topical pain gels (from compounding pharmacies) are very helpful and, along with certain special medications, can be very helpful for nerve pain (apply twice a day and give them 2 weeks to work).

    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
  • ABrian Yee, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered
    In Physical Therapy, nerve pain can be treated naturally through techniques called ‘neurodynamics’. According to a colleague of mine, Michael Shacklock in Australia, there are three major areas to address. This includes the mechanical impingement sites, the nerve itself, and the tissue the nerve innervates.

    First, nerve pain can be caused by a tissue that pinches on it. This could be a herniated disc, a muscle spasm, or arthritic changes in the spine. Such treatments as mechanical traction or soft tissue massage around the pinched area of the nerve can alleviate the nerve pain.

    Second, the nerve itself can become injured. Physical Therapists use manual therapy techniques to mobilize the nerve itself to reduce its pain and improve it mobility. Similar to having a knee surgery, it is important to calm the swelling and pain down while progressively improving the range of motion back to its normal length. Nerve is just as much of a connective tissue as ligaments or tendons are.  

    Lastly, when nerve pain occurs it becomes inflamed, a term called neurogenic inflammation. Like a hose spraying with water, when the nerve is inflamed it sends inflammation to its termination sites – such as muscle, joint, or ligaments. It is important to improve muscle or joint restrictions that surround the nerve to fully treat the nerve pain and its residual effects.
    Helpful? 4 people found this helpful.
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