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).
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).
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... More