If something can be treated naturally, would you try it? Sometimes going to a healthcare facility for your medical condition can send you in a downward health spiral due to negative side effects associated with treatment. Some conditions might have good results without undergoing invasive medical procedures or buying tons of pricey medications. One of these conditions is neuropathy.
There are four kinds of neuropathy, each affecting a different set of nerves. They are autonomic, peripheral, proximal, and focal. Autonomic nerve damage is harmful to body processes such as digestion and can affect heart rate and blood pressure. Peripheral neuropathy affects the toes, fingers, hands, and feet and is the most common.
In the US, there are more than 20 million people with peripheral nerve damage, and probably many more undiagnosed. Peripheral neuropathy, often shortened to neuropathy, happens when the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord have been damaged. These nerves, called peripheral nerves, are vital for relaying information from the brain to the rest of the body. When damaged, they elicit stabbing, burning, or tingling pain in the hands and feet. You may also feel numbness. These symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are usually mild and are rarely debilitating or deadly. However, they can harm your ability to perform daily activities, which can reduce your quality of life.
This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, shingles, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases. Diabetes is the predominant cause of peripheral nerve damage, resulting in what is called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Keep in mind that not only medical conditions cause this disorder; you can also experience symptoms due to injuries or stress.
Though the condition is not curable, there are different methods of treatment to ease the pain. To treat nerve damage, the focus is on relieving the pain, reducing discomfort, and restoring function. The chosen treatment for pain cessation will depend on what the underlying cause may be. A healthcare professional may administer corticosteroid injections, perform nerve stimulation, conduct physical therapy, or even recommend surgery. However, oftentimes doctors will prescribe nerve pain medications. Some of them may include amitriptyline, oxycodone, gabapentin, pregabalin, tricyclic antidepressants, or duloxetine. They will also prescribe topical ointments such as lidocaine, menthol, and methyl salicylate.
You must be aware, however, that these medications often come along with side effects that can be just as difficult as the problem itself. Some of these common side effects include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, drowsiness, and dizziness. Not only that, some medications do not react well alongside other drugs.
What if, instead, you tried out some natural remedies for your symptoms? There are quite a few home remedies as well as natural remedies you can utilize. And the best thing? No harmful side effects. In this article, we will discuss 5 of these remedies, what they are, and how they can help.
Essential oils have a variety of uses, including healing neuropathy and nerve pain. The regeneration of nerves can be a slow process, but treatments of aromatherapy can be a great alternative method to aid in this process. Some essential oils are known to have especially pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. They are said to achieve this by increasing circulation within the body. And all this is non-invasive, and found naturally in plant extracts! Some of the most effective essential oils for nerve pain relief include:
Applying these oils to the area of pain can soothe the stinging and tingling caused by neuropathy. It may be helpful to speak to someone skilled in aromatherapy or natural medicine to determine which oils are the best for your condition. This could be a certified herbalist, a doctor, or an aromatherapist. Also be sure to ask if the essential oils are ok for you if you are pregnant, nursing, or have a medical condition that the use of oils may interfere with. They should guide you on the right path and where to buy the proper oils.
Also, before you begin, make sure you read all the labels to determine that your essential oil is pure. Then, test the oil on a small area of skin before trying it on large areas. These oils work best diluted because not doing so can cause your skin to become irritated and inflamed.
There are several ways you can administer these oils. You can mix them in with your creams and lotions. Or you can add a few drops into the water when you take a bath. Taking an essential oil bath can be doubly healing due to the warm water in the bath. Warm water is said to increase blood circulation throughout the body, which can lessen the pain. Another way to administer the oil is to add them to a diffuser. In this way, you can also share the healing properties with your loved ones in the room. Or you can even apply the diluted oil directly onto the skin. You can dilute the oil by adding a few drops of the chosen essential oil in 1 ounce of a carrier oil like olive oil. You can also use a cold-pressed nut, vegetable, seed, or fractionated oil. Some people like to blend their essential oils, combining the properties of several oils into one. Experiment and find out what works best for you.
One FDA-approved product for the treatment of neuropathy is a high-dose capsaicin patch. Capsaicin, a naturally occurring compound derived from cayenne peppers is beneficial for some people with nerve pain. It can decrease the intensity of pain signals triggered by nerve damage.
Capsaicin is often used as a topical ointment for those who cannot tolerate medications, or want to avoid them. The initial treatment of the ointment may burn, but eventually, you will experience a reduction in sensations. You can also incorporate cayenne pepper into your diet, as well as take it in supplement form. Capsaicin often works well for people, with very few people experiencing systemic side effects. Some negative aspects of the chemical compound include lack of efficacy when used at low doses, high cost, as well as the need to often reapply. Talk to your doctor before you undergo this treatment method. And before using, be sure to test on a small area.
Supplements not only have many health benefits, but they can also aid in the alleviation of nerve pain. It is important, however, to not overuse them, and to take them for additional aid in your relief, not as a cure. Taking supplements depends on your comfort level, the state of your condition, and the go-ahead from your doctor. Make sure to only take the recommended amounts your doctor suggests.
Vitamin deficiencies are one of the risk factors for peripheral neuropathy. There are many supplements you can take to help ease your symptoms, a lot of them also not listed here. Do your research on the variety of vitamins and supplements that you can also take. Here are the ones we recommend:
amounts of magnesium in their daily intake were less likely to experience nerve damage.
A healthy diet, exercising, and incorporating good habits into your life can have the most positive effect on your nerve pain. Lifestyle changes can leave you feeling healthier, calmer, more balanced, and restful. Small incremental changes implemented here and there throughout your regular daily activities can have a positive effect on your nerve health.
We have covered the positive effects vitamins and other supplements can have on reducing nerve pain. You can also find many of these supplements in the form of healthy foods. For those with diabetes, changing their diet can especially help lessen the symptoms, allowing diabetic nerve pain to lessen. To achieve this, eating foods rich in fiber is recommended. Do your best to stay away from white bread products, processed food, alcohol, and sweets.
Exercise helps manage pain and benefits your overall health. It can increase the blood flow to your arms and legs. It also helps reduce stress. Maintaining healthy physical condition through regular exercise, is extremely important, especially for those that have diabetic neuropathy. For diabetics, maintaining an exercise routine allows the body to better regulate blood sugar, which will in turn slow or reduce nerve damage. For those with peripheral neuropathy, exercising helps reduce the pressure of the peripheral blood vessels.
Review your overall happiness and outlook. Do you feel stressed? Tired? Rundown? A few habit changes may help you revive your energy levels, as well as improve your neuropathic symptoms.
One habit that affects your blood circulation and blood vessels is smoking. When you smoke, your blood vessels narrow, which means not as much oxygenated blood can get through. Due to this limited blood flow, you will experience more numbing and painful symptoms. If you were to quit smoking, you would see an improvement in the blood flow, as well as healthier blood vessels.
Some other great habits you can try are relaxation techniques. These habits such as deep breathing, mediation, and stretching exercises like yoga help people manage their pain by relieving stress. They can help you learn to cope with the pain, which can decrease the intensity of it. These noninvasive relaxation techniques help you gain more control of your condition through a mind-body approach. After all, the mind and the body are deeply connected.
One of the most important good habits is sleep. Limit your caffeine in the afternoon to ensure you will get a full night’s sleep. If you keep a consistent bedtime and get at least eight hours of sleep every night, your stress level will reduce, allowing you to better cope with neuropathic pain.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese tradition used to treat pain by inserting needles into the body’s pressure points to stimulate the nervous system. When this occurs, endorphins are released, which are the body’s natural painkillers.
Acupuncture is used by neuropathy-sufferers who want to alleviate their chronic pain. Not only is the ancient tradition said to relieve the pain, but it also increases blood flow, which can restore nerve damage. Many people who have undergone acupuncture treatment have had more improved symptoms than those who have gotten traditional medical treatment. And not only that, this method can balance the energy of the body, which can lead to greater emotional well-being.
As a disclaimer, we want to state that this article is not meant to be taken as medical advice. However, we do believe that utilizing some of these remedies may have a positive effect on your nerve health. And not only can they help alleviate painful symptoms, but they can also help increase your overall health and well-being. Whatever treatment path you decide to go down, we encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider before you make any big changes. Seeking out the advice of a professional is always helpful. We here at CareAsOne hope you find the right solutions for you and wish you increasing comfort and well-being.