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Peripheral Neuropathy Pain Relief

Peripheral Neuropathy Pain Relief

The first Thing we have to do for peripheral neuropathy pain relief would be to locate any possible contributing causes such as autoimmune disorders, toxic exposure, medication-related toxicity, infection, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal deficiencies, or disc compression that can lead to neuropathy. If we can find what may be causing the neuropathy there is as change of it resolving on its own as the nerves recover.

Your Diet Can Make Your Symptoms Worse

One of the first and most important things to consider is a exercising, eating a balanced diet, eliminate  exposure to toxins, limiting or avoiding alcohol, and correcting vitamin deficiencies can reduce the effects of peripheral neuropathy. Exercise can reduce cramps, improve muscle strength, and prevent muscle atrophy. Quitting smoking is an important step because smoking constricts the blood vessels that supply nutrients to the peripheral nerves and can cause neuropathic pain.

People with diabetic neuropathy should consider strict control of blood glucose levels, this has been shown to reduce neuropathic pain and help avoid further nerve damage.

Treatment Options

Mild neuropathic pain may sometimes be relieved using over-the-counter meds such as (NSAIDs) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Chronic pain should be treated by a physician. There are several medications that can be used for chronic neuropathic pain such as; antidepressants, anticonvulsant medications, and antiarrythmic medications. (1)

More severe neuropathic pain may require the addition of narcotics.  The use of prescription pain medication that contain opioids could and does cause addiction, they should only be used after other methods have failed.

Topically applied medications are another option for neuropathic pain. Two types are lidocaine, and capsaicin, that affects the peripheral pain receptors.

A number of studies have indicated that Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a non-invasive intervention could be used for neuropathic pain relief. The therapy involves attaching electrodes to the skin at the site of pain or near associated nerves and then administering a gentle electrical current. Its efficacy for peripheral neuropathies  has not been verified with controlled clinical trials but TENS has been shown in some studies to improve peripheral neuropathy symptoms associated with diabetes. (1)

Other complementary approaches may provide additional support and pain relief. For example, mechanical aids such as hand or foot braces can help reduce pain and physical disability by compensating for muscle weakness or alleviating nerve compression. Orthopedic shoes can improve gait disturbances and help prevent foot injuries in people with a loss of pain sensation. Acupuncture, massage, and herbal medications also are considered in the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Surgery may also be considered for some types of neuropathies but diabetic neuropathy does not respond well to surgery.

A 47-year-old diabetic patient with profound peripheral neuropathy developed a blister on the plantar aspect of her right heel that became recalcitrant to conservative treatment.

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS)

Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) involves implanting a small electrical device next to a peripheral nerve in order to interrupt pain signals. The procedure begins when the patient is given a local anesthetic (numbing agent) at the site of the insertion. The physician places a temporary stimulator wire along the painful nerve. Patients typically undergo a trial for several days to see if they feel better.

a permanent device, consisting of thin wires with electrical leads on their tips, is placed through a needle under the skin. In addition, a battery is placed under the skin through a small incision. Everything is small enough to remain hidden under the skin. The system can be turned on or off by the patient using a remote control. (2)

Pierre Schexneider M. Ed.

(1) retrieved 8/12/2017 https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Peripheral-Neuropathy-Fact-Sheet#3208_6
(2) retrieved 8/12/2017 https://treatingpain.com/pain-management/9322/peripheral-neuropathy

Pierre Schexneider

9 Comments

  1. Very Interesting Pierre. I have not heard of this ailment before, thanks for raising it.
    I assume good diet and exercise will help to avoid this happening in healthy individuals?

  2. Thank you for sharing this information, what an interesting article. A family member has sensory neuropathy, which is not diabetes related, but this certainly contained some relevant information about pain management which will be useful going forward. Thanks again, Karen

    • Hi Steve,
      Thank you for the question, while I don’t have an answer for you at this time since I have not had any experience with migraines, it certainly raises a good question about foods to avoid for any pain relief. I will explore the possibilities and post any information I can find on this or any other options.

    • Steve I have found some foods and drinks that should be avoided by migraine sufferers.
      Alcohol
      Chocolate
      Aged cheeses
      Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
      Aspartame (Nutrasweet)
      Caffeine
      Nuts
      Nitrites, Nitrates
      Hope this helps, I will continue to research and post an article when I have completed it.

  3. Lots of relevant information in this article. Beautifully written . Knew about the immense benefits of exercise and eating right but did not know about the procedure on peripheral nerves and ways to avoid pain.

    • Hi Dini,
      Thanks for the comment I have been trying several of the treatment methods I mentioned and so far the best has been the proper diet. I have cut out most processed foods and also had to detox because we discovered I had some heavy metal toxicity and excess chemicals.

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