Searching for neuropathy pain relief? These eight treatments may be the answer you are looking for. Read on to learn about your options.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy, also called peripheral neuropathy, occurs as a result of damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord—i.e. the peripheral nerves. It is characterized by weakness, numbness, and pain in the affected parts of the body, often the hands and feet.
Peripheral neuropathy has several causes. Diabetes is one of the most common causes, though it can also arise from traumatic injuries, metabolic issues, infections, genetics, and exposure to toxic materials.
Though treatable, the symptoms can be severe. Patients often report feeling stabbing pain, tingling, or burning in parts of the body affected by the condition. After receiving a diagnosis, patients have several treatment options that fall into two categories: medications and therapies.
Medications for Neuropathy
Medications for neuropathy pain relief can either address the underlying condition or the pain symptoms themselves. Patients have a wide variety of medication options:
- Pain relievers
- Topical treatments
- Anti-seizure medication
For mild pain symptoms, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen usually provide patients with adequate relief. If pain symptoms are more severe, patients should speak to their doctor about prescription painkillers.
Topical treatments like lidocaine and capsaicin cream also provide some measure of relief to those with neuropathy pain. Tricyclic anti-depressants can also interrupt some of the chemical processes in the brain to block pain symptoms. Similarly, anti-seizure medication like gabapentin can help reduce pain levels, though drowsiness and dizziness may occur.
Therapies for Neuropathy Pain Relief
For patients who do not find enough relief from neuropathy symptoms with medication alone, therapy may be necessary. Some of the therapy options available for neuropathy treatment include:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
- Physical therapy
- Plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin
During transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, a therapist places electrodes on the skin and stimulates the nerves by delivering a mild electrical current to the body. Typically, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation requires at least a half-hour of treatment daily for a month.
For patients with mobility issues, physical therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve movements. For people with certain inflammatory conditions, plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin can suppress the immune response to decrease inflammation, which may cause neuropathy pain.
If neuropathy pain stems from pressure on the nerves, surgery can provide neuropathy pain relief.
Get Control of Your Neuropathy Pain
Living with neuropathy can be painful and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to keep you from living a happy, healthy life. You do have options to help you find relief.
If you want to learn more about your treatment options from an experienced neurologist, Doral Neurological Services is here to help. Get in touch with us today so we can set up an appointment to discuss your needs.