Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Overview

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Change Language

Nerve Pain: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

About Symptoms Treatment Eligibility Ineligibility Side Effects Post-treatment Guidelines Recovery Price Results Diet Alternatives

What is the treatment?

The countless nerves in our body send signals to the brain including the signal for pain. Pain has a very important function of protecting our body against external damage. But this signaling does not work properly in people with nerve pain. They might get the sensation of pain but without understanding its cause. Nerve pain, which is also known as peripheral neuropathy or peripheral neuritis, usually occurs due to some physical damage or disease.

Cancer and other tumors can cause neuropathic pain as the tumors tend to press on the surrounding nerves. Chemotherapy drugs can also cause nerve pain as they can damage the nerves. One of the first symptoms of a person suffering from HIV is nerve pain in the hands and feet. A diabetic person is prone to nerve pain as high levels of glucose in blood can damage the nerves. A person can suffer from severe nerve pain if he/she suffers from postherpetic neuralgia. Nerves can also get severed, compressed or crushed due to some physical injury and this may cause nerve pain.

The treatment for nerve pain depends on the age of the patient, underlying cause, costs and potential side effects. A person will have to undertake treatment for the underlying disease in such cases. However the different treatments options for nerve pain include use of topical treatments, anticonvulsants, anti-depressants, pain killers, electrical stimulation and, in some cases, surgery.

What does Nerve Pain feel like?

Nerve Pain referred to as neuralgia, is a very specific type of pain that is associated with a feeling of stabbing, shooting, or burning sensation. The pain may resemble an electric shock i.e sharp and sudden. It makes the individual over-sensitive to certain stimuli such as cold or touch and is accompanied by the feeling of pain. It worsens during nighttime.

What is the difference between muscle pain and Nerve Pain?

Muscle pain is an aching pain that usually feels like stiffness in the muscles. It is a localized type of pain and is aggravated only by the use of particular muscles. On the other hand, Nerve Pain is felt as a stabbing, crushing, or burning pain that also induces numbness and tingling sensations. It may be continuous or intermittent. The pain can be felt in the nerves as well as the skin above them.

How is the treatment done?

The treatment for nerve pain involves the use of anticonvulsants and tricyclic anti-depressants such as Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline and Desipramine. There are also other prescribed anti-depressants such as Venlafaxine and bupropion which are very effective for some people. Doctors may also prescribe Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) like Paroxetine and Citalopram. Sometimes, a person may also be given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aleve or Motrin to deal with nerve pain.

Sometimes topical treatments like creams, gels, lotions and patches help to deal with nerve pain. A doctor can recommend anticonvulsants together with anti-depressants to a patient suffering from nerve pain. Tricyclic antidepressants can help to deal with nerve pain caused due to diabetes, HIV or cancer chemotherapy. People suffering from severe nerve pain or from nerve pain due to cancer generally opt for opioid painkillers. Furthermore, some treatments like transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) use electrical impulses to block the pain signals sent by the damaged nerves.

When all other treatments fail, a doctor may recommend anesthetic injections to ease the pain. The doctor may also recommend surgery. Sometimes alternative therapy like meditation, acupuncture and massaging the affected nerve can produce favourable results. Making some changes in lifestyle also help to deal with nerve pain.

Does Nerve Pain go away?

Nerve Pain or neuralgia usually go away spontaneously in case it is mild. It need not be treated in such cases and the pain sometimes gets over while it subsides the next moment. On the other hand, neuralgia may be chronic in some cases resulting in long and severe pain. It needs to be treated under a specialist’s supervision.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person suffering from nerve pain can experience symptoms of pain, a pin-and –needle sensation, numbness and weakness. A person may feel a burning or tingling and sharp sensation while the main areas where a person may experience pain are back, hands, thigh, foot and face. A person may also experience poor balance in his/her entire body and have tingling fingers of feet and slow reflexes. A person experiencing these symptoms is eligible for treatment. Nerve pain can affect a person badly and without any apparent reason. In such cases, a person can seek treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person suffering from pain due to cuts, bruises and or some injury is not eligible for treatment of nerve pain. A person suffering from some chronic disease or some mental ailment should consult a doctor before taking any medications for treating nerve pain.

Are there any side effects?

The side-effects associated with the use of tricyclic antidepressants are blurred vision, sweating, dry mouth, restlessness, drowsiness, dizziness and racing heartbeat. The anticonvulsants used to treat nerve pain can cause drowsiness, dizziness, swelling in the legs and feet and confusion. The possible side-effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be dry mouth, drowsiness, nausea, nervousness, agitation, diarrhea and even sexual problems like reduced sexual appetite. Anesthetic injections can cause swelling, bruising, itching or redness in the area where the injections have been administered. They may also cause mild dizziness and nausea.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

A doctor will generally advice a patient to take rest and to adopt a healthy diet so that he/she can keep nerve pain at bay. Light exercises may also be recommended to ease the pain. A person will also have to regularly monitor his/her blood sugar levels as high blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage. A person should incorporate foods rich in Vitamin B12 and anti-oxidants as they help to build up nerves.

How long does it take to recover?

A person suffering from nerve pain due to nerve damage will take a lot of time to recover. Some damaged nerves can be surgically repaired and a person will take about 3-6 months to recover from that. However, in case of nerve pain due to not so serious a cause, a person can recover within a week or two with the help of medications. However, in some cases, the nerve damage can be irreversible and a person can suffer for his/her lifetime.

Is heat good for Nerve Pain?

Application of heat proves to be effective in getting relief from the pain. Based on the fact of increasing blood flow to the affected area ensures enough oxygen as well as nutrients reaching that particular region, thereby easing the relaxation of the rigid muscles due to the Nerve Pain.

How long does Nerve Pain last?

The duration of the recovery in case of Nerve Pain basically depends upon the cause and severity of the problem. It is 6 to 12 weeks in case the particular nerve has undergone trauma or bruising while it takes about 4 weeks when it is cut. Sensory nerves take up to months or years to recover from injury while Motor nerves need 12 to 18 months to be healed.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of treatment for nerve pain varies greatly depending on the diagnosis, methods of treatment and the type of interventions used. If you have a minor neuropathic pain that can be treated with drugs, it may cost between Rs 5000 and Rs 20000. However, for surgical and related procedures, a person may have to pay 6-15 lakhs depending on the hospital and the city.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Nerve pain generally occurs to some disease or physical damage. Nerve pain causes a person to get the sensation of pain without understanding the cause. It is a complex scenario and the results depend on the condition and also the treatment that is given to the patient. When nerve pain occurs due to conditions like HIV or diabetes, a person may have to deal with the disease first. The person will recover completely only after he/she has successfully dealt with the disease. A person suffering from nerve pain due to nerve damage has a hard time recovering completely.

What foods trigger Nerve Pain?

Nerve Pain has a proven relationship with the diet. The food items that induce Nerve Pain include the sources containing excess amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, trans fats, and sodium nitrates as well as foods having a high glycemic index and artificial sweeteners, along with alcohol. Examples of these are corn, seed oils like sunflower seed oil, canola, and margarine, processed meats, honey or agave, aspartame, etc.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Nerve pain due to diabetes can be managed by following a healthy diet, managing the blood glucose levels, exercising lightly and also by quitting smoking and drinking. A person suffering from nerve pain in his/her foot can treat it by checking the feet regularly, going to a podiatrist and wearing comfortable shoes. The easiest and least expensive home treatment for nerve pain is a warm bath.

What helps Nerve Pain naturally?

Treatment for Nerve Pain usually depends upon the cause. Pain reduction is the main goal of the treatment. Some of the natural ways by which it can be managed to be treated are such as:

  • Intake of vitamins, such as vitamin B and vitamin D.
  • Consumption of cayenne pepper as a part of the diet.
  • Quitting habits such as smoking.
  • Taking a warm bath.
  • Lifestyle changes such as physical activity, exercises, and meditation.
  • Application of acupuncture technique.
  • Use of essential oils such as chamomile and Roman lavender.
Summary: Nerve Pain referred to as neuralgia, is a very specific type of pain that is associated with a feeling of stabbing, shooting, or burning sensation. It is accompanied by pain which usually worsens at night. Control and management of the condition involve self-care techniques and home remedies such as intake of vitamins, quitting habits such as smoking, taking a warm bath, and lifestyle changes such as physical activity, exercises, and meditation.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 22 years old, female, and i've knee, neck, backbone, waist pain for last 1 month. I have used pain relief ointment like volini, move for couple of days. And I also used arnica 30. But haven't got any relief. What should I do now? Please suggest homeopathy remedy to me. Thanks in advance.

DNB (Orthopedics), MNAMS (Orthopedic Surgery), MBBS
Orthopedic Doctor, Mumbai
Hi, before arriving at any conclusions I need more information with regards to your symptoms. Is there any morning/rest stiffness in the back and joints? Whether finger joints also stiff and painful? Do you have itching/redness in the eyes or pain...

Can I take osteogap-gm for joint pains. I am a sugar patient on following medicines tripride and torglip. Is it safe to have this medicine with these two?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedic Doctor, Delhi
You can take this medicine. But you need more meds for joint pain. Are you having any pain killer and doing physiotherapy?

Its found in mri that my l3 -l4 and l5-s1 disc have mid posterior bulging. Taking medicine like Mr. table, b-29 tab, gabaneuron tab and doing neck flexion exercise 10 rep thrice since last two months. But still can not stand for more than 10 minutes and while walking for 15 min it starts back pain and leg pain. Please guide treatment and lifestyle to be adopted. Thanks.

MBBS,MD(medicine), sce rheumatology
Rheumatologist, Indore
Hello, if you have already had an mri done and it doesn't show much of a problem other than l3 l4 and l5 -s1 disc bulge please be assured that its most likely lifestyle related. Although, confirmed diagnosis can only be made on direct examination....
1 person found this helpful

Popular Health Tips

Pregnancy & Yoga - Is It Really Effective?

MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, PGD Ultrasonography
Gynaecologist, Ghaziabad
Pregnancy & Yoga - Is It Really Effective?
Yoga is a group of mental, spiritual, and physical disciplines or practices which initiated in ancient India. Yoga uses exercise, meditation, body positions (called postures), and breathing techniques. It helps in improving health and focuses on p...
4559 people found this helpful

Lumbar Disc Pain - Types & Treatment Of It!

Fellow Adult Knee Reconstruction and Sports Injuries, Fellowship in Interventional Pain Practice, MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedic Doctor, Gurgaon
Lumbar Disc Pain - Types & Treatment Of It!
Lumbar Disc Pain or Lower back pain is one of the most common problems that people experience at some point in their lives. The main function of the lumbar region comprises structural support, protection of certain tissues, and facilitates the mov...
2861 people found this helpful

Know More About Hip Arthroscopic Surgery!

MBBS, Diploma in Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic Doctor, Nagpur
Know More About Hip Arthroscopic Surgery!
Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which doctors view the joint problem without making any cuts through the skin and other soft tissues. Hip Arthroscopy is performed to treat several hip problems. In Hip Arthroscopy, the...
4133 people found this helpful

Ankle Joint Pain - Know The Causes & Treatment!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - Orthopaedics, Fellowship& Shoulder & Elbow Surgery, Fellowship In Sports Orthopaedics, Arthroscopy And Shoulder Surgery
Orthopedic Doctor, Surat
Ankle Joint Pain - Know The Causes & Treatment!
Pain in ankle joints can be attributed to different sources. If there is a sudden event resulting in acute pain, it is more likely to be a sprain. If it is a chronic pain that is progressing over time, it is very likely to be due to various causes...
4010 people found this helpful

Whom Should You See For Your Back Pain?

MBBS, D - Ortho, DNB - Orthopaedic Surgery, MNAMS, Fellowship Advanced Spine Surgery, Fellowship Disc Replacement Surgery, Visiting Spine Fellowship, Visiting Fellowship Spine Deformity Correction, Felloship Minimal Inavsive Spine Surgery
Orthopedic Doctor, Jaipur
Whom Should You See For Your Back Pain?
Back pain is a very common and largely uncomfortable symptom of daily life. It affects a lot of people, and the cause can vary from neurological to orthopaedic. The related problems that back pain can cause include pain along your spine extending ...
2617 people found this helpful
Content Details
Written By
MBBS,MS - General Surgery,MCh - Neuro Surgery
Neurology
Play video
Disc Related Problems
I am Dr Ramandeep S. Dang, Neurosurgeon, Dr Dang's Brain & Spine Clinic, Delhi. I am trained in the art of neurosurgery at King George's Medical University, Lucknow. Disc problems, our spine is made up of multiple bones called vertebrae. In betwee...
Play video
Know More About Lower Back & Neck Pain
Hi friends, My name is Dr. Himanshu Gupta. I am orthopedic spine specialist based out of Gurgaon. Today, I will be talking about lower back and neck pain, this is the most common ailment which brings patients to the orthopedic OPD. Why has there b...
Play video
Osteoarthritis - Know The Symptoms Of It!
Hello, I am Dr. Shivraj Jadhav, Orthopedist. Today I will talk about osteoarthritis. It is the disease of the joint and it is characterized by inflammation, pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion. There are 2 varieties of primary and seconda...
Play video
Prostate Cancer
Hi All, I am dr. Shrikant M.Badwe. I am urologist practicing for the last 38 years. Let me tell you something about prostate cancer, prostate cancer is the second leading cancer all over the world and in the large metropolitan cities in India like...
Play video
Low Back Pain In Females
Namaskar, I am Dr. Padmaja, Senior Gynecologist, Noida. Aaj hum log baat karenge ek bohot common se topic ke baare me: low back ache. Jisko ki hum log chronic lumbar pain ya lumbago bhi bolte hain. Low back ache kya hota hai, hamari kamar ka neech...
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice