Unlike muscle aches, neuropathic pain or nerve pain is usually a lifelong condition. This usually affects the feet. In some cases, it can get better over the years but in most cases, nerve pain stays persistent or worsens with time. Neuropathic pain is caused by nerve damage and commonly triggered by conditions such as diabetes or is a result of the side effects of medication or chemotherapy.
Medication is usually the first line of treatment when it comes to dealing with neuropathic pain. Medication prescribed for such conditions can be categorized as:
- Local anesthetics
These may be prescribed individually or in a combination of two or more types of drugs. additionally, topical creams may also be prescribed for pain relief. Conventional medicine can provide temporary relief from nerve pain. However, in the long run, making a few lifestyle changes can help control nerve pain. Here are a few tips.
- Exercise: Nerve pain may tempt you to sit in one place, but you must force yourself to walk about and exercise a little on a regular basis. Exercising increases blood flow to the extremities of the body and releases endorphins that act as natural painkillers. It can also expand blood vessels and nourish damaged nerves.
- Avoid alcohol: If you suffer from nerve damage, alcohol can aggravate the damage and increase pain. Hence it is best to skip alcohol and all other kinds of stimulants.
- Heat therapy: Soaking your feet in a warm bath or using a heat pack can be very effective when it comes to dealing with nerve pain. The heat temporarily increase blood flow and reduces pressure on the nerves. However, be careful to avoid burning yourself.
- Get a good night's sleep: Nerve pain is usually aggravated at night, thus disturbing your sleep. To get the required 8 hours of sleep a day, try maintaining a schedule of going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday. Drinking a cup of warm milk may also help you fall asleep faster. Ensure that the last cup of coffee you drink is in the afternoon.
- Massage: As with muscle pains; a massage can help ease and reduce nerve pain. Your choice of oils also has a role to play in the effectiveness of the massage. While lavender oil helps people relax and takes their mind of the pain, geranium oil can help directly reduce nerve pain. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a pain management specialist.