Neuropathic pain is a chronic condition resulting from a disease, injury or infection. In most cases, it is not caused by one single factor. Generally, the pain manifests after some illness or injury. For instance, if you drop something heavy on your foot, your nervous system will immediately send signals of pain to the brain. However, with neuropathic pain, no specific injury or event causes the pain. Instead, the body sends unprompted pain signals to the brain. Neuropathic pain is often categorized by a burning or shooting sensation, and this pain can be intermittent or persistent. Medications for neuropathic pain can give you some relief.
Symptoms of Neuropathic Pain
While each person may experience different indications, there are a few symptoms that are usually common for all. The ones seen on a general note are as follows:
- Shooting, stabbing, or burning pain
- Sharp tingling and numbness
- Unprompted pain that triggers on its own
- Evoked pain caused by events that are generally not at all painful such as clapping your hands, being in cold temperatures, etc.
- Unpleasant or nauseous feeling
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Loss of sensation
Treatment for Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is often a debilitating and serious condition. People suffering from it regularly need to consult expert medical practitioners and take prescribed neuropathy medications on the basis of their specific symptoms.
Alternatively, there are also some non-prescription treatments that may help to relieve the symptoms of neuropathic pain. If the pain is mild, these over-the-counters medicines will generally prove to be helpful.
Over-the-counter Medications for Neuropathic Pain
- Topical painkillers
This is one of the most effective medications for neuropathic pain. Topical painkillers are available in the form of ointments and creams that can be precisely applied over the affected area for instant relief. Most of these painkillers contain Capsaicin, a natural ingredient derived from chili peppers that works as an excellent painkiller. Apart from this, these medicines contain local anesthetic such as botanical oils that help in providing quick relief. Generally, topical medications work well if the pain is chronic and localized.
- Pain-killing Medicines
This is another way of treating neuropathic pain. There are a plenty of over-the-counter painkillers available that can be easily bought from your nearest pharmacy. These medicines are generally helpful for treating mild cases of pain as they are not too strong. However, if you experience severe pain, then you should consult your doctor. Also, it is not recommended to take these pain-killing medications for more than 10 days as the body sometimes begins to get addicted to them. If the pain persists even after regular intake, it may be a sign that you need a different line of treatment.
- Supplements and Vitamins
In a few cases, it is seen that neuropathic pain is a result of deficiency of vitamin B12. In such cases, your doctor can prescribe vitamin B12 injections or supplements to overcome the deficiency. Also, in cases where the pain is caused by diabetes, certain vitamins such as acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid or gamma linolenic acid can help to relieve the symptoms.
Non-Prescription Treatments for Neuropathic Pain
If you are specifically looking for non-prescription options for treating your pain, here are some other options you can try.
It is believed that acupuncture releases chemicals that numb pain as well as blocks the pain signals sent from the nerves. This can be helpful in relieving the pain symptoms.
- Physical Therapy
Physical therapy and suitable exercise under the guidance of an able physician can help to reduce pain.
Massage can prove to be helpful, especially in case of muscle spasms.
- Assistive Devices
The damage caused to the nerve sometimes results in the weakening of the muscles. With the help of assistive devices such as splints or canes, it becomes easy to move around and at the same time, reduce pain.
Relaxation strategies such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, etc. can help to relax the nerves and ease the pain. These stress management techniques are sometimes quite helpful in treating cases of chronic pain.
- Eat a balanced diet
Even though this alone cannot help in treating neuropathic pain, combining effective treatment along with a well-balanced diet, helps to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs. Reducing the amount of alcohol consumption is also generally recommended.
Apart from medications for neuropathic pain, all these simple techniques can prove to be effective for treating the condition.
But in case nothing seems to be working and you are in constant pain, don’t think twice. Seek professional help from an expert in neuropathy. This will help you in devising a treatment plan that is most suitable for your needs.