Step 2: Treat Your Nerve Pain These days, you have many options to soothe diabetic nerve pain, depending on your symptoms and their severity.
Ask about self-care.
Warm baths and frequent walks, for some people, can relieve mild symptoms of peripheral nerve pain. Ask your doctor if baths and walks are safe for you, since they could interfere with healing if you have cuts or sores in your feet. Wear shoes that fit well and allow your toes to move.
Ask about pain medications.
Pain can be a tricky symptom to control, so it may take time to find the right treatment for you. Cymbalta and Lyrica are the only FDA-approved medications for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy; however, your doctor might suggest other treatments that can be effective for pain control:
- Creams or gels made from lidocaine, a topical anesthetic, or from capsaicin, made from crushed chili peppers.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen.
- Prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Antidepressants such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, or duloxetine.
- Antiseizure medications such as Dilantin, Tegretol, gabapentin, or pregabalin
- Or other medications block or reduce the release of chemicals that cause pain to be transmitted.
Try other therapies.
Acupuncture works to treat nerve pain for some people, says Trence, as does anodyne therapy, a treatment that uses infrared light to soothe pain, usually done in a physical therapy office.
"[Vitamin] B12 actually can work," says Trence. "The problem is that if you take too much of it, it can cause its own neuropathies."
Surgical decompression of multiple peripheral nerves (called the Dellon procedure) is an alternative method for treating diabetic neuropathy.
Step 3: Try to Sidetrack More Damage
Once your nerve pain is under control, there are steps you can take to try to delay further damage to your nerves.
- Keep close daily control of your glucose, and avoid big swings in blood sugar.
- Keep exercising regularly and eating right.
- Lose weight if you need to, since excess weight puts more pressure on painful feet.
- Take special care of your feet - a sore spot for many people, since nerve damage is so common in the feet.