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Make Changes at Home

Nerve pain treatment isn't only about medication. Make some changes to your lifestyle to help reduce your pain. Try them for a few weeks and see if they help.

Smoking Worsens Pain

Did you know that smoking can directly increase your nerve pain? Smoking constricts the blood vessels that feed nerve cells, reducing the blood supply. This worsens pain. If you need help kicking the habit, ask your doctor about programs that will help you quit.

Reduce Alcohol

Heavy drinking can worsen or even cause nerve damage and pain, especially in the arms and legs. Unfortunately, some people with debilitating nerve pain self-medicate with alcohol. But that only makes the problem worse. Ask your doctor if alcohol is safe for you and -- if so -- how much.

Clothes Can Hurt

Allodynia is a type of nerve pain that makes everyday sensations -- such as the feel of clothing on your body -- terribly painful. Medication is the main treatment, but choosing your wardrobe carefully helps.

Avoid tight or scratchy clothing. Skip tights and panty hose. Look for looser waist bands. If bra straps hurt, try a sports bra. Sacrificing comfort for fashion could increase your pain.

Balance Problems

Nerve damage can dull your sense of touch and weaken your muscles. Together, these two effects may make it hard to keep your balance -- and that could lead to falls. Keep yourself steady with assistive devices such as braces, orthopedic shoes, canes, or walkers. Sessions with a physical therapist or an occupational therapist may help too.

Check for Injuries

Checking yourself for injuries is key. Nerve damage doesn't just cause pain. It may cause numbness that can prevent you from feeling pain when you hurt yourself.

If you cut yourself, treat the wound promptly and get medical attention. Be vigilant about preventing and healing injuries. This can ease your pain.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on February 07, 2014

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