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Home Remedies for Nerve Pain

Strategies for Easing Nerve Pain continued...

Skip happy hour. Heavy alcohol use is toxic to nerves and can worsen nerve pain. There's no magic number for how many alcoholic beverages you can have and still avoid nerve pain, but some experts advise four drinks or less per week. 

Sleep on it. Nerve pain can worsen at night, disrupting sleep and making it more difficult to cope with pain. Help break the cycle with good sleep habits. Limit afternoon caffeine intake, keep a consistent bedtime that allows for eight hours of sleep, and reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex.

Burn it out. Capsaicin cream, made from hot chili peppers, causes an uncomfortable burning sensation when initially applied. Some individuals find the burning sensation to be intolerable, especially when they are already suffering from a painful condition. But those who stick with it for weeks often report improvement in nerve pain (and less burning over time). 

Numb it up. The anesthetic lidocaine -- in gel, ointment, or patches -- is available in prescription and over-the-counter preparations. The relief from lidocaine is satisfying, although temporary.

Rub it out. Some studies have shown that applying botanical oils such as geranium oil can reduce the pain of postherpetic neuralgia. Other oils, such as lavender oil, have been shown to help relax people, which may also help take the mind off nerve pain. 

Meditate on it. Techniques such as guided imagery, meditation, biofeedback, and hypnosis help some people with nerve pain live better. Finding the right professional at a reasonable price can be challenging. Do your homework and ask for a referral from your doctor or someone whose advice you trust.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on February 18, 2014

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