Your nonprescription options include more than over-the-counter medicines. Here are some other treatments that you could try for your nerve pain.
Acupuncture. This traditional Chinese approach has proven helpful for many kinds of pain. Researchers speculate that acupuncture might release chemicals that numb pain, or that that it blocks the pain signals sent from the nerves. In studies of acupuncture on nerve pain specifically, results have been mixed. But given that it has few side effects, you could try it to see whether it works for you.
Physical therapy. Nerve damage can lead to muscle weakness and wasting. Working with a physical therapist can help reverse that -- and might help reduce pain in the process.
Massage. While the evidence that massage helps with chronic pain isn't clear, it has few risks. Some people find that it can be especially helpful with painful muscle spasms.
Assistive devices. The nerve damage that causes pain can also result in muscle weakness. You might find that using assistive devices -- like canes or splints -- can make it easier to move around and reduce pain. Depending on your case, ergonomically designed chairs or desks could also bring relief.
Biofeedback. This technique teaches you how to control bodily functions that are normally involuntary -- like heart rate and blood pressure. With practice, you can learn how to relax your muscles and reduce tension, which may help relieve pain.
Hypnosis. There's some evidence that hypnosis can help with various types of chronic pain.
Relaxation. Look into stress management techniques. Or try other approaches -- like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing -- that will help you relax. Not only will these approaches relieve some of the stress caused by life with chronic nerve pain, but they may help with the pain itself.
Talk therapy. This might seem an odd treatment for nerve pain. But life with chronic pain can make people depressed -- and depression can make the feeling of pain more intense. Chronic pain can also lead to conflict with people at home and at work. A therapist can help you grapple with some of these issues and figure out ways to resolve them -- and help you come up with ways to stick to your treatment plan. Ask your doctor for a referral to a psychologist or a social worker.