Make Changes at Home

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.

Conditions: Nerve pain

Symptoms: Difficulty sleeping, depression, muscle weakness, burning, headache, pain, pain with movement, lower back pain, upper back pain, sharp pain, shocking pain, extreme sensitivity, loss of feeling, numbness, tingling, electric pain, pins and needles

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Treatment

Duration

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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 and treatments that will help you quit.

Prompt: Still smoking?

CTA: Quit to reduce nerve pain.

Conditions: Nerve pain

Symptoms: Difficulty sleeping, depression, muscle weakness, burning, headache, pain, pain with movement, lower back pain, upper back pain, sharp pain, shocking pain, extreme sensitivity, loss of feeling, numbness, tingling, electric pain, pins and needles

Triggers:

Treatments: Quit smoking

Categories: Treatments

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.

Prompt: Drinking often?

CTA: Drink less -- or no -- alcohol.

Conditions: Nerve pain

Symptoms: Difficulty sleeping, depression, muscle weakness, burning, headache, pain, pain with movement, lower back pain, upper back pain, sharp pain, shocking pain, extreme sensitivity, loss of feeling, numbness, tingling, electric pain, pins and needles

Triggers:

Treatments: Reduce alcohol

Categories: Treatment

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 and cotton clothing. If bra straps hurt, try a sports bra. Sacrificing comfort for fashion could increase your pain.

Prompt: Does dressing hurt?

CTA: Treat allodynia.

Conditions: Nerve pain

Symptoms: Burning, headache, pain, pain with movement, sharp pain, shocking pain, extreme sensitivity, loss of feeling, numbness, tingling

Triggers: Clothing against skin

Treatments:

Categories: Treatments

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.

Prompt: Losing balance?

CTA: Learn to steady yourself.

Conditions: Nerve pain

Symptoms: Muscle weakness, loss of feeling, numbness, tingling, lightheadedness,

Triggers: 

Treatments: Assistive devices, brace, orthotics

Categories: Treatments

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 help ease your pain.

Prompt: Discover an injury?

CTA: Treat it promptly.

Conditions: Nerve Pain

Symptoms: Pain, loss of feeling, numbness, tingling, pins and needles

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Treatments

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on November 20, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

American Chronic Pain Association: "Frequently Asked Questions."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Diabetic Neuropathy."

Freynhagen, R. BMJ, August 2009.

Medscape Medical News: "Modest Exercise Helps Chronic Pain Patients."

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: "Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet."

National Pain Foundation: "Neuropathic Pain," "Using Complementary Therapy,"  "Living with Pain – Reaping the Benefits of Exercise."

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.

Natural Standard.

Weill Cornell Medical College: "Neuropathic Pain."

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