What Is Nerve Pain and How To Treat It?
15 Jan 2016
Nerve pain may be a symptom of various conditions including diabetes, cancer, HIV & shingles. It is quite frustrating for some and for others it is life-changing and devastating. It feels like pinpricks, burning or sudden electric shocks and can disrupt your life both at work as well as at home. It can also limit your ability of getting around and has the capacity of grinding you down over time. Studies have somewhat shown that people who suffer from nerve pain have higher rates of anxiety, sleep problems & depression as well. Symptoms of nerve damage may vary from one person to the other.
How does nerve pain occur?
Nerve pain is basically caused by injury or damage to the nerves, brain or spinal cord. There are a number of nerves in the body, which make up the nervous system. They are like series of electrical wires that connect the brain to the rest of the body. They perform a very essential function. What they do is communicate messages that help protecting the body from any injury.
When nerve pain occurs, nerves stop to work properly and start to send various signals to brain. The kind of pain is usually described as shooting, burning, electric shock and stabbing kind of pain. Nervous system becomes very sensitive & starts to send wrong signals to the brain during nerve pain. Situations which don't usually cause pain may be felt in body as nerve pain.
Treating Nerve Pain
- There are a few creams, gels and lotions that can ease the nerve pain.
- Anticonvulsants are basically drugs that were developed for treating epilepsy but a few one of them can also help in controlling nerve pain. For boosting their effects, they are used with antidepressants quite often.
- There are some antidepressants, which can help you deal with nerve pain. Using them with antoconvulsants have however shown better results than using them alone.
- Opiod painkillers are used by people suffering from nerve pain due to cancer. However, nerve pain that's caused due to other reasons can often be treated with pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants or anticonvulsants.
- In some cases, doctors recommend surgery or anaesthetic injections for tackling nerve pain.
- Many people have found alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage and medication to be helpful in relieving the nerve pain.
- Although lifestyle changes will not cure nerve pain, if you change some of your habits, you will be able to feel better. Eating healthy diet, exercising more, quitting smoking and practising relaxation techniques can be of great help.