There are many different ways that people experience neuropathic pain. Some may feel a sharp stabbing pain in the middle of the night when they get up to get a glass of water from the kitchen. Others might encounter a tingling feeling or a constant pricking as they go about their daily activities, from getting dressed in the morning to completing small activities such as organizing around the house, making a meal, or taking out the trash.
Pain can be localized or manifest as a minor irritation for some who have neuropathy, but everyone experiences it differently. Managing neuropathy pain when at home can be a great way to find relief, make daily tasks more pleasant, and provide you with the right tools to care for yourself while living with neuropathy.
But what exactly is neuropathy and how does it impact the body?
Neuropathy can come about from many different sources such as diabetes, chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS treatment. Neuropathy is a condition that causes a range of health problems that stem from damage to the peripheral nerves. While the nerve damage cannot be reversed, taking certain steps to prepare for and mitigate the pain can be done. If you find yourself struggling with your neuropathy symptoms but are unsure about what you can do about it to manage the pain at home, here are 3 treatments that will help.
Don’t discount the ability to ward off the more painful elements of your neuropathy by walking. For people with peripheral neuropathy, exercising, using their muscles, and raising their breath rate are all excellent ways to stay active and build muscle strength.
Daily movement is beneficial for your overall health and is always recommended to live a healthy lifestyle. However, if your neuropathy impacts your feet or your lower legs, walking or light aerobic activities will greatly benefit your condition. Walking improves blood flow to the legs and feet, in addition to strengthening and toning your muscles, all while improving blood circulation.
Daily movement and walking is a great way to mitigate further tingling, burning, or numbness that may develop if you have neuropathy due to diabetes or other conditions.
Vitamin deficiency is one of the contributing factors to neuropathy suffering. Nutritional supplements, along with a healthy and balanced diet, are a great way to regulate the body and reduce neuropathic pain. When we are not consuming enough nutrients and not absorbing them efficiently, our bodies will lack the foundational nutrients that it needs to perform various tasks, such as maintaining the nervous system, healing the body, and working effectively.
To combat the lack of vitamins and nutrients your body receives on a daily basis, the following supplements may help to support your body against neuropathic pain:
Vitamin B-12: Any type of numbness, prickling, or tingling sensations that are typically sparked due to your nerve endings will benefit from a vitamin that supports the nervous system. Using the more potent form of Vitamin B-12, known as Methylcobalamin, the body can absorb this vitamin into the bloodstream to improve reflexes, lessen pain, pricking or tingling sensations, and provide overall nerve health. This vitamin also benefits the circulatory and immune systems.
Vitamin D: Many patients with neuropathy have vitamin D deficiencies if they are diabetic or suffering from peripheral neuropathy. Typically people gain vitamin D nutrients from spending time in the sun, but depending on lifestyle, patients may have a varying opportunity to naturally get some rays. Instead, Vitamin D supplements may help improve the symptoms of those afflicted with diabetic neuropathy and help remedy the nutritional deficit in their diet.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Ingredients found in foods such as fatty fish, algae, and high-fat fruit and vegetables, such as avocado, those deficient in omega-3’s can also take the supplement form. For patients with neuropathy, working this supplement into a daily regimen can help as an anti-inflammatory and decrease burning and numbness associated with pain.
Make sure to consult with your doctor before adding any vitamins or supplements to your diet.
Neuropathy in the feet is a common area to be affected for patients who are impacted by diabetic-induced neuropathy. These symptoms commonly affect the extremities of the body, especially tingling, loss of balance when walking, or burning sensations in the feet.
Taking good care of your feet as someone who deals with neuropathy is the best way to prevent further nerve damage and muscle weakness from developing.
Clean and manicure your feet every day. Keep your toenails short and manicured to avoid ingrown nails. After cleaning your feet, dry them with a soft towel, check for swelling, redness, or for signs of tear. If you find anything unusual on your toes or feet, make sure to report back to your physician or nurse. Foot moisturizer is also recommended to care for the skin on your feet.
Wear the right footwear. Make sure that you are not going barefoot outside, or walking barefoot over hard surfaces. Support your heel, keep your feet inappropriate shoes, and avoid wearing ill-fitted socks or shoes to maintain good circulation.
Managing neuropathy takes a cyclical approach and cannot be solved with one form of treatment. Doing what you can at home to promote the best health including light exercise, utilizing the right supplements to aid in your nutrition, and maintaining your feet along with checking in with experts will support the best results.
It’s important to enlist healthcare professionals who know how to treat neuropathy and your individual goals. At Integrated Pain Management, we design a program of wellness that fits your individual needs and treats your specific condition. Our dedicated healthcare professionals strive to create the most comfortable environment for their patients by working with them to curate an integrated pain management plan, fully customized to you.
Your pain management program may include one or more of the conditions listed to the right. Click to learn more about each. If you have any questions, please contact our team to learn more, and to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.