Many patients describe neuropathic pain as a burning or shooting sensation. Others talk about pins-and-needle feelings, numbness, or tingling. While a lucky few report the condition going away on its own, more experience pain coming and going. And many deal with chronic discomfort that worsens over time.
If the underlying reasons for this condition aren’t addressed, it can prove difficult to slow, let alone thwart. In the most severe cases, patients report severe and unrelenting pain. Caused by changes in nerve function and nerve damage, neuropathy occurs when cells misfire, leading to abnormal sensations.
Neuropathy pain management may offer a light at the end of the tunnel for patients dealing with fluctuating or chronic discomfort. Find out more about treatment options that can help your patients take back their lives.
Diagnosing Neuropathic Pain
Diagnosing peripheral neuropathy is a process that requires patience and attention to detail. It involves an interview and physical exam. During the process, patients must answer various questions, eliciting descriptions of the feelings they’re having. Individuals should explain when the pain occurs and whether they can associate any triggers with the condition’s onset. Here are some helpful resources for evaluation.
For example, many people report specific food triggers that impact their condition. Patients should also discuss risk factors (e.g., diabetes, alcoholism, chemotherapy) associated with neuropathic pain. Finally, nerve and blood tests may provide additional information about the condition.
Developing a Neuropathic Pain Management Protocol
Physicians often rely on antidepressant and anticonvulsant drugs as the first line of treatment against neuropathy. Some may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These may include Motrin, Aleve, or a more potent painkiller. But patients should understand that standard pain treatments aren’t be-all, end-alls when it comes to peripheral neuropathy.
Patients should always discuss the pros and cons of various medicines with their physicians before filling a prescription. They should also realize that in some cases, these therapeutic approaches can make the condition worse. For these reasons, a growing number of practitioners are offering personalized, holistic therapeutic strategies.
Other Approaches to Addressing Neuropathy
For individuals with underlying conditions that contribute to neuropathy, such as diabetes, treating the underlying disease is vital. By effectively managing conditions such as diabetes, you can thwart future nerve damage. Other interventions for peripheral neuropathy may include relaxation therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy.
When coupled with high-quality nitric oxide supplementation and photobiomodulation, many people report these neuropathy pain management approaches as effective. In other words, a multidisciplinary strategy may offer the most significant relief. Learn more about managing neuropathy with Neurolight Treatment.