Natural Ways to Help Relieve Nerve Pain
Dealing with pain is part of life. Occasional headaches, cramps, or muscle aches are the most frequent types of pain we face.
Since these kinds of pain are so common, modern medicine has developed very convenient, easy-to-access, and widely-known pain relief approaches.
But people who deal with less common pain types may feel left behind.
Among less known pain types, nerve pain is more common than we think—but it’s not frequent enough in peoples’ lives that there are easy ways to treat it.
Look deeper, however, and there are some options: and they’re found in the natural world.
THE SCIENCE OF NERVE PAIN: WHY IT MIGHT HAPPEN
How is nerve pain different from other types of pain?
Nerve pain (also called neuropathic pain) is caused by damage to the nerves. Compared to other types of pain, which are most often caused by tissue damage (which can occur in muscle pain, inflammation, and other pain types), this makes the nature of it a whole different animal.
For one, treatments that help tissue pain may not help nerve pain at all.
They may help with tissue damage that exacerbates nerve pain, but not the actual source of pain found deep in the nerves and neurons.
WHAT EXACTLY CAUSES NERVE PAIN?
Nerve pain is different from other types of pain, that much is established. But how does one experience or get nerve pain in the first place?
Nerve pain is transitory in occasional mild burns or other injuries.
Otherwise, nerve pain may be a frustrating and difficult symptom of a more serious disorder. Learning how to manage that stubborn pain can be hard, and sometimes even life-altering.
Major conditions that may involve or cause nerve pain include diabetes and even cancer or HIV. Immune-related and autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or fibromyalgia may create nerve pain as well.
THE BEST ALL-NATURAL METHODS FOR NERVE PAIN RELIEF
Nerve pain can be more serious and relentless than other pain types. It can be chronic (as in back pain or sciatica) or acute (as in nerve injuries or conditions).
What’s worse, ways to treat it in modern medicine are limited, less effective, and in some cases addictive or full of side effects.
For this reason, natural and lifestyle remedies or approaches provide more powerful and appealing avenues for long-term pain relief in those who are experiencing it.
Instead of the mainstream’s limited choices, turn to the following natural approaches for support—which science shows may help.
One all-natural approach to ameliorating nerve pain may be incredibly simple: getting out there and exercising.
Before writing off exercise as a tired cliché remedy to everything, there are quite a few studies on it to consider.
In one study, treadmill exercise helped relieve neuropathic pain caused by nerve injury in test subjects with nerve pain and damage. Beyond this study alone, there are legions of similar studies showing this to be the case.
Researchers propose that exercise helps release the body’s endorphins, which are in effect nature’s painkillers. Want to relieve nerve pain? The best natural way may be to get moving.
CONTROL BLOOD SUGARS
Especially for diabetics (type 1 or 2), nerve pain can be a difficult and frustrating reality.
One of the best ways to relieve it may be to better take care of diabetes long-term.
Studies also support diet and glucose control to reduce nerve pain caused by the condition. Even for those who don’t have diabetes yet but are worried about getting it, controlling blood sugars can reduce the risk of nerve pain down the road.
EAT HEALTHY AND RIGHT
Though research has yet to support diet as an official approach, studies reveal it’s an important piece of the puzzle to include nevertheless.
Studies also show certain diets—most notably high-fat, medium-protein, and low-carb diets—may be helpful for managing neuropathic pain.
Diets that support low blood sugar should be an essential part of helping keep nerve pain low or completely at bay. Eating plenty of fiber and resistant starches help with this: they assist the body’s reduction of blood sugar spikes.
Of course, eating plenty of nutrient-dense foods also ensures nervous and overall health stay in tip-top shape.
AVOID ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES
Besides diet as far as food goes, the other substances we may enjoy—at the detriment to ourselves—can also contribute to worsened nerve pain, especially in people who are already suffering from it.
This especially goes for alcohol and cigarettes.
Studies and simple medical knowledge alike hold that excessive consumption of alcohol—and not just in diabetics—can lead to or induce nerve pain in neuropathy disorders.
Further, doctors and medical professionals recommend against smoking cigarettes, which are shown to worsen nerve pain or increase it in those experiencing it. As such, avoiding the damages of or quitting smoking is wise.
HEAT THERAPY: STEAMS, BATHS, AND SAUNAS
Doctors and other practitioners alike will recommend heat as a way to temporarily relieve nerve pain.
It won’t help serious pain or permanently get rid of it, but research does show it can be fast relief in a pinch.
Studies show very good evidence-based benefits from applications like hot compresses, baths, steams, showers, and even sauna treatments. Since they increase circulation, they may reduce inflammation caused by nerve pain.
However, it was shown that they didn’t help everyone with neuropathic pain. More studies are needed to explore the extent of how effective heat therapy is on severe nerve pain.
GET PLENTY OF HIGH-QUALITY SLEEP
It may not seem obvious, but both the quantity and quality of sleep we get can have huge impacts on pain levels.
In one study, sleep deprivation was shown to worsen overall pain scores in different pain-related conditions.
It can be hard to tell whether pain causes sleep disturbances or if it’s the other way around, even with nerve pain. However, this recent study seems to show poor sleep can, in fact, fuel worse pain—including nerve pain—in a vicious cycle.
For this reason, make sure to put getting high-quality sleep at the top of the list.
TRY A HOT CHILI PEPPER CREAM (REALLY)
Love spicy foods? Try hot chili pepper cream—on one’s skin, not eaten of course.
Though not actually called chili pepper cream, it does contain pepper compounds shown to relieve nerve pain.
Studies like this one show that the use of these creams containing capsaicin, the compound in hot peppers that makes them spicy, may help manage nerve pain if used correctly.
The way they work, however, may discourage some from using them.
They give a burning sensation on the skin long before they start to show their long-term benefits. But otherwise, they’re completely natural, effective, and side-effect free.
OR TRY OTHER OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN-RELIEVERS
Intimidated by capsaicin creams? There are plenty of over-the-counter options for people who want to avoid the heat.
A wide variety of numbing and other types of creams or ointments are available, ranging from natural to less so.
Some types of creams include nerve blockers, lidocaine creams, baclofen creams, and many others that a doctor may prescribe. Beyond creams, the easily accessible over-the-counter pain medications like Aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen can help, though how much they help is limited.
Though less natural, these may help people avoid routes of pharmaceuticals, opiates, and other medicines with addiction dangers or unwanted side effects.
EXPLORE MASSAGE AND ACUPUNCTURE
For some, natural therapies of massage and acupuncture can come in handy—and it’s not just based on conjecture, claims, or even just evidence-based use.
In fact, one study showed acupuncture and massage even helped subjects dealing with nerve pain due to spinal cord injury.
Even better, massage and acupuncture helped subjects who used many interventions to find nerve pain relief, but in whom many of them didn’t work.
For those dealing with nerve pain—and especially in those for whom mainstream and other treatments didn’t work—seeing a massage therapist or acupuncturist could provide relief where all else has failed.
APPLY TOPICAL ESSENTIAL OILS
Though there aren’t many studies fully exploring them yet, essential oils for topical nerve pain treatment are certainly more than a last-ditch effort.
One major review even targeted them as viable natural approaches for researchers to explore, officially deeming them effective remedies.
Many essential oils have well-known analgesic or pain-relieving benefits, known by both natural practitioners and doctors according to research. Some of these include peppermint, lavender, and other herbs.
The best thing about them? They’re completely natural and easy for anyone to buy and access. To use them correctly, they must be diluted with water and applied as a compress.
MEDITATION, HYPNOSIS, AND BIOFEEDBACK MAY HELP
To the skeptical, it may seem an unlikely route to go.
Shockingly, however, even studies show that approaches like hypnosis and biofeedback may work for pain issues that can be stubborn and unwilling to recede—and especially with nerve pain.
One study even showed that hypnosis was helpful for nerve pain management in subjects with HIV.
If science has ever shown that approaches in the realm of meditation or hypnosis could help anything, nerve pain has been one of the most promising. Even self-guided meditation was shown to help benefit nerve pain in MS according to a 2011 study.
TAKE NEURO-REGENERATIVE AND NEURO-RESTORATIVE HERBS AND MUSHROOMS
What’s more promising than natural methods like essential oils, massage, or even capsaicin creams and hypnosis? The world of natural healing mushroom and herbal supplements.
Certain herbs and mushrooms are backed by strong science to help support, protect, and even regenerate new nerves and neurons in the face of nerve damage.
As such, this is one of the best ways to relieve nerve pain nutrition-wise and holistically over the long-term: by healing neurons themselves.
After all, herbs and mushrooms (like lion’s mane, epimedium, others) are subjects of much research in their neuro-regenerative and neuro-protective abilities.
As completely natural daily supplements, they go a step beyond good nutrition and lifestyle habits to ensure nerve pain—no matter its source—stays at a minimum in the long run.
FIND THE BEST BOTANICAL HOLISTIC CARE FOR NERVE PAIN
Our carefully hand-crafted Neuro Regen formula includes the best-researched herbs and mushrooms. Each shows amazing potential for nerve pain management, plus general nerve and neuron support overall.
- Epimedium – Also called horny goat weed, shows support of the nervous system in studies
- Lion’s Mane – Healing mushroom shown by research to help re-grow and protect neurons
- Mucuna pruriens – Also called velvet bean, rich in plant-based neurotransmitters
- Sulforaphane – Compound from brassica vegetables with anti-inflammatory effects on the nervous system
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Victor M. Lopez-Alvarez, Laura Modol, Xavier Navarro, Stefano Cobianchi (2015). Early increasing-intensity treadmill exercise reduces neuropathic pain by preventing nociceptor collateral sprouting and disruption of chloride cotransporters homeostasis after peripheral nerve injury. Pain 156(9) 1812-1825. Retrieved from https://journals.lww.com/pain/Citation/2015/09000/Early_increasing_intensity_treadmill_exercise.27.aspx
Brian C. Callaghan, Ann A. Little, Eva L. Feldman, Richard A.C. Hughes (2014). Enhanced glucose control for preventing and treating diabetic neuropathy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 6: CD007543. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4048127/
David N. Ruskin, Susan A. Masino (2012). The nervous system and metabolic dysregulation: emerging evidence converges on ketogenic diet therapy. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2012.00033/full
Kanwaljit Chopra, Vinod Tiwari (2011). Alcoholic neuropathy: possible mechanisms and future treatment possibilities. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 73(3) 348-362. Retrieved from https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2011.04111.x
Amanda Peltier, Stephen A. Goutman, Brian C. Callaghan (2014). Painful diabetic neuropathy. BMJ (British Medical Journal) Vol. 348. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/openview/2cad5ad485dfb2641fdd25ef49d80cb3/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2043523
Monika Lofgren, Cecilia Norrbrink (2012). “But I know what works” – patients’ experience of spinal cord injury neuropathic pain management. Disability and Rehabilitation 34(25) 2139-2147. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/09638288.2012.676146?scroll=top&needAccess=true
Sigrid Schuh-Hofer, Rachel Wodarski, Doreen B. Pfau, Ombretta Caspani, Walter Magerl, Jeffrey D. Kennedy, Rolf-Detlef Treede (2013). One night of total sleep deprivation promotes a state of generalized hyperalgesia: A surrogate pain model to study the relationship of insomnia and pain. Pain 154(9) 1613-1621. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304395913002327
Cecilia Norrbrink, Thomas Lundeberg (2011). Acupuncture and massage therapy for neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury: an exploratory study. Acupuncture in Medicine 29(108-115). Retrieved from https://aim.bmj.com/content/29/2/108.info
Jullyana S.S. Quintans, Angelo R. Antoniolli, Jackson R.G.S. Almeida, Valter J. Santana-Filho, Lucindo J. Quintans-Junior (2014). Natural Products Evaluated in Neuropathic Pain Models – A Systematic Review. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology Vol. 114(442-450). Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/bcpt.12178
Damiao Pergentino De Sousa (2011). Analgesic-like Activity of Essential Oils Constituents. Molecules 16(3) 2233-2252. Retrieved from http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/16/3/2233
David Dorfman, Mary Catherine George, Julie Schnur, David M. Simpson, George Davidson, Guy Montgomery (2013). Hypnosis for Treatment of HIV Neuropathic Pain: A Preliminary Report. Pain Medicine 14(7) 1048-1056. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/14/7/1048/1805531
Jinny Tavee, Mary Rensel, Sarah M. Planchon, Robert S. Butler, Lael Stone (2011). Effects of Meditation on Pain and Quality of Life in Multiple Sclerosis and Peripheral Neuropathy. International Journal of MS Care 13(4) 163-168. Retrieved from http://www.ijmsc.org/doi/abs/10.7224/1537-2073-13.4.163?code=cmsc-site
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