If you have pain, burning, tingling, or numbness in your feet and hands, it is likely you have a condition called Peripheral Neuropathy. Fortunately, there are natural treatments that can help relieve these symptoms.
Capsaicin from cayenne pepper can help decrease pain signals sent through the nerves. It can be consumed as a supplement or applied as a topical ointment.
1.Hot or Cold Compresses
Nerve pain caused by conditions like sciatica may feel like a burning sensation that radiates through your body. Other times, it may feel like tingling or numbness. Both of these types of pain can be relieved with a hot or cold compress.
- Cold temperatures shrink blood vessels, reducing inflammation and swelling in the area. Heat, on the other hand, opens up the blood vessels and increases circulation.
- This helps bring nutrients to the area, which can reduce the pain.
- It is recommended to apply a hot or cold compress for no more than 15 minutes at a time and up to four times a day.
- You can use a heating pad, a microwavable gel pack or simply a Ziploc bag filled with ice to make your own compress.
- Cold compresses soothe the nerve itself and help reduce swelling. They also reduce stinging and tingling. Warm compresses increase circulation, which can improve the healing process.
Capsaicin, the substance that makes chili peppers hot, is an active ingredient in some OTC pain creams.
- It works by creating a heat sensation that distracts you from the pain and blocking the nerve cells that transmit pain signals to the brain.
- It also reduces the amount of a neurotransmitter called Substance P in your nerve cells.
- This cream can help with both fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes.
- You can purchase capsaicin in many forms at pharmacies, including topical patches (Nerveex), a capsaicin cream, and ointments.
- Capsaicin is generally well-tolerated and safe, but a burning sensation at the site where the medicine is applied is common.
- If the burning is intense, wash the area immediately with soap and water.
If you are taking other prescription or nonprescription drugs, vitamins, nutritional supplements, or herbal products, tell your doctor before you use capsaicin. The medication can interact with some medications, including the antidepressant amitriptyline (Elavil) and the anticholinergics such as rivastigmine (Exelon) or rotigotine (Neupro).
You should also avoid contact with sunlight while using capsaicin, since it may make your skin sensitive to light.
- The B Vitamins (Thiamine, B6, B12 and Folate) are essential for healthy nerve function.
- Thiamine lowers pain and inflammation levels, B6 preserves the covering on nerve endings and aids red blood cell production
- A deficiency of any of these vitamins can lead to neuropathy, and supplements are a good option.
- Fish, eggs, fortified cereals, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products contain vitamins B1, B6, and B12.
- Supplements and combination formulas for nerve support also provide these vitamins.
- In addition to these nutrients, consuming foods rich in folic acid can help prevent neuropathy.
- Vitamin B12 is particularly important because it can help restore myelin, which protects the nerves.
- Curcumin, a yellow-colored compound found in the spice turmeric, is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
- People use turmeric for coloring and flavoring dishes, and it is also available as a supplement.
- Studies are continuing to find out if it can help with a variety of conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression and arthritis.
- Many believe it offers protection against many different diseases due to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
- It also stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which can help with digestion
- One double-blind study showed that it helped people with ulcerative colitis keep their symptoms in remission for longer than those who did not take it.
- The body produces alpha lipoic acid (ALA), and it is present in foods like spinach, broccoli, brewer’s yeast, and organ meats as an antioxidant.
- It’s also available as a supplement. ALA can help with diabetic neuropathy, the burning and tingling sensations that often accompany diabetes.
- It works by defending the nerves against the oxidative stress that can damage them, according to studies.
- Research shows that ALA significantly reduces pain, paresthesias and numbness in people with diabetic neuropathy, particularly when given by injection.
- It can also be taken orally. The optimal dosage is 600mg a day.
- Most people tolerate ALA well, but it can cause side effects such as nausea and fatigue.
- It’s also important to avoid combining it with other supplements that can lower blood sugar, as this can increase the risk of hypoglycemia.
Talk to your doctor before trying ALA. It can interact with certain medications, including those used to treat diabetes and glucose intolerance.
- Mind-body techniques are techniques that change the way a person experiences pain.
- They may involve changing a person’s beliefs and emotions or utilising physical movement to train attention and produce mental relaxation.
- They can also be used to reduce stress and anxiety, which can amplify pain signals in the brain.
- Mind-body techniques can improve pain through a variety of mechanisms including improving stress and anxiety, calming the nervous system, relieving depression, reducing inflammation and increasing the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.
- They can be used as an adjunct therapy to medication, or can be done on their own.
- A recent study found that respondents with musculoskeletal pain were more likely to use mind-body techniques compared to those without.
- Relaxation, meditation and guided imagery were the most popular mind-body treatments, followed by hypnosis and biofeedback.
7.Physical Therapy and Exercise
- A physical therapist can teach you movement techniques to reduce pressure on the nerves and prevent further damage
- Depending on your situation, this could include exercise, manual therapy, or electrical stimulation.
- Adding low-impact exercises to your daily routine can improve your overall health and keep the muscles in your legs and arms strong, reducing stress that could affect the nerves.
- You should also stretch before and after your workouts to avoid further pressure or irritation.
- The foods you choose can affect your nerve health and contribute to pain. It is important to avoid junk food, which can be high in sugar, salt and saturated fats
- Rather, eat whole grains, vegetables and legumes. These foods are rich in B vitamins, which support healthy nerves.
- Leafy greens and fresh fruits are other important sources of Vitamin C, which helps reduce inflammation and support healing.
- Herbs can also be helpful. Some, such as Corydalis and Angelica, contain chemicals that reduce tingling and numbing by decreasing the activation of the nuclear factor kappa-B.
- Another herb, White Willow Bark, contains salicin, which acts as a natural aspirin by blocking pain signals in the brain and spinal cord.
- You can take it as a supplement or use a topical cream containing this compound. There are many over-the-counter creams and ointments that contain this ingredient and other ingredients that can help relieve nerve pain.