Living with nerve pain can make a huge impact on the quality of life. Depending on the cause and severity of the pain, it may be difficult to move about and enjoy daily tasks such as going to work, shopping, or even sitting comfortably in a chair to watch television. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with the symptoms of nerve pains as well as to identify and alleviate the causes.
If you currently suffer with nerve pain, your first order of business is to see your doctor. Before your condition can be treated, it is important to know what is causing the discomfort in the first place. For example, the course of treatment for some form of neuralgia will not necessarily be appropriate for addressing pain from sciatica. Once there is a clear diagnosis of why you are experiencing nerve pain, your doctor can help you find ways to treat the root cause as well as manage the pain in the interim.
Medication can often help contain nerve pain caused by neuralgia. While painkillers are an obvious choice, there are also other prescription medicines that may be more appropriate. Antidepressants have proven helpful in reducing the severity of nerve pain by regulating key chemicals in the brain that affect mood and also can alter the way your mind perceives pain.
Some anticonvulsant medications are also helpful with nerve pain. The properties of these types of medications may help to stabilize the level of electrical activity in your nervous system, essentially calming your overexcited nerves. As with antidepressants, your physician will likely prescribe a smaller amount of the medication than would be needed to control convulsions.
When medication does not seem to alleviate the nerve pain, other neuropathic approaches may be employed. One option is a treatment known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS may be a good option. Essentially, small electrodes are placed over the area where the nerve pain seems to originate. The electrodes can be employed to deliver a small electrical current to the nerves, possibly triggering the production of endorphins or assisting your nerves to begin firing in a more consistent and stable pattern.
Physical therapy may be a viable option with sciatica and conditions such as a damaged disk. Often, the therapy will include exercises that help to slowly correct posture problems and relieve stress on the spinal column. Along with gradually reducing nerve pain, physical therapy can also help minimize the chances of recurring pain in the future.
When other forms of neuropathy do not seem to be successful, it may be necessary to resort to surgery. This is especially true if your doctor finds evidence of inflammation or pressure on the nerves that must be corrected before permanent damage takes place. In general, healthcare professionals consider all non-surgical options before making a determination that surgery is necessary. Should you require a surgical procedure to alleviate the nerve pain, make sure you speak with your doctor about how to prepare for the surgery as well as what to expect after the surgery is conducted.
Keep in mind that many types of nerve pain are short-term issues that your physician can identify and treat with relative ease. By obtaining the right medical treatment, you can effectively plot a course for reducing and possibly eliminating the pain from your life.