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Living With Nerve Pain: The Road to a Healthier Life

Written by Mia Dacumos, MD · Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

Updated May 28, 2023

    Living With Nerve Pain: The Road to a Healthier Life

    Neuropathic or nerve pain may affect patients their entire lifetime. But this doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to living with pain every day.

    There are many types and causes of neuropathic pain. Underlying conditions like diabetes or shingles are the root cause. Nerve damage may also result from trauma, surgery or viral infections.  At times, there is no identifiable cause of nerve pain.  But with the right treatment, nerve pain isn’t something you have to live with constantly. Nerve pain treatment can help in addressing underlying causes, slowing the progression of nerve damage, and managing the pain1,2.

    Nerve Pain, Stress and Sleep

    A major factor in successful nerve pain treatment is managing comorbidities such as poor sleep, stress, and anxiety. 

    The interplay of nerve pain, poor sleep, and stress creates a downward spiral3. Chronic pain results in difficulty sleeping, which further leads to a lower threshold of pain. Nerve pain can also lead to stress and depression, which can have a negative impact on sleep, and lead to more pain.

    That’s why nerve pain treatment requires a holistic approach. This approach includes pharmacological nerve pain treatment (medicines) and nonpharmacologic interventions like relaxation therapy, sleep restriction therapy, and cognitive therapy3.

    Pharmacological Nerve Pain Treatment

    Over-the-counter pain medications may not be  effective in nerve pain treatment. To manage neuropathic pain, prescription medicines are typically given2.

    For some types of nerve pain, patches or creams might also be used.

    Your doctor will prescribe and assess how well you respond to medication in a comprehensive pain management program. Consult your healthcare professional to find out more about the different treatments available.

    Other Nerve Pain Treatments4,5


    Physiotherapy for nerve pain treatment involves a number of different therapies including TENS (see below), manual therapy to improve the stability and flexibility of the affected area, as well as yoga or pilates.


    Acupuncture is a treatment that is common in traditional Chinese medicine. Practitioners believe that it helps the flow of “chi” or energy by inserting small needles throughout the body. This may help stimulate the nervous system.

    Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

    TENS is a treatment that involves selective stimulation of nerve fibers using a TENS machine. It is believed that such stimulation can block pain impulses to the brain.

    Ask your doctor about these nerve pain treatments and other options they may have for you. Remember, there is no easy solution for treating neuropathic pain. Treatment may involve alternative therapies, lifestyle changes, and more.

    Key Takeaway

    Nerve pain may be irreversible, but it is manageable with the right approach. This includes pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments. Always consult your doctor to understand how to appropriately manage your condition.


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    January 6 2023


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Written by

    Mia Dacumos, MD

    Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

    Updated May 28, 2023

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