From Ancient Wisdom to Modern Relief: 7 Natural Nerve Pain Relief Options You Should Try29 May 2023
- Nerve pain or neuropathy is a common condition that causes numbness, tingling and pain in the feet, hands and arms. It can also cause weakness or loss of muscle coordination.
- Treatment for nerve pain involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. However, some natural remedies for nerve pain relief can help manage or reduce the symptoms of neuropathy.
- From vitamin B12 to ginger root, yoga to dietary changes, these natural remedies can help you manage nerve pain. They work best as an adjunct therapy to medication, but they may also be effective on their own.
- Medical cannabis is an increasingly popular option that may offer relief without the side effects of some traditional medications.
Nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain, is a condition that affects the nerves, causing them to send signals of pain through your body. Nerves send information from your brain and spinal cord to other parts of your body. When they’re damaged or irritated in some way, this can cause nerve pain.
Nerve damage can be caused by injuries (sprains), infections (shingles), autoimmune diseases and other serious conditions. Sometimes, it happens without any obvious cause at all.
Current treatment for this condition includes both over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as topical treatments. The most common over-the-counter medications for nerve pain include NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), like ibuprofen and aspirin. These are effective but can cause side effects, including stomach ulcers and bleeding.
Interest in natural nerve pain relief has increased in recent years. Many people are looking for more natural options that don’t have the side effects of prescription painkillers. This article will look at the best ways to manage nerve pain using natural remedies.
One of the most well-studied natural herbs for nerve pain is medical cannabis. If you’re looking for a clinic that can prescribe it to you or your loved one, head over to Lyphe. As the UK’s most trusted medical cannabis clinic, Lyphe has a team of doctors who can prescribe medical cannabis. Book a call to learn more about how medical cannabis can help you!
1. Medical Cannabis
For many, finding alternative treatments to alleviate nerve pain is a priority. One such alternative that has been gaining attention in recent years is the use of medical cannabis. This herbal pain reliever may help address the many symptoms neuropathy patients suffer from while being safer to dose than most prescription medications.
The science behind medical cannabis and nerve pain
Medical cannabis, derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, contains various compounds known as cannabinoids. The most well-known of these compounds include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). They interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a crucial role in regulating pain, inflammation and overall nerve function.
Research has shown that cannabinoids, particularly CBD, have potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. As such, they have the potential to reduce neuropathic pain.
Additionally, medical cannabis has been found to help regulate neurotransmitters in the nervous system, which can provide relief from nerve pain. One study from Phytotherapy Research found that cannabis contains antioxidant properties that may help protect against diabetic neuropathic pain.
A 2018 review published in Current Pain and Headache Reports suggests that medical cannabis for nerve pain is safe and effective for short-term, low-dose treatments. Another 2018 review published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine also suggests that cannabis treatment may be used as an adjunctive treatment for peripheral neuropathy.
Medical cannabis for stress and anxiety reduction
Nerve pain can be exacerbated by stress and anxiety. These conditions can cause muscle tension and worsen inflammation. Medical cannabis, particularly high CBD doses, has been shown to have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects.
Getting a medical cannabis prescription for nerve pain is not easy. That’s why our experts at Lyphe are here to help. Our doctors can get you started on a treatment plan that will reduce your pain and improve your quality of life. Book an appointment today to see if medical cannabis is right for you!
2. Ginger Root
Ginger root, a rhizome of the Zingiber officinale plant, is widely known for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties are primarily attributed to the active compounds found in ginger, such as gingerols and shogaols. Chronic inflammation is often associated with nerve pain; by reducing inflammation, ginger root can relieve neuropathic pain.
Additionally, ginger has been found to protect the nervous system from oxidative stress and toxins. These two are major contributors to nerve damage and pain. A review published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that ginger has antioxidative properties that can help reduce pain sensations after intense physical activity.
By incorporating ginger root into your diet, you may experience reduced nerve pain and improved overall nerve health. There are several ways to incorporate ginger root into your daily routine to help alleviate nerve pain:
- Steeping fresh ginger root in hot water to make ginger tea
- Taking ginger root supplements in capsule or powder form available at most health food stores
- Adding fresh or powdered ginger to your favourite recipes
- Applying ginger essential oil diluted in a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) directly to the affected area.
Capsaicin, the active component of chilli peppers, is a natural pain reliever that can help to relieve nerve pain. Capsaicin has been shown to be effective against neuropathic pain in three ways:
- It activates a receptor on nerve cells that blocks the transmission of pain signals. By blocking substance P receptors on your nerves, capsaicin causes a temporary decrease in pain.
- It increases the production of your body’s natural painkillers (endorphins). Capsaicin activates nerve cells, eventually leading to the secretion of endorphins by the pituitary gland.
- It helps to reduce inflammation.
A 2017 study found that high‐concentration topical capsaicin can be used to treat postherpetic neuralgia, HIV neuropathy and painful diabetic neuropathy. When experiencing nerve pain, you may want to try rubbing some capsaicin cream on the affected area as soon as possible after noticing the symptoms.
Yoga can benefit those suffering from nerve pain because it helps improve flexibility and mobility while improving strength and endurance.
According to a 2019 review published in the Annals of Neurosciences, yoga can help manage spinal cord injury-induced neuropathic pain. It does so by improving nerve health by acting on receptors throughout the nervous system.
Additionally, nerve flossing stretches can help prevent and relieve pain by down-regulating inflammatory responses. In effect, the activity restores healthy blood flow to the nerve and encourages efficient communication between the brain and body.
Yoga can also help strengthen muscles, a critical part of effective neuropathy treatment. By alleviating nerve pain, yoga can help improve the quality of life, increase the range of motion and boost the overall mood of people with neuropathy.
5. Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements
Vitamins play an important role in the regeneration of the nervous system. As such, you should ensure you include enough vitamins in your diet when dealing with nerve pain.
Several vitamins and supplements have been found to help relieve nerve pain, including:
- Vitamin B12: An essential nutrient for the nervous system. A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to peripheral neuropathy. People with too little vitamin B12 can exhibit weakness, twitching, pain, numbness, tingling, muscle cramps and a burning sensation.
- Vitamin B6: Plays an essential role in nerve health, metabolism and sensory perception. B6 deficiency has been linked to peripheral neuropathy.
- B-complex vitamins: Play an essential role in nerve health, metabolism and sensory perception. B-complex deficiencies can cause peripheral neuropathy to worsen.
- Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12): Helps regenerate damaged nerves and reduce inflammation.
- Benfotiamine: A synthetic version of vitamin B1 (thiamine) that has been shown to help with nerve pain.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): An antioxidant that has been shown to help reduce symptoms of nerve damage, including pain, numbness and tingling.
- Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA): An omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to help with nerve pain and inflammation.
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC): A compound that has been shown to help regenerate damaged nerves and reduce pain.
- Magnesium: A mineral that plays a key role in regulating neuropathic pain. Additionally, magnesium may also alleviate fibromyalgia, dysmenorrhoea and headaches.
- Zinc: A mineral abundant in the nervous system that plays a role in pain perception and nerve health. It’s been shown to have a protective effect against nerve damage caused by diabetes.
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): An antioxidant that has been shown to help reduce inflammation and pain caused by nerve damage. It’s most effective against neuropathic pain caused by diabetes.
- Vitamin D: Helps maintain bone health and may play a role in nerve health by preventing neuronal degradation. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to peripheral neuropathy and increased pain sensation.
- Inositol: A compound that has been shown to help with diabetic nerve pain. Decreased levels of inositol in nerve tissue are always linked to neuronal dysfunction.
Do note that it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements or vitamins. Some supplements may interact with other medications or cause adverse side effects. In addition, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s best to consult a doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements.
Adopting a healthy diet is essential in managing nerve pain. Nutritional recommendations include:
- Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats.
- Ensuring adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, particularly B vitamins, vitamin D, magnesium and zinc, which are known to help with nerve health.
- Staying hydrated by drinking at least eight cups of water daily.
- The Mediterranean diet, rich in whole fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains, can provide the necessary nutrients for the immune system to function well.
The following is a list of foods to avoid when dealing with nerve pain:
- Processed foods and excessive sugar can exacerbate inflammation.
- Excessive caffeine and alcohol can impair nerve function.
- Dairy and grains can cause spikes in sugar levels that lead to a greater risk of inflammation.
7. Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes are perhaps the most important when it comes to addressing nerve pain. These changes can be broken into three categories: physical activity, sleep and stress reduction.
While there is no evidence that exercise alone will help relieve your pain, it may help improve overall health and quality of life. Exercise is often recommended as part of a multidisciplinary approach to treating chronic pain.
Regular exercise can help manage nerve pain by improving blood flow, reducing inflammation and releasing endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers). It can also help people with nerve pain cope with symptoms by increasing their ability to move around and making them feel less depressed or anxious.
Types of exercises include:
- Low-impact aerobic exercises, such as walking, swimming or cycling
- Strength training, focusing on major muscle groups
- Stretching and flexibility exercises, such as yoga or tai chi.
Quality sleep is vital in managing nerve pain, allowing the body to repair damaged nerves and reduce pain sensitivity. Tips for improving sleep quality include:
- Establishing a consistent sleep schedule
- Creating a relaxing bedtime routine
- Ensuring a comfortable and dark sleep environment
- Limiting screen time before bed.
Stress can exacerbate nerve pain by increasing inflammation and pain sensitivity. Moreover, a study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that stress and inflammation can increase the risk of neuropathy patients developing depressive-like behaviour. As such, managing stress must be a priority in a holistic nerve pain treatment program.
Techniques to manage stress and reduce nerve pain include:
- Practising relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or mindfulness meditation
- Engaging in hobbies and activities that bring joy and relaxation
- Seeking social support from friends, family or support groups.
Conclusion – Nerve Pain Natural Remedies
Nerve pain can be a challenging and persistent condition to manage. But with the right approach, relief is possible. By exploring natural remedies (e.g., yoga, meditation, medical cannabis), individuals can find alternative solutions that may complement their existing treatment plan.
These natural remedies offer a holistic approach to managing nerve pain. They address physical symptoms and the mental and emotional aspects associated with neuropathy.
Home remedies for nerve pain can be effective in managing symptoms and reducing the risk of them worsening. However, it is important to know that there remains no single cure or repair for damaged nerves (especially for severe cases). As such, it remains vital that you seek treatment from a doctor if your symptoms worsen or fail to improve after trying these natural treatments.
Looking to start a natural treatment plan for nerve pain? Our medical cannabis experts at Lyphe can help you get started. Book a call today and learn more about how medical cannabis can help you with neuropathy!
How do you get rid of nerve pain naturally?
There are several dietary and lifestyle changes that you can incorporate to reduce the severity of symptoms. They include taking supplements, avoiding alcohol, avoiding stress and resting more.
What vitamin is good for nerve pain?
Vitamin B12 is considered an essential nutrient for the nervous system, and its deficiency can lead to peripheral neuropathy. People who receive inadequate amounts of vitamin B12 may experience muscle cramps, burning sensations, weakness, twitching, pain, numbness and tingling.
What foods are good for nerve damage?
Some foods that are good for nerve damage include tofu, dark leafy greens, fresh fruits, nuts and mackerel. It’s important to have a balanced diet, and you should also avoid eating too much salt and sugar to avoid flare-ups.
Does nerve damage heal itself?
Nerves can recover on their own, but the extent of the recovery depends on several factors (e.g., severity and type of damage). In general, nerves recover slowly, and maximal recovery may take many months or years.
Is there a permanent cure for nerve damage?
In some cases, damaged nerves can regenerate and restore function slowly with treatment to speed up the process. However, severe cases may lead to irreversible damage.
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