Nerve pain can take anyone by surprise. And boy when it does, you’ll know it. That tingly numb or burning feeling, the sensitivity can range from slight discomfort to persistent and debilitating pain. Knowing some handy tips on how to keep the pain at bay can not only be physically relieving but also save big time on expensive medications. While there’s no silver bullet for this one, there are a few ways you can ease the pain.
Why is treating nerve pain expensive?
Anyone with chronic nerve pain will attest to long lists of expensive prescriptions and pain medications. Persisting nerve pain can become expensive, exhausting, and take a toll on one’s mental health. From difficulty working and socialising, nerve pain can have some wide-reaching health implications. So, here goes:
Immediate home relief
If you’re experiencing nerve pain for the first time, or it’s just flared up, a great way is to deal with the immediate symptoms is to attempt to reduce pressure on the nervous system through the following methods:
- Try to a warm bath and try to get some sleep. Sleep is one of the best ways to cal, the nervous system. It’s like recharging your batteries. Appliances don’t work well when the batteries get to the end of their capacity and neither do you. Stop and recharge.
- Do some light exercise. The misconception is that to have a benefit, you have to exercise the area in pain. Not true. General exercise in any area of the body has a calming effect on the nervous system. Find a way to move without flaring up your pain.
- Socialise but don’t spend the whole time talking about your pain. Get out and try to do something fun. Our brain is wired to focus on what we focus on. Try not to make your life about your pain and it won’t be as severe.
Stretch it out
One of the most effective weapons you have against nerve pain is your body itself. When you gently stretch out your pain area you relieve tension and relax muscles which can, in turn, reduce the pressure on a particular nerve. Whether you’re getting a targeted stretching plan from a physiotherapist or trying out some home exercises, you may find this helps relieve immediate symptoms. Here’s a couple to try at home:
- Seated spinal stretch – sitting down with legs stretched out in front, bend your right knee and place your right foot on the other side of your left knee. Bring your left elbow to your right knee and lock it on the outside of your right knee. Twist your body to the right gently. Repeat and switch it up. This exercise helps create space within your spine to relieve tension, and reduce pain. This can be helpful for nerve pain coming from the spine. Cease if pain increases.
- Knee to shoulder – lying flat on your back, bring your right knee up to your left shoulder and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg and remember if you experience an increase in pain – immediately discontinue. This exercise loosens your gluteal and piriformis muscles which often become inflamed with Sciatica.
For helpful and targeted exercises, get in touch with the experts at Physiotherapist Perth.
Try diet related solutions
We are what we eat. And diet may have very strong links to nerve pain and some foods may also have properties that can alleviate the worst of it – if kept up over the long term. It’s no secret that nutrition impacts nerve health, so with that in mind, here’s a few helpful tips:
- Get plenty of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Foods that have natural anti-inflammatory properties such as whole grains, lean meats, vegetables, and fish, can increase resilience, and boost the nutrients needed to ease inflammation.
- Steer clear of heavily processed foods, fried foods, and sugary drinks as these have been shown to increase inflammation and hence put further pressure on the nerves.
I’ve tried everything – what are my options?
It’s important not to hang the hopes of recovery on one particular treatment or method. Just like eating well isn’t the complete ‘cure’ for nerve pain, relying heavily on medications also has its downsides. It’s good to have a measured and thorough approach. If you lead an inactive or work-heavy lifestyle, getting the help of a qualified physiotherapist can greatly help in reducing symptoms and inflammation. If symptoms persist always contact a professional.