Best Topical Nerve Pain Treatments – DIABETIC SOCK CLUB

Best Topical Nerve Pain Treatments

Neuropathic treatments are only a handful and not all of them will work for all patients. Some drugs can only be used if you don’t suffer from other complications. However, the most common treatments remain to be analgesic, anesthetic creams for topical application that are known to have an instant pain-mediating effect. Other than these, opioids are also used in the chronic stages where all other treatments have failed. But opioids are a high-risk category of drugs that cause withdrawal symptoms and addiction. Hence, these are mostly avoided. You may also be recommended by your doctor to undergo certain surgeries like peripheral nerve decompression surgeries. Though a comparatively newer method of treating neuropathic pain, this surgery has proven to be very effective in the long run. It has even granted a completely pain-free life in many patients. 

Nevertheless, we have discussed all new and old methods of treatments that are available today with their advantages, disadvantages, and of course better alternative. It is important to note that there are no particular treatments best for all or with zero side effects. It all depends on your current and previous medical history, stage of neuropathy, pain level, and other factors which will determine the best treatment for you. Moreover, if some treatment has worked for another patient does not guarantee it will be effective for you too.

Best Topical Nerve Pain Treatments

Analgesic Creams

Topical analgesic creams are better pain management medications in neuropathy because of many reasons. The prime reason being a huge amount of the drug taken through the oral route is metabolized even before it reaches the site of nerve damage and exerts its effect. This problem can be tackled by applying a fast-absorbing, fast-penetrating analgesic cream by gently rubbing on the pain area. This means the majority (or all) portions of the drug will instantly reach your pain area and show an immediate pain-relieving effect. Furthermore, oral drugs like tablets are also very slow in showing their effects as compared to topical analgesic creams. 

One of the most effective analgesic creams for neuropathic cream is the DSC Advanced Neuropathy Cream for Pains & Aches. It is formulated with all the good characteristics you could ask for. It is 100% safe for topical use with a variety of different natural ingredients in it that are known for ages for their anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. The cream has shown promising results in providing instant relief from neuropathic pain especially in the feet, hands, and legs. Another feature of analgesic creams is that they help in nerve recovery which is slow in the case of tablets except for direct vitamin supplementation (of better quality). Due to the instant penetrative action of the formulation, this cream also reduces pain when massaged lightly by stimulating the blood circulation to the nerve endings in that area. Such blood circulation nourishes the nerves and also aids in the withdrawal of toxic waste metabolites from the nerve. Thus, the cream is not only effective in alleviating pain instantly but also aids in reversing some of the damages already done to the nerves, especially during the initial stages of diabetic neuropathy. 

There are a lot of analgesic creams available today - containing both synthetic chemicals and natural ingredients. Although both have a comparable effect, natural ingredients are preferred for obvious reasons. It is always better to use natural ingredients like essential oils arnica, etc that do not cause harm to the nerve endings. However, no matter how much regulated, synthetic analgesic drugs still have the potential to harm the nerves. Hence, natural analgesic ingredients present in DSC Advanced Neuropathic Creams are more popular than synthetic chemical drugs.

Anesthetic Creams

Anesthetic creams also work similar to the analgesic topical creams but with a catch. Anesthetic creams like lidocaine are very effective in managing the pain but they cause numbness in that area and also do not help in nerve recovery. Nevertheless, they work instantly. Thus, these are the second most popular neuropathic treatment option available today. Anesthetic drugs are available in the form of ointments, creams, lotions, patches, etc. The most commonly used patient-friendly formulations are patches. Although all these formulations have the same recommended dose and duration of action, it is better to opt for patches that have an extended-release formula. This releases the drug over a long time providing long pain-free hours over a stretch. 

The most common is the lidocaine patches that can be applied and kept over the pain area for long hours. However, it is essential to know that any applicating medicine you use should be given a few hours of the gap before reapplication. This will heal the skin and normalize all nerves before it goes into the next cycle of anesthesia. Also, too much anesthetic use is neither good for the skin nor for the nerves. From this aspect, analgesic applications are better. 

Capsaicin

Capsaicin translates to chili pepper - yes! That doesn’t just slay in your kitchen but also your pain. Capsaicin is the prime component in peppers that owes to their infamous hot and spicy kick. However, more interestingly, this very compound is also well-known for its pain-relieving effects. Its mechanism of action is by interrupting the neurotransmitter that relays pain signals to the brain. Consequently, capsaicin reduces the perception of pain. Thus, capsaicin is added to different pain-relieving formulations after extracting it from the pepper. 

Capsaicin is commonly used for all kinds of pain management of varying underlying causes - rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and even fibromyalgia. The pain-relieving mechanism remains the same in the case of neuropathic pain too. The neuropathic creams containing capsaicin are very effective in treating tingling, itching, as well as pain caused by diabetic neuropathy in feet, limbs, and any other part of the body. 

However, capsaicin application might not be right for everyone, especially those with sensitive skin. It causes a superficial burning sensation on the skin that alters the perception of deep-seated nerve pain. This burning sensation might even be accompanied by redness, swelling, itching on the skin which is not preferred by many patients. Moreover, capsaicin creams require a much longer gap duration between multiple applications. Also, such symptoms may even double up due to hot weather, hot or warm water. 

Another important consideration is to use a capsaicin cream properly according to the steps written down on the label. Inhalation of capsaicin can cause severe respiratory itching, coughing, sneezing, and even trouble to breathe. There are many different formulations of capsaicin and your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend the best dose as per your pain experience - mild, moderate, or severe.

Prescription drugs

The most common prescription creams or drugs prescribed by doctors for neuropathic cream are tricyclic antidepressants, SNRIs, painkillers, topical creams (as discussed above), and combination treatments.

Antidepressants 

Functioning similar to some anticonvulsants, there are some tricyclic antidepressants popularly chosen as the first line of drugs for treating neuropathic pain. Nerve pain specialists often choose two major classes of antidepressants - tricyclic antidepressants and SNRIs.

Tricyclic antidepressants have been used for years together in the treatment of various kinds of depression, bipolar disorder, and so on. While they're not that popularly used today in the treatment of depression, they play an indispensable role in managing pain symptoms - not only of neuropathy but of many other painful conditions. Many studies, as well as real-life examples, have shown that they are immensely helpful in treating pain. However, these tricyclic antidepressants are also infamous for certain side effects (though not harmful most of the time), like dizziness, constipation, blurred vision, and upset stomach. Moreover, they might not be safe for patients having heart issues and certain other kinds of conditions. Hence, always talk to your doctor first if you want a change in your treatment plan as doctors will evaluate your medical history and other conditions before choosing any class of drug.

SNRIs are called serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. As the name suggests, these function by inhibiting serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake which are known to cause painful symptoms by relaying pain sensations to the brain. These are a comparatively newer type of antidepressant that has shown results over the decades in helping with nerve pain. In general, SNRIs have lesser side effects than the other class of antidepressants discussed above. Thus, they are safer for most patients and also with aged individuals with heart issues. However, they are not as effective as tricyclic antidepressants in combating nerve pain. Both ways, it is important to consult your doctor if you want a change in your treatment plan and incorporate SNRIs. Most importantly, for both the group of drugs, pay close attention to any adverse reaction not mentioned here and report immediately to your doctor as they might be a warning sign for impending danger.

Painkillers

There are several classes of painkillers prescribed for different levels of pain. For mild, moderate, to severe pain, the treatment and choice of painkiller will differ as will with your specific medical history. Generally, during the later stages of neuropathy when severe nerve pain occurs, powerful opioid painkillers are prescribed that are the only option effective in those stages. Several pieces of research have found that for diverse kinds of nerve pain, painkillers are as effective as anticonvulsants or antidepressants. The most important feature of these drugs is that they work very rapidly unlike antidepressants. This makes them the drug of choice for instant relief especially during the chronic pain stages when these are administered through parenteral.


However, these drugs have different side effects with opioids bearing the worst of the kind. Because of their side effects, these are only prescribed to patients when other treatments have failed for your case. Opioid painkillers are infamous for causing addiction and withdrawal syndrome and are categorized to be Schedule II drugs which are strictly not available without a prescription from a registered doctor who is licensed to prescribe such drugs. Moreover, they are also known to cause constipation, stomach upset, and sedation. Opioids are high-risk category of drugs with a high potential for abuse and thus are only administered during later stages of neuropathy when the pain is uncontrollable through any other class of drug.


Other painkillers with lesser side effects and no potential for abuse are the prescription drugs like NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These are the most commonly prescribed drugs in most of the pain-causing disease states and are satisfactorily effective in mild to moderate cases. But most of the time, these drugs don't seem to fit effectively with nerve pain. Nevertheless, these also have some side effects like renal damage, hepatic damage, upset stomach, and toxicity caused by accumulation in the body over the long term use.

Topical treatments

Painkilling gels, ointments, creams, and lidocaine patches are by far the most effective approaches for neuropathic pain. These are directly applied on the painful area of skin and are mainly of three types - analgesic, anesthetic, and those containing capsaicin. These work best when the pain is localized and more superficial. 

Combination treatments

Your doctor might formulate a pain management therapy for neuropathy that combines any two of the treatments described above - an approach called combination treatment. Many studies and practical experiments have shown that combination therapy for neuropathic pain is as effective as opioids. These treatments often involve the prescription of an anticonvulsant along with an antidepressant. Such therapies are also better than monotherapy using just one drug type.  

Menthol

Menthol is mostly prescribed in patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Although this method of treatment is still in its earlier stages of research, it has shown promising results in quite a few case studies. Menthol causes a cooling effect on the skin which relieved pain, tingling sensation and burning although it might not be effective in imparting instant pain relief.

Peripheral Nerve Decompression Surgery for Neuropathy

This type of neuropathy treatment is also quite new and has developed over the years. Essentially, it is not as flourished as other surgeries, and also because nerve surgeries require very experienced surgeons, most patients are fearful of such procedures to prevent permanent nerve damage caused by surgeries if done wrongly. It is therefore available in only a few countries and should be carried out by expert surgeons. 

On the other hand, these surgeries are very much effective in reducing pain caused by peripheral neuropathy, especially in the long term. It has also been effective in completely eliminating pain in certain patients and helped them lead a pain-free life thereafter. The surgery takes around a few hours where the area through which the nerve is passing is widened to reduce the tightness of the nerve. This is done by ligament division so that the pressure or compression on the nerve is eliminated and blood circulation is proper. This not only alleviates the neuropathic pain for most of the lime if followed by proper maintenance but also reverses the nerve damage. The enhancement in the blood flow to that region is responsible for both these effects. It delivers enough nourishment and lubrication for the nerve to glide smoothly and also removes toxic waste products thus aiding in the healing of the nerve. This surgery is only effective in stages where the nerve damage has just started and the healing powers can rejuvenate it. Because most nerves do not have healing powers if the damage is quite large.

The surgery is done using surgical anesthesia. Once the surgical anesthesia wears off, the subject feels little to no pain at all. However, some temporary symptoms of tingling might be there in the nerve for a few days. This is due to the awakening of the nerve and alteration in ligament position in its path and also because of proper blood circulation. There’s nothing to worry about since such post-surgery symptoms subside in a few days and are a classic sign of recovery of the damaged nerve. Moreover, you will be healed from the unbearable pain for a long time to come if you take proper care of the area and also follow recommended post-surgery treatment plans strictly. The best part of the surgery is that you will not have to be dependent on painkillers and antidepressants (or anticonvulsants) any longer depending on the surgery effect.

Nonetheless, for managing the temporary symptoms post-surgery, mild pain medications are available for ingestion or topical application and also essential oil massages might be helpful. Advanced neuropathy creams containing natural ingredients having analgesic effects are widely prescribed post-surgery as an alternative to painkillers.

Ideally, post-surgery, to avoid further damage to the nerve, blood sugar should be kept in control through proper maintenance of the diet. Otherwise, the nerve healing will be interrupted and further symptoms can come back. Moreover, you should also take good care of the operated area to prevent any infection, wounds, cuts, burns, rashes, etc. from occurring. This will prevent further interruption in the nerve healing process. Ensure to not apply any other cream other than those prescribed post-surgery. The operated area should be given some rest and time to heal. Moreover, avoid creams with capsaicin that cause a burning sensation over the skin till months of surgery. Although, in most cases, you won’t need any pain medication after such a surgery.

IVIG (Intravenous immune globulin therapy)

IVIG treatment has benefitted many individuals suffering from familial amyloid polyneuropathy. In this therapy, blood is purified by taking out all antibodies and other proteins, and the blood is returned to the body after adding external antibodies that your body cannot make. These antibodies are effective in fighting certain diseased conditions among which neuropathy is one. It works by strengthening the body's immune system that eventually alleviates the itching, numbness, and burning symptoms caused by peripheral neuropathy. This is still a less explored path among neuropathic patients and the cost can also be higher in some cases. The cost can range anywhere between thousands of dollars for only 3-4 week therapy.

Just like any other therapy, this also comes with some minor side effects though they might not be visible in all patients. Mild fluctuations in blood pressure, tachycardia, mild flu-like symptoms, and headache are common symptoms. Moreover, this therapy can even weaken your immune function. Thus, it is necessary to ensure that you don’t undergo any vaccination post this therapy and at least talk to your doctor before taking any vaccines. Moreover, IVIG may also cause renal failure and thus should be avoided in patients having impaired renal function. Last but not least, if you notice any abnormal symptoms post IVIG treatment like red or dark-brown urine, lower back or side pain, sudden weight gain, inflammation in any body part, or any minor changes in urine pattern, you should immediately bring it to the notice of your doctor.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) 

TENS translate as Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation caused by units containing electrodes. These electrodes are used to impart light electric current to the skin and in turn to the nerve endings present in that area. Research shows such electrical stimulation is helpful in managing pain due to neuropathy also reverses nerve damage due to spinal cord injury. The frequency of TENS therapy usually lasts up to 30 minutes daily for 30 days. 

This therapy works using multiple mechanisms. One popular claim is that such nerve stimulation using low-voltage electric currents reduces impulse relay to the brain, especially the pain impulses. Another study also suggests that electric stimulation of the nerve also triggers the release of certain natural hormones that reduces pain sensation.

TENS has shown results in many neuropathic individuals but how long the pain-free condition will last or to what extent the pain reduction is possible is still debatable. This is because the procedure shows conflicting results in different individuals. Moreover, research and practical experience indicate it is only effective for the first few sessions, and after that its effectiveness reduces as the body grows resistant. Hence, it can only be a reliable complementary treatment to managing pain and cannot be chosen as the first line of treatment.

TENS is generally considered to be safe when done by an experienced and licensed practitioner. This is more important because improper TENS application has shown several examples in the past where the patient has suffered mild electrical burns. This is even more dangerous for the recovering nerve. Moreover, there is something even more important to know. You should never use the TENS procedure if you are pregnant as it has the potential to induce premature labor. Last but not least, TENS should not be used in areas of numbness as it may also cause mild electrical burns and permanently damage the nerve.   

Acupuncture

The method of relieving discomfort and treating pain with the help of needles is known as acupuncture. There are certain sensitive points on the human body called pressure points, which when massaged and pressed correctly give relief from stress and pain. The acupuncture technique uses needles that are inserted into the different pressure points of the body, and this insertion stimulates the nervous system. This stimulation results in the change of response by the body to the pain by releasing the body’s natural pain-relieving hormones called endorphins into the different parts of the body such as muscles, spine, and Brain. Several tests are conducted till now to know the effectiveness of acupuncture, along with the thorough research conducted on acupuncture treatment in 2007. This test proved that acupuncture can be counted as a backup therapy, as it showed more accurate and fast results than traditional therapies and treatments. The neuropathic patients had their problems solved with the acupuncture easily in less time and hardships. So almost all people who suffer from neuropathy prefer acupuncture to get relief from chronic pain.

The Human body has all the defense mechanisms against all types of body problems and it includes pain and aches too. Our body just indicates the affected area with the pain with the help of our nervous system. So the acupuncture is the technique that just triggers or activates our body’s natural healing mechanisms by stimulating the perfect pressure points of the body.

This is one of the biggest reasons for preferring acupuncture over other traditional treatments and care. It is totally natural and has no side effects at all as it is a purely natural technique that uses the body’s very own defense mechanisms and nervous system. The pressure points are one of the most sensitive points of the body and they are directly connected to the central nervous system of our body, so that is why you need to keep some important things in mind before starting the therapy. The first thing is that you should always see that the needle used is cleaned or not, and the second and the most important is to consult a reliable and highly experienced acupuncture practitioner, as it requires high precision and a good amount of knowledge about the body. 

In case you are tired of your chronic pain and body aches and not getting good results with the traditional treatments and therapies of neuropathic pain, then you must have been searching about any alternative or any replaceable treatment for neuropathic pain, other than traditional treatments, and must have come across acupuncture treatment. It works very well and provides accurate and effective results with your neuropathic pain. You must make sure that you consult your regular doctor one time before starting acupuncture treatment as it is important to know the cause of your neuropathy. You should also keep in mind to only work with licensed and authorized acupuncture practitioners who have experience and is good in their work. Any negligence in the treatment or medical diagnostic can cause severe damage to the body and nerves or can worsen the pain. Usually, the experienced practitioners are good in their work and provide proper treatment with continuous monitoring and precautions.

FAQs 

  • Which is the best treatment for neuropathy?

There are no particular treatments best for all stages of neuropathy. Likewise, there are no treatments with zero side effects. Moreover, if some treatment has worked for another patient does not guarantee it will be effective for you too. Hence, your doctor will weigh a lot of factors before formulating a treatment plan for you. Hence, you should disclose all medical information precisely to him/her. Ideally, analgesics, OTC creams for neuropathy are the best and commonly used medications among lacs of patients for the advantages discussed above.

  • Can a pregnant woman use analgesic creams?

Most topical analgesic creams made of natural products are safe for all patients however, it is recommended you don’t use one that is not FDA approved. Moreover, even though it is FDA approved, you should always consult your doctor before using any analgesic cream if you are pregnant. The same is also applicable for using any anesthetic formulation, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, and all other medications.

Conclusion

Topical application creams for neuropathic pain are the best pain management medications. The major other classes of pain medications prescribed are high-intensity pain relievers that either have short-term toxic effects or cause addiction and withdrawal syndrome.

In this light, topical creams are safer and also provide instant relief. Other than that, if you are comfortable in undergoing an operation and want a permanent solution. You can go for peripheral nerve decompression surgery. It is widely effective for pain management and may also reverse your nerve damage as it has done in the case of several patients across the globe. It is important to remember that all treatments will have some side effects except the natural treatments.

Lastly, topical creams like the DSC Advance Neuropathy Cream are the recommended line of complementary treatments designed specifically to impart least or no toxic effects owing to their all-natural formulation. The DSC Advance Neuropathy cream is also effective in managing and even reversing some of the underlying conditions causing neuropathic pain. These creams have shown promising effects on many patients suffering from such unbearable neuropathic pain. 

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    mariza darowish

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