Options for Treating Nerve Pain at the Source
An estimated 20 million people are coping with some form of peripheral neuropathy in the US, and that doesn’t even include all those who are silently suffering. Neuropathy is commonly one of the most underdiagnosed/misdiagnosed conditions, due to its variety of symptoms, which is why many people do not seek treatment or do not know that treatment is available to them.
What is Neuropathy & Who Can it Affect?
Neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nerves which connect the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Depending on the severity, it can produce a variety of symptoms including numbness, tingling, sharp pains, muscle weakness and more. While it is most commonly diagnosed in those aged 55 and up, neuropathy can also occur due to other medical conditions and injuries such as diabetes, kidney disease and other autoimmune disorders.
The Treatment Options
Thankfully, there are now quite a few treatment options to help with the symptoms of neuropathy, and more are constantly being developed. Various medications are often used to help manage the symptoms of neuropathy conditions, but now there are other treatments that can target specific nerves at the source.
(1) Nerve Blocks
This treatment is a type of injection that involves injecting a numbing medicine and anesthetic into the affected nerves to help ‘block’ the pain directly.
(2) Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA)
RFAs work by sending electrical pulses to the targeted nerves to burn off the nerve endings which helps eliminate the spasmodic pain signals that are sent through the body to eliminate/reduce the sensation of pain.
(3) Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)
This minimally invasive procedure involves implanted leads/wires along the nerves outside the spine, and is controlled by an outside remote. Through the technology, the patient is able to target specific nerve areas with pulsing stimulations in order to help override the pain sensations felt and provide pain relief.
(4) Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
This type of nerve stimulation works similar to SCS but it can be done in various areas of the body. There are both permanent and temporary forms of this type of treatment that can help provide long term relief. The device and associated leads or wires work to provide pulsing stimulations to the area of nerves to override the pain sensations and provide pain relief.
Medical acupuncture can also be used to target nerve pain and provide relief. Tiny needles are inserted into specific areas of the body to help balance and relieve the pain sensations. In some cases, an electrical form of acupuncture can be done for a more intense treatment option.
Nerve pain can be a difficult condition to cope with, and can affect many different areas of the body. It can even be a result of another ongoing condition! The future is looking up with the latest breakthrough technology to help treat nerves at the source, and patients are finally finding the relief they need.
*Statistic provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)