It is generally thought that neuropathic pain is usually constant and due to damage or dysfunction of the nervous system. Damage to one or more nerves causes incorrect or disproportionate pain signaling, which can cause anything from chronic mild discomfort to movement-triggered debilitating pain. Neuropathic pain is often looked at from a mitigative perspective but without any actual resolution, so treatment often relies on maintenance opioids.
Dr. Blatman looks at neuropathic pain through a different lens. What if much of neuropathic pain is generated by free nerve endings telling you about injury to and inflammation in your fascia? What if it’s not misfiring at all, but sending out signal flares? If this is the case, nerve pain might truly be treatable.
Because the root cause of the pain involves injury to fascia, it can be complex to diagnosis and treat. The random bouts of pain coupled with the intricacy of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems can be a frustrating experience. Fortunately, Dr. Blatman and his team offer a different philosophy of healing that has been successful for many patients with neuropathic pain and even trigeminal neuralgia.
Causes & Symptoms of Neuropathic Pain
There are literally hundreds of diseases that can cause or contribute to neuropathy. Diabetes alone accounts for over 25% of neuropathy cases. Other common culprits of neuropathic pain include:
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Spinal disk inflammation
- Spinal nerve compression
- Trauma/surgical trauma
Common symptoms of neuralgia include:
- Dysesthesia: This is when a strange/uncomfortable sensation happens at something that shouldn’t be uncomfortable.
- Hyperalgesia: This is when a pain response is disproportionately severe to the stimuli that caused it.
- Hypoalgesia: This is when there is a less-than-normal pain response to painful stimuli.
- Spontaneous pain: This is when you get a sharp, stabby, burning feeling with no discernable cause.
- Emotional dysregulation as a result of pain and sleeplessness
- Trouble sleeping
Desperate sufferers often ask what we can do for neuropathic pain. Unfortunately, standard neuropathic pain treatment usually only involves painkillers and antidepressants that do little to address the root cause. Upon stepping outside of this standard treatment, there is much that can be done to help reduce suffering and get back to life without drugs.
Natural Treatment for Nerve Pain Can Help
Natural ways to heal neuropathy usually require a multi-pronged approach that combines the best in integrative medicine. Patients will need to undergo a much different kind of history and physical examination in order to help determine the cause of pain. Therapeutic methods that can offer relief include:
- Lifestyle and dietary changes
- Myofascial release
- Massage therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Trigger point injections
- Regenerative medicine (i.e. stem cell therapy and platelet-rich-plasma injections)
- Stress-reduction techniques
- Photonic stimulation
- Nutritional supplements
There’s much more to your neuropathic pain than just pain. And there’s more you can do to relieve it than simply accepting your fate and going on maintenance medications. If you’ve been relying on painkillers to make it through the day, contact our office to get treatment that actually helps.
We know that neuropathic pain is sometimes better seen through the lens of injury to fascia and myofascial pain. There are many possible causes of this. One such cause would be a traumatic injury, like that of a car accident. Autoimmune disorders, cancer, kidney problems, diabetes, and more.
Most of the time, actual nerve injuries aren’t difficult to diagnose; there is usually a point of origin for the fascia damage, like a medication, accident, surgery, etc. However, if you haven’t experienced a traumatic injury in your lifetime, then there is most likely an underlying cause of your neuralgia that needs to be discovered.
Multi-modal, or integrative, therapies are the best approach to neuropathic pain, with a primary goal of resolving the cause. Depending on the source – whether it be a damaged nerve, a nerve compressed by damaged fascia, or illness-borne neuropathy – the treatment(s) will vary. Typically, the approach is:
- Treat the underlying issue
- Control/relieve pain
- Maintain function
- Increase quality of life
Other complementary treatments for neuropathic pain include:
- Anti-depressant medications
- Anti-seizure medications
- Massage therapy
- Muscle relaxers
- Nerve blockers
- Physical therapy
- Platelet-rich-plasma treatments
- Psychological treatment (counseling, therapy)
- Stem cell injections
- TENS or PENS sessions
- Topical treatments (capsaicin, lidocaine)
Can neuropathy and myofascial pain be cured? That would depend on the exact cause of your pain and what are called perpetuating factors. If the underlying issue is resolved, it could go away entirely. At the very least, a fascia pain specialist can help you find ways to reduce your pain naturally.
The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Neuropathic Pain
Many patients are discovering the benefits of massage therapy for neuropathic pain. As a highly-effective natural treatment, it’s become quite popular. Massage therapy can help alleviate lower back pain and increase joint flexibility. It effectively pumps oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation. It releases natural endorphins and amino acids that work as a natural pain killer in the body.
Massage can also help restore mobility in addition to increasing circulation. Deeper pressure trigger point therapy and kneading of specified areas tends to be most effective. Let your massage therapist know if a massage is too intense.
Keep in mind that neuropathic myofascial pain may respond by being difficult to touch at first, so massage can prove challenging in the beginning. Start with a little at a time — easy does it! It’s best to work with a massage therapist who has experience treating neuropathic and myofascial pain patients. It’s ideal to start easy and change technique over the course of several sessions.
We generally recommend 60-minute sessions once a week until the pain feels better. It’s ideal to spread the treatment over several sessions for best results. Massage is generally seen as a complementary therapy, but may be the most effective non-drug treatment available.
Healing Pain with an Integrated Approach to Neuralgia Treatment
There is no one answer as to how you relieve nerve pain. Our nervous systems are infinitely intricate, delicate, and difficult to repair once damaged. But that doesn’t mean neuropathic pain isn’t treatable. As we’ve discussed, sometimes it’s not even the nerve itself, but the fascia that need your attention. Integrative and regenerative medical techniques used in tandem with homeopathic treatments like massage therapy and dietary changes have the potential to heal the source of your pain and get your quality of life back on track, permanently.
If you’re suffering from nerve pain that has been difficult to diagnose or has required you to stick to a maintenance opioid regimen, don’t settle for what you’re currently dealing with. Call the Blatman Health and Wellness Center for information on alternative and integrative ways to heal your pain.