According to Bharat Bhise, nerve damage or neuropathy can occur due to many reasons such as a traumatic injury, infection, cancer, diabetes mellitus, autoimmune disorders, alcoholism, and more. It can cause numbness, weakness, and pain in the extremities of your body or in a specific site. Sometimes, peripheral neuropathy can be cured by treating any underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or infections. However, in many cases, it cannot be cured at all, and the treatment is aimed at controlling and managing symptoms.
Here are a few ways nerve damage and neuropathy are treated:
- Medicines – Generally, nerve damage that is caused as a result of an underlying condition such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV is treated with medicines that help to treat the underlying condition. However, the patient might need additional medicines for treating the nerve pain.
Generally, these involve the use of antidepressants such as nortriptyline or duloxetine along with anticonvulsants such as gabapentin for maximum effectiveness. Power opioid painkillers might be required for people with severe nerve damage. And the use of topical ointments such as gels, patches, lotions, and creams might be required if the pain is isolated in specific areas of your body.
- Surgery – When nerve damage occurs as a result of compression injury such as due to tumors, a herniated disc in the neck or back, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more, surgery is the most suitable treatment option. A surgeon can free a nerve that is squeezed due to scarring or tight space via surgery.
If a section of the nerve is damaged beyond repair, it can be removed, and the end points of the health section can be connected with a nerve implant from another part of your body. This is known as a nerve graft and allows your nerve to regrow.
- Physical therapy – Physical therapy along with exercise is one of the best ways to restore function to affected muscles. It involves the use of specific muscle movements that helps to prevent stiffness, keep the joints and muscles active, improve muscular strength, and maintain the proper range of motion.
- Mechanical aids – When physical therapy and exercise are not enough to restore function to the muscles and reduce pain, your doctor will recommend mechanical aids such as casts, braces, special shoes, and splints that help to support the affected area and reduce pain. It also helps to keep the affected limbs such as your foot or hand, and fingers in the proper position.
- Proper nutrition – Receiving proper nutrition is essential if you want to treat nerve damage and restore function to your body. During your treatment period, your nutritionist will recommend a specific diet that you have to follow. It will involve a mix of food that you are allowed to eat and will provide you with all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, and fat your body requires to function properly.
Bharat Bhise suggests you consult with your doctor if you suffer from pain that you suspect is a result of nerve damage. If left untreated, the nerve damage can spread and cause irreparable damage to your body.