Tips for Living With Nerve Pain
In some cases, nerve pain can be reduced or even eliminated with treatment; however, even with effective treatment, achieving pain relief can take months or years. Unfortunately, in some cases, nerve pain remains consistent or even worsens over time, so developing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with nerve pain is essential.
Some tips for reducing pain and staying physically and mentally healthy while dealing with nerve pain include the following:
- Relax and reduce stress. Because the nervous system affects both the body and mind, prioritizing relaxation is essential. Avoid stressful situations when possible. Practice meditation, listen to calming music, or drink herbal tea to relax the mind and body.
- Have a plan in place for when pain is heightened. Be prepared with pain relieving tools, such as ice packs, heating pads, topical creams, comfortable pillows, orthopedic footwear, or anything else that may help reduce pain. Use these tools as needed.
- Participate in physical activity. Movement improves circulation and loosens up stiff muscles. Movement can even expand blood vessels in the feet, which can help repair damaged nerves. Stretching, practicing yoga, walking and swimming are all good examples of low-impact activities. Find ways to keep moving without exacerbating nerve pain.
- Practice activity pacing. Learn to do a little at a time to avoid worsening pain. Break large tasks into smaller ones and complete them one at a time. Plan days of rest both before and after busy or heightened-pain days.
- Spend time in nature. Putting bare feet on the grass or the sand can be soothing to the nerves. Spend time focusing on the warmth of the sun on the skin, the melodic sounds of birds singing, or the caress of a light, relaxing breeze.
- Participate in self-care. Take a warm bath with Epsom salts or aromatherapy. Take care of the skin with moisturizing lotion. Make sure to get enough sleep each night.
- Find small pleasures in life. Even when pain is present, it is still possible to laugh, have fun, and find pleasure in things like nature, the arts, and time with family members or friends. Take time to create and savor small pleasures on a regular basis.