Ask The Expert
May 24, 2011
"Neuropathy" means nerve disease. Symptoms can include pain, burning or tingling. There are many causes. Treatment may depend on the cause. For example, neuropathy due to not having enough vitamin B12 may only need a B12 supplement. But B12 won't help neuropathy due to diabetes.
Diabetes is a common cause of painful neuropathy. Aggressively treating diabetes can help prevent diabetic neuropathy. However, once the neuropathy starts, it is rarely reversible. By keeping blood sugars close to normal, it may be possible to stop the neuropathy from getting worse.
Another common neuropathy is carpal tunnel syndrome. This may be related to:
Finding and treating any associated condition can reduce or even cure symptoms. However, many types of neuropathy are not readily reversible. In many cases, the cause of neuropathy is not known.
For these, a number of medications are available, including:
Anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, and other pain medications (such as tramadol or narcotics) may be recommended.
Non-medication approaches to reduce pain include:
There is not a single, best treatment that works for every person with painful neuropathy. It may take time to find a drug or treatment that reduces symptoms without causing side effects. Be patient. Most people get at least some relief for their painful neuropathy with treatment.