“It never gets used to”, said presenter and author Marc de Hond about nerve pain in an interview with the Varagids. He suffers from this problem every day due to a paraplegia. “If you are completely healthy and you suddenly have the pain I have every day, you will probably stay at home, I can now get over the pain, but you never get used to it.”
Unfortunately, for many patients, the pain does not go away completely and they have to give it a place, just like De Hond. Often the cause of the pain can not be removed (for example diabetes ), but fortunately there are many treatments possible that alleviate the pain. In some patients, the pain disappears completely. Ordinary painkillers do not work well against nerve pain. Besides medication, there are also alternatives to deal with the pain.
Often patients get a combination of resources. It is not always about pills, sometimes you locally apply a cream or gel to the sensitive area.
Only after a while can you know whether a treatment is working well. Unfortunately, a number of remedies have side effects. If the pain completely disappears, you can sometimes reduce the medication without the pain coming back. However, this is not always the case.
TENS stands for Transcutane Electrical NeuroStimulation. This is a small device with electrodes that are placed on the skin. By giving small electrical impulses via the electrodes, the nerve is stimulated to make analgesic substances. This can give relief from the pain complaints.
The scholars do not agree whether the scientific ‘evidence’ for the functioning of TENS is sufficiently substantiated. But many patients benefit from it.
It is frustrating to have pain. Even worse is when you notice that not one two three is a solution. Depressed feelings, fear of worsening symptoms, anger and stress are common in people with pain.
Talking to a psychologist can help you learn how to deal with this. ‘Stepping over the pain’, as Marc de Hond calls it, seems to be an impossible task for some patients, but talking often helps to deal with the frustrations of learning.
Physiotherapy and relaxation
Physiotherapy is an important part of the treatment for certain disorders, such as a hernia. Physiotherapy can also help with other forms of nerve pain . Cramping due to pain can cause unnecessary extra complaints. Massage, movement, stretching and relaxation can prevent this. Yoga can also sometimes help to learn to relax and to keep the muscles supple. For pain complaints, it is wise to consult with the GP to see which form of exercise is appropriate.
Unfortunately, the cause of the pain can not always be traced. But if in your case it is known what your complaints are coming from, find out with your doctor which specific treatments and lifestyle advice can be useful to you.
For example, in the case of nerve pain in diabetes, it is important to pay more attention to controlling blood sugar levels through a healthy lifestyle. And in case of a hernia surgery can solve the symptoms.
Expectations of a treatment
The cause of the pain can often not be removed. Think of diabetes or a paraplegia. The treatment is therefore often focused on the pain to fight. Often it is possible to relieve the pain.
As a result, there is energy left to take steps to learn to live with the remaining pain. In some cases, the pain can even be completely controlled.