Some ways to find relief include:
- Oral medications, including prescription antidepressants and anticonvulsants, which can reduce the sensation of pain. (Over-the-counter ibuprofen is usually not effective for nerve pain.)
- Topical medications can target pain located in a small area.
- Nerve stimulation is an advanced treatment that can help in cases of more severe pain. The treatment can be applied to the skin or placed along the spinal cord to change unpleasant nerve pain into something more tolerable. “Stimulation doesn’t fix the damage from diabetes,” says Dr. Bolash. “It tricks the brain’s ability to sense pain.”
All patients with diabetes should discuss neuropathy with their primary care physician and be screened for diabetic complications. Physicians can diagnose neuropathy before the patient feels it, and early intervention can make a substantial difference. The sooner nerve damage is detected, the easier it can be treated.