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Neuralgia

Excruciating pain can result because of irritation to nerves since all nerves serve as relay centers to pass on the sensation of touch and other stimulus to the command center or the brain. The condition called neuralgia is characterized as a disorder by the presence of pain of all types and intensities. Irritated nerves typically respond by severe pain, sudden pain that can become repeated over and over again. They can come on automatically or as a result of some movement in the area or due to other causes. As most of those nerves that are affected lie very close to the skins surface, even cold drafts or even feeling minimal cold sensations and even the slightest touch can trigger them. The nerve may be given to a pulsing and throbbing painful motion in a variety of cases. The onset of an attack of neuralgia is usually given by a tingling and numbness. It should however be remembered that neuritis or polyneuropathy will also give similar types of symptoms and they must be discounted first as possible sources of the problem.

An attack of neuralgia that affects only one side of the face in the cheek is a typical sign of trigeminal neuralgia where the trigeminal nerve is affected and a severe pain results when this occurs along with the pain, physical symptoms such as reddening and swelling also ensue. Before it can become mature neuralgia, conditions of this kind usually begin with a sensitive feeling in a tooth. Many people have a problem with repeated attacks of this kind of neuralgia even though, as condition neuralgia of the trigeminal nerves commonly happens only once. The demography that this condition affects is primarily the elderly and those in their middle ages. Even if it is very rare, in some people the pain in the nerve can affect the throat, even the scrotum in some men and in some women the labia.

An injured nerve can also bring on the symptoms of neuralgia in a person. The phantom limb syndrome and the pain associated with it is a case in point, such pain is also possible and occurs even in all other types of surgical procedures that can affect the nerve, and additionally a severe period of shingles may also bring it on. A very uncommon type of neuralgia called a post-traumatic reflex can bring on nerve pains, which come accompanied by wasting muscles due to an injury.

The problem with this condition is how little we know about it, aside from simply describing it, scientifically, neuralgia is simply any form of pain associated with the nerves or nervous impairment, the underlying causes and possible cures all need investigation. For example, very sensitive nerves result when a person's face lies exposed to the cold wind or a chilly draft and this leads to what is known as trigeminal neuralgia in the face. The presence of undetected tooth problems and abscesses and other dental infections may be blamed, however when such attacks of neuralgia keeps occurring. This is because nerve irritation is attained very easily by repeatedly putting pressure on the nerve. Chronic inflammation of the gums, swollen tissues and problems like scarring are all good and possible sources of internal pressure on the nerve.

While it cannot always be confirmed many times, the reason behind the inflammation is clearly a recurring injury. Very probably due to the pressure, an out of turn healing reflex of the sympathetic nervous system occurs, when pain in the nerves come accompanied by the wasting of muscle in the aftermath of an injury.

The late hypersensitive reaction to certain food allergies can also be the possible reasons for pain in the facial region, which is of unknown origin or comes on suddenly. The sensitivity to the food becomes less obvious and is not suspected as the painful reaction to the food compounds, commonly consisting of three to twenty foodstuffs, can happen even up to five days following ingestion by the person. These foods, which are commonly consumed in huge amounts, are very often the preferred or regular food items and they are also the allergens to which the person is sensitive.

Toxic substances have a way of easily affecting and irritating the nerves, while recurring attacks can also equally easily result from overabundant levels of these toxic substances. The diet should be cleared off substances such as tobacco and alcohol, and detoxification of the body should be immediately begun as soon as there is development of pain in the nerve. One must always check also for two toxic and heavy metals like lead and mercury as these can always be the reasons for nerve distress, if they are present in high levels in the body. Pain and the irritation of the immune system and nervous system, result from mercury as it is an amalgam used in teeth, the origin of pain in the facial region is the silver dental filling, which can leach out mercury continuously. Before allowing yourself to go into surgery and if you have four or more of this silver amalgam fillings in the teeth, remove or substitute these fillings as they can be a possible cause for chronic pain. Pain in the nerves and inflammation can be caused by the lack of some types of B vitamins at the same time a deficient diet can contribute to chronic nerve problems. Because stress greatly weakens the nervous system, it is well worth considering as a possible cause of the nerve disorder.

Supplements and herbs

Though very rarely apparent in tests on blood, the deficiency in the body of many of the B vitamins often increases the vulnerability to nerve problems. An imbalanced nervous system creates a huge demand in the body for the B vitamins. Supplementation in sublingual form must be carried out using a specific and important B vitamin called B12.

Nerve disorders require the presence of the essential fatty acids in some quantity. Playing a role as the building blocks of the nervous system, these may also have a mild anti-inflammatory effect within the body. One of the easiest ways to obtain the essential fatty acids is through the use of the oil of the evening primrose herb. Spasms and pain can also be very often relieved through the use of injections of magnesium.

Most of the herbs given below can be drunk as teas and juices and they can in addition be used as topical treatments in the form of a compress.

The reduction of inflammation and the restoration of the nervous system can be achieved through drinking the juice of the St. John's wort herb. Dosage can be about 1-3 tbsp. of the juice along with water or herbal tea, or if preferred 2 cups a day of tea made from St. John's wort and for a calming nervine add to this tea the lavender or the skullcap herbs. By rubbing the oil of the peppermint herb onto the affected region an anesthetic can be realized. The restoration of the nervous system, and an antispasmodic action can be achieved with the use of the sedative herb vervain. A compress can be made with this herb, by soaking a piece of cloth in the decoction of the herb. The pain can be healed and soothed using Swedish bitters as an external or topical rub. The detoxification of the system can be achieved if this herb is consumed. Daily drink a tsp. in half a cup of liquid or water. The inflammation arising in any region of the body can be reduced by washing the inflamed part with an infusion made from the arnica herb. To relieve inflamed parts an application of cold medicinal clay mixed with the oil of the St. John's wort herb, the oils of the lemon balm, and the lavender or the cream of the comfrey herb can be used. Using external applications and compresses on the affected area can increase the circulation in the affected area. These compresses can be made from pulped horseradish or the seeds of the black mustard. Such circulation promoting compresses can also be made out of the following herbs such as the burdock herb, the chamomile, the quinine containing cinchona bark, for ingestion the devil's claw which must be consumed along with the juice of the aloe vera herb or along with food to prevent the onset of hyperacidity in the stomach. Other herbs like the common culinary herb fenugreek and the ginger can also be used, herbs like the horseradish, berries from the juniper tree, and herbs like the mugwort and the mullein, kitchen herbs like parsley and rosemary, the stinging nettle and the skullcap, the white willow, extract of the wild yam and valerian can all be used to cure the symptoms of neuralgia. The combined form of many of the herbs is available and helps to minimize the tablets and tinctures and capsules of the many herbs and makes it more convenient to take it in one form.

Homeopathy

According to the intensity and the acute symptoms all the homeopathic prescriptions given below must be used at dosage levels of 6, 12 or 30c as often as necessary. In cases of chronic neuralgia, a daily dosage of one to three doses can be utilized. It is often required to take the prescriptions in high potencies and these can be very effective in treatment.

  • Aconite
    Aconitum is to be used with people suffering from neuralgia where the pain develops suddenly or violently. The nature of the pain is a burning tearing or shooting sensation. Other sensations can include a heavy, numb, and tingling sensation. The person may experience type of neuralgia after being exposed to cold drafts, and to cold weather, when scared or given a fright, due to surgery or as a result of injuries, and it can also come about because of the bodily discharges or sweat that has been suppressed. The patient will experience a lot of thirst and becomes very hot and he will also have dry skin. Moreover the person is given to restlessness and anxiety and may fear the imminent arrival of death. The person will worsen in the nighttime, from too much noise and on being touched or when moving around, the right side of the body seems to be affected more than the left. The condition of the person significantly improves out in the open air.
  • Arsenicum
    Arsenicum is to be used in people suffering from neuralgia who experience pains that burn like fire and have a tearing sensation. There may be spasms in the limbs and in addition the limbs may be given to twitching and trembling. The psychological symptoms manifested in the person are restlessness to the extreme and anxiety, extreme restlessness, physical symptoms including great and general weakness in the body are present, additionally the person may also feel very cold at most times. The person is very tired and seems exhausted. Arsenicum can be used in treating the neuralgia developing in the regions of the arms and legs, the face, the gums and teeth, the hip, and those affecting the left side of the body. The person will worsen in the night, around 1-2 a.m., when exposed to cold, damp and inclement weather, when strained by exertion from too much rest, when touched. The condition of the person improves when the person moves gently and heat is applied to the affected areas.
  • Cimicifuga
    Cimicifuga is to be used as a prescription where the pain due to neuralgia is like an electric shock and seems to radiate out from a point; the person also feels an intense aching sensation along with the pain. Cimicifuga can be used to treat all neuralgia pains in the areas of the body such as the sciatic nerve, the eyes and the face, the heart and the uterus among other parts. Psychological symptoms in such persons include anxiety and depression and they are given to loquacity. The large muscles of the body may be given to spasms, becoming contracted and heavy with stiff jerking movements. The person may in addition to this feel very restless. The person will worsen when moving, and in the nighttime, or when exposed to damp and cold weather, and cold drafts. The condition of the person will significantly improve when resting wrapped in blankets and warm.
  • Colocynthis
    Colocynthis is to be used as a prescription for people with neuralgia where the pain is of a sharp and shooting nature, with lightning quick cramping pains and vise-like pains occurring in waves along the affected region. Along with the spasms the pain that occurs is followed by numbness in the affected part. The affected area becomes sore and is tender to the touch. Psychological symptoms include restlessness evident in the person, who may try to suppress this restlessness. The other signs that the pain begets are faintness, irritability and anger. Colocynthis can be used to treat all the symptoms of neuralgia in the regions of the body such as the limbs, the face, the gums and the teeth, the abdominal areas above the ovary, the uterus, and the renal region among other parts. The person will greatly worsen whenever he or she is touched, responding with anger and when she or he is in motion. The condition of the person generally improves when bending over or double and under heat and hard applied pressure on the affected area.
  • Spigelia
    Spigelia is to be used as a prescription in order to deal with the neuralgia in all persons who experience the pain of neuralgia as sudden painful attacks. This may radiate from a point in the outward or downward direction and be accompanied by stabbing pains, the affected region in addition to these signs become very sensitive to the touch. The physical signs are the affected eyes, which are watery and red and feel bloated and enlarged. The symptoms as such are the same as those brought out in an excess use of tea or tobacco. Spigelia can be used to treat all symptoms of neuralgia in the regions of the body such as the eyes the gums and the teeth, the head and the heart and the facial region including the eyes, and those of the left side of the body. Emotionally caused conditions such as stammering and fear are witnessed in the person. The condition of the person will greatly worsen in the cold and damp place and when undergoing any sort of movement and in the time period between sunrise and sunset, the person is also averse to touching. The condition of the person improves when a cold compress is applied externally on the affected area.

Additional things you may do

You can try using apple cider vinegar water as a topical lotion to give a light massage on the affected area; this substance is of traditional use in this regard as far as neuralgia is concerned. To prepare the solution, half a cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of lukewarm water are mixed, into this mixture dip a clean cotton cloth. Use this cloth to apply the solution onto the affected area by lightly wiping the painful area with upward strokes until the pain recedes, alternately you can make use of your hands to do just that, dip your hand in the vinegar solution and lightly stroke the affected area just as before for maximum relief. Another person should preferably carry out this massage as it may become difficult for a single individual and especially the patient herself to handle it. Applying hot wraps around the affected area can minimize the pain felt. The affected region can also be relieved by slowly rubbing a slice of fresh lemon onto it as a topical treatment. External treatments using the oil or cream of the arnica herb and natural progesterone cream may also be beneficial in relieving pain.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, 2x500 mg capsules thrice a day
  • Vitamin B12, 1,000 mcg (sublingual tablets)
  • Vitamin B complex, 50 mg thrice a day

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