Caregivers of patients suffering from symptoms of familial amyloid polyneuropathy are familiar with the prescribed treatments for the disease. Medications such as Neurontin (gabapentin) address the disease’s symptoms from within, while topical treatments may provide temporary relief for nerve pain.
Many treatments for peripheral neuropathy symptoms come with unpleasant side effects. There are a number of alternatives for those wary of prescription medications and their potential downsides. With gabapentin, there is also the potential for interactions with other medicines.
Alternative treatments for peripheral neuropathy
Being familiar with my mother-in-law’s nerve pain and treatment side effects, I researched the potential benefits of alternative remedies as a means of treating neuropathy pain with fewer unpleasant results. (Interactions with medication can still occur, so I had to be careful in my research.) My mom may not readily embrace these alternative treatments but their potential benefits to other patients should not go unnoticed.
Essential oils are thought to possess significant healing characteristics. One of the most popular forms of alternative medicine, essential oils are used to treat numerous conditions. While users typically inhale the scent, essential oils may serve as an excellent topical treatment for peripheral neuropathy when combined with a carrier oil such as coconut oil.
Essential oils have antimicrobial properties that may help treat certain infections. Aside from pain associated with neuropathy, essential oils may also help relieve illnesses, reduce recovery time, and treat skin infections. Certain essential oils are effective in treating nerve pain, according to a limited body of research.
Consult your doctors before trying any of these supplements. I am not a naturopathic or medical expert.
Peppermint oil is known as a topical treatment for relaxing muscles and relieving pain. Additional evidence suggests that, when used as a dietary supplement, it’s also effective in treating indigestion and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Topical peppermint oil may offer relief for nerve pain associated with peripheral neuropathy.
According to a 2014 study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Roman chamomile may be effective in treating inflammation. Chamomile contains the compound borneol, also found in lavender, which may reduce neuropathic pain.
Known for its pain-relieving qualities, lavender may also help patients improve their quality of sleep. According to the 2014 NIH study, lavender plant extract produces calming effects, and serves as an anti-convulsant, with spasm-reducing qualities. The borneol in lavender helps treat topical pain associated with peripheral neuropathy.
Other alternative treatments
Some other alternative treatments are acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy, and nerve stimulation. Before proceeding with these treatments, caregivers must understand their patients’ pain tolerance levels. They may offer beneficial results as complementary treatments, as well.
Alternative treatments may be a cost-efficient means of treating peripheral neuropathy pain. Those looking to minimize the side effects associated with prescription treatments may find that essential oils and alternative therapies offer a great solution.
Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.