Alternative medicine

There are many alternative therapies that may help with pain relief on their own or in combination with medications. But check with your health care provider before using any alternative therapy or dietary supplement to make sure that you don't have any potential interactions.

For diabetic neuropathy, you may want to try:

  • Capsaicin. Capsaicin cream, applied to the skin, can reduce pain sensations in some people. Side effects may include a burning feeling and skin irritation.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid. This powerful antioxidant is found in some foods and may help relieve nerve pain symptoms in some people.
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine. This nutrient is naturally made in the body and is available as a supplement. It may ease nerve pain in some people.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This prescription therapy may help prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. TENS delivers tiny electrical impulses to specific nerve pathways through small electrodes placed on the skin. Although safe and painless, TENS doesn't work for everyone or for all types of pain.
  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture may help relieve the pain of neuropathy, and generally doesn't have any side effects. Keep in mind that you may not get immediate relief with acupuncture and might require more than one session.
April 29, 2022
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