If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from neuropathy, then you know just how debilitating and painful the condition can be. Neuropathy is a disorder of the nervous system that can cause a wide range of symptoms, from mild tingling and numbness to severe pain and disability.
While there is no cure for neuropathy, there are treatments that can help relieve the symptoms and improve your quality of life.
One treatment option that is gaining popularity is natural remedies for neuropathy. These remedies are not only effective at reducing symptoms, but they are also safe and free from the side effects that often come with traditional medications.
So, if you’re looking for a way to reverse neuropathy naturally, here are eight proven steps that can help:
- Improve your diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get enough sleep.
- Manage stress levels.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Stretch and massage your muscles.
- Soak in an Epsom salt bath.
- Use essential oils.
Let’s talk about these in more detail.
Step 1: Improve Your Diet
Let’s start by discussing how your diet can help ease neuropathy symptoms. I know, I know – we all hate it when doctors tell us to eat healthier! But I promise, optimizing your nutrition can make a big difference in nerve health.
First, make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins like B1, B6, B12, and folate. These play a crucial role in nerve functioning. Foods like wild salmon, grass-fed beef, eggs, spinach, and avocado can help cover your bases. You may also need supplementation if levels are low.
It’s wise to cut back on foods that can contribute to nerve irritation. These include processed meats, excess sugar, fried foods, conventional dairy, and anything with trans fats. Instead, emphasize a diverse mix of anti-inflammatory whole foods. Think leafy greens, berries, nuts and seeds, plant-based proteins, etc.
I also advise patients to avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine, as these can aggravate nerves over time. Stay well hydrated with filtered water and herbal teas. Proper hydration is super important for healthy nerves!
In some cases, advanced glycation end products (AGEs) can harm nerve fibers. These compounds form when food is cooked at high temperatures. So, try to limit the consumption of fried items, grilled meats, pasteurized dairy, and processed snacks.
Make changes slowly and focus on adding nourishing foods rather than restricting everything at once. Be patient with yourself! Even small, gradual improvements to your diet can reduce inflammation and provide antioxidants to help regenerate damaged nerves.
Step 2: Exercise Regularly
I know exercise is probably the last thing you feel like doing when you’re experiencing neuropathy pain and discomfort. But let me explain why it’s so important for improving nerve health.
First, movement helps nourish nerves by increasing blood flow. It also keeps muscles flexible and joints mobile, which takes pressure off pinched nerves. Exercise helps balance your nervous system and reduces inflammation.
The key is to start gently. Simple activities like walking, stretching, yoga, tai chi, and swimming are great options. Avoid high-impact exercise that could strain nerves. Instead, focus on restorative movement that makes you feel better, not worse.
If you’re experiencing numbness, balance issues, or foot pain, exercise can help retrain your nerves and muscles to coordinate better. Just be sure to work with your doctor or physical therapist to ensure you’re doing so safely.
Make movement a daily habit, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. Taking small movement breaks throughout your day can make a big difference, too. Gentle exercise relieves stiffness, improves circulation, reduces stress, and gets those feel-good endorphins flowing.
Over time, regular exercise can help regenerate nerve fibers and restore function. It also provides so many additional benefits beyond treating neuropathy symptoms directly. Just listen to your body so you don’t overdo it.
I know getting active can feel daunting when you’re in chronic discomfort, but don’t underestimate the healing power of mindful movement. Start where you’re at and build gradually. Your nerves will thank you!
Step 3: Get Enough Sleep
I can’t emphasize enough how critical sleep is for managing neuropathy. I know it can be challenging to get good sleep when you’re in chronic pain. But poor sleep will just make your symptoms worse in the long run.
Aim for 7-9 hours per night as much as possible. I suggest developing a calming nighttime routine – turn off screens an hour before bed, take a warm bath or read a book, meditate or stretch, and avoid heavy meals late at night.
Making your sleep environment really comfortable is key, too. If needed, invest in a good mattress, soft sheets, an eye mask, and ear plugs. Keep the room cool and dark. Some patients find relief in sleeping with socks on to keep their feet warm.
If pain is really disrupting your sleep, talk to us about options to help manage neuropathy symptoms at night. A few other tricks are using pillows to support painful limbs and avoiding fluids for a few hours before bedtime.
I know it can be so frustrating when nerve pain and discomfort prevent good sleep. But try to be patient with yourself and prioritize sleep as much as possible. Those nightly hours of rest and repair are when your nerves heal and regenerate.
Don’t underestimate good sleep hygiene if you’re dealing with neuropathy. Managing your symptoms at night and training your body to sleep deeply can provide some much-needed nerve relief.
Step 4: Manage Stress Levels
Managing stress is so important when you have neuropathy. I know it’s easier said than done, especially when you’re dealing with chronic nerve pain and discomfort. But here’s why getting a handle on stress can help relieve your symptoms.
When we’re stressed, our bodies release inflammatory hormones that can aggravate pinched nerves and irritated nerve endings. Stress also exacerbates pain signals being sent to the brain.
Practicing regular relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga, massage, and time in nature can calm the nervous system down. This reduces inflammation and quiets overly sensitive pain pathways.
It’s also crucial to build time for enjoyable, relaxing hobbies. Connecting with loved ones, listening to music, journaling, or whatever activities bring you joy and comfort.
If feelings of anxiety or depression accompany your neuropathy, seek professional mental health support. Counseling and/or medication can help manage the emotional burden of chronic nerve pain.
I encourage my patients to be gentle with themselves, ask for help when needed, and say no to unnecessary obligations. Simplify your life as much as possible right now to conserve energy.
Dealing with constant neuropathy symptoms is so complex and draining. That’s why regularly “recharging your batteries” through stress management is absolutely essential. It gives your overloaded nerves and brain a break.
Controlling stress takes practice, but it can make a big difference in reducing neuropathy flare-ups.
Step 5: Limit Alcohol Intake
I know that having a glass of wine or beer in the evening can seem appealing when you’re dealing with neuropathy discomfort. However, regular alcohol consumption can make your symptoms worse in the long run. Here’s why I recommend limiting intake if you have neuropathy:
First, alcohol is a neurotoxin that can directly damage nerve fibers and contribute to peripheral nerve pain over time. It also impairs the body’s ability to absorb and utilize B vitamins, which are essential for proper nerve function.
Drinking frequently can cause blood sugar spikes and drops as well, which is problematic for those with diabetes-related neuropathy. It also disrupts sleep, and we know restful sleep is critical for nerve health.
Alcohol leads to inflammation and oxidative damage throughout the body and nervous system. It can even deplete your body’s natural glutathione levels, which helps counter neuropathy-inducing free radicals.
So, what does this mean in practice? I suggest avoiding alcohol altogether when possible. If you do choose to drink occasionally, limit it to one drink or less per day for women and two drinks or less per day for men.
Always drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as well. And be sure to take ample B vitamins to counteract the effects of alcohol.
Step 6: Stretch and Massage Your Muscles
When dealing with neuropathy, it’s essential not to neglect the health of your muscles along with your nerves. Tight, stiff muscles can compress nerves and make neuropathy symptoms worse. That’s why regularly stretching and massaging is recommended.
Simple stretches for your legs, back, shoulders, and neck can help relieve muscle tension that’s putting pressure on nerves. Move slowly and gently, avoiding any positions that increase pain. Yoga is great for easing muscle tightness, too.
Massage stimulates blood flow to numb, tingly areas and helps muscles relax. Focus on your calves, thighs, feet, hands, and back – common problem spots. Even just massaging your hands and feet for a few minutes daily can provide relief.
If possible, book massages with a professional therapist trained in neuropathy treatment. Or have a loved one massage your most painful areas. Use arnica oil to reduce inflammation.
Stretching and massage soothe tense muscles that can pinch nerves and worsen discomfort. They also encourage circulation to nourish damaged nerves. Make this part of your daily self-care routine.
Your nerves don’t function in isolation – they’re deeply interconnected with the muscles and fascia surrounding them. That’s why caring for your muscular system is a critical piece of improving neuropathy symptoms.
Step 7: Soak in an Epsom Salt Bath
One of my favorite home remedies I recommend to neuropathy patients is taking relaxing soaks in an Epsom salt bath. The magnesium in the salts can help relax muscles, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function.
Aim for at least 20 minutes in a warm (not hot) bath infused with 2 cups of Epsom salts. You can also add soothing essential oils like lavender. They help relax the nervous system and unwind.
The magnesium absorbs through your skin to provide an overall calming effect throughout your body. Many patients find it also temporarily reduces neuropathic pain and itching.
I recommend soaking 1-2 times weekly, ideally before bedtime, for better sleep. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking water afterward.
Epsom salt baths are an easy, affordable way to get those soothing minerals right where your nerves need them most. The warmth also improves circulation to affected areas.
After a relaxing soak, your nerves will feel calmer, and your muscles will feel less tense. It’s like a mini spa treatment right in your own home!
If you have open wounds or irritation on your feet or legs, skip the bath and use Epsom salt foot soaks instead. But otherwise, take advantage of this simple way to nourish your neuropathy-prone nerves and tissues.
Step 8: Use Essential Oils
Using certain essential oils can also help provide relief when you’re dealing with painful neuropathy symptoms. The potent plant compounds in these oils can calm nerves, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and ease muscle tension when used topically.
Some of my go-to recommendations are lavender, frankincense, helichrysum, rosemary, and chamomile oils. You can massage these oils directly onto feet, hands, legs, or anywhere you experience neuropathy discomfort.
I suggest mixing the oils with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil first to dilute them before applying them to the skin. Peppermint oil can be cooling, but use it cautiously as it may irritate sensitive skin.
You can also add a few drops of soothing oils to a warm Epsom salt bath or diffuse the oils in your home. Inhaling the aroma of calming oils can reduce stress as well. I encourage patients to experiment to see which scents provide the most relief.
Essential oils won’t cure neuropathy but can help manage certain symptoms. The natural compounds reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, and relax your body. Plus, the massage motion feels therapeutic!
Always use high-quality, pure oils and discontinue use if any irritation develops. Consider essential oils, another helpful home remedy that may ease neuropathy discomfort naturally.
But be sure to use them to complement your treatment plan, not a replacement.
Final Thoughts on Reversing Neuropathy without Drugs or Surgery
As we wrap up our series on neuropathy, I want to leave you with some final thoughts on reversing this condition without the use of drugs or surgery.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that neuropathy is a complex condition with many different underlying causes. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, certain things can help improve nerve function and alleviate symptoms.
One of the most important things you can do is to focus on lifestyle factors that can help improve nerve health. That includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress. Additionally, it’s important to avoid any habits that may be damaging to the nerves, such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.
There are also certain supplements that may be beneficial for nerve health. Some of the most promising include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and alpha-lipoic acid.If you’re struggling with neuropathy, it’s vital to seek out the help of a qualified healthcare provider. We at Althoff Wellness Clinic can help you identify the underlying cause of your condition and develop a non-invasive, non-surgical peripheral neuropathy treatment plan that’s right for you. Call us to book an appointment and start your journey to recovery today!