Nerve pain is a specific type caused by damage or irritation to one or more of the body’s nerves. Also called “neuropathic pain,” nerve pain often presents spontaneously, resulting in a stabbing, burning, or zap-like sensation and tingling and numbness. In some instances, the pain can also be evoked, with normally innocuous stimuli such as a gentle touch or light pressure on the skin so amplified that patients actually hurt. There are several ways to treat nerve pain, from oral medications and steroid shots to topical creams, chiropractic treatments, and even surgery. In this blog, we’ll look at nerve pain relief cream, in particular; what are they, and can they really provide lasting relief?

nerve pain relief cream

What is a Nerve Pain Relief Cream?

Nerve pain relief creams are administered directly on the skin. There are two basic kinds: analgesic creams and anesthetic creams.

These types of creams work by blocking nerve pain signals. Many contain capsaicin, the active chemical component of chili peppers. Capsaicin suppresses Substance P, the main relayer of messages between nerves and the brain, so that pain cannot be physiologically discerned and, thus, cannot be physically felt. There are many over-the-counter (OTC) capsaicin creams. For more substantial relief, there are also prescription capsaicin creams.

These types of creams numb the skin. Many contain lidocaine, a medication that blocks nerves from sending signals and therefore makes the skin impervious to any feeling. Menthol is another common ingredient in anesthetic nerve pain relief creams and works much the same way as lidocaine. Both components can be found in OTC, as well as prescription creams.

Do Nerve Pain Relief Creams Work?

Nerve pain relief creams are a great first line of defense for sufferers of mild to moderate peripheral neuropathy. They can provide fast-acting relief, and most are easy to obtain. However, they only treat the symptoms of nerve pain, not the root cause. And while generally safe, nerve pain relief creams can cause severe side effects, especially when used in excess. Burning, irritation, rashes, and even heart and respiratory issues can occur. And sometimes, they can so desensitize users to pain that they inadvertently and unknowingly hurt themselves.

A Better Option

An even better option for treating neuropathic pain than nerve pain relief creams, is specialized neuropathy treatments that capitalize on the body’s own natural healing processes. In this way, instead of just covering nerve pain symptoms, patients can restore normal nerve function. Here at Central Iowa Neuropathy, we provide access to a proprietary nerve pain treatment program that utilizes up to eight advanced technologies that have the potential to increase blood flow to the body’s nerves, reduce inflammation, and accelerate the healing process from inside out! Please contact us to learn more.