What Is the Treatment for Diabetic Nerve Pain?

Diabetic Nerve Pain

With medicine and exercise, relieve diabetic nerve pain. Taking care of your diabetes might stop it from growing worse.

Diabetic Nerve Pain

Diabetes may lead to long-term issues with every part of your body. Particularly, if you are unable to adequately regulate your blood sugar and your levels stay elevated for an extended period of time. Diabetic neuropathy is one of the consequences of diabetes. Your hands, feet, toes, and fingers may become numb or tingly as a result.

A searing, burning, or sharp pain is another sign (diabetic nerve pain). At first, the pain might not be very bad. But it has the potential to worsen and radiate up your arms or legs. Walking may be painful, and even the gentlest touch can be terrible.

Treatment For Diabetic Nerve Pain

In order to prevent further nerve damage, controlling your blood sugar is of utmost importance. Set a blood sugar goal with your doctor, and learn how to keep track of it. Use diets, physical activity, and medicines to bring your blood sugar levels down to a healthier level. Keep an eye on additional health hazards, such as smoking and weight, as these may worsen your diabetes. If you need help quitting smoking or losing weight, see your doctor for advice.


Anticonvulsants, or anti-seizure medications, such as gabapentin (Neurontin) or pregabalin (Lyrica), are typically the first-line treatment for diabetic neuropathy, particularly when there is pain. These medications also have the ability to aid with nerve discomfort.

Due to antidepressant medications’ interference with the chemicals in your brain that cause you to experience pain, they can additionally decide to utilize the selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) duloxetine (Cymbalta). There are more drugs in the same classes that a doctor might pick from if these three do not work.

In order to control discomfort, your doctor may also advise attempting an over-the-counter pain medicine for diabetic nerve pain. These can have adverse effects but are accessible without a prescription. To manage your symptoms, take a small dose for a brief period of time.

Opioid Pain Medicines

Significantly more potent medications, such as opioid-like tramadol (Conzip, Ultram) and oxycodone (Oxycontin), can handle considerably more severe pain. However, due to side effects and the possibility of substance use disorder (SUD), these medications are not intended for long-term treatment. In the event that other therapies are not working, you may try these drugs. When using opioid medications, follow your doctor’s instructions and proceed with caution.

Physical Therapy

Though research has not yet established the most effective kind, a range of physical activities or physical therapy may be useful in relieving discomfort from peripheral neuropathy. This might involve:

  • Techniques such as Tai Chi
  • Weight lifting and strengthening
  • Functional workouts
  • Stretching

For some persons, some physical activities could be more beneficial than others. Make sure you ask your doctor about the appropriate workout regimen for you given your particular medical history and symptoms.

If you see a physical therapist, be sure the practitioner is reputable, has knowledge of neuropathy, diabetes, or other conditions, and can guide you through physical therapy exercises without causing more nerve damage. An expert’s careful monitoring of physical activity can stop any more problems from developing. Furthermore, bear in mind that physical therapy is a means to manage diabetic nerve pain, not a cure.

Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin cream, which comes from hot peppers, blocks pain impulses. It can be used topically in areas of the skin where diabetic nerve pain is particularly intense. Additionally, it comes in lotion, jelly, and patch form.

According to research, using a lotion containing 0.075% capsaicin on the afflicted area four times a day can help reduce discomfort by as much as 50%. However, before adopting therapies based on capsaicin, see your doctor. In certain cases, it might even result in an allergic response and skin irritation.

In addition, it could increase your sensitivity to the sun and other heat sources and interact negatively with other medications. When using creams or lotions containing capsaicin, try to avoid prolonged exposure to heat or sunlight.

The Bottom Line

Diabetes-related neuropathy is the term used to describe nerve damage caused by diabetes. It may result in discomfort, tingling, and numbness as symptoms. Certain drugs, such as opioids, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants, may lessen these symptoms. Furthermore, diabetes control can lessen and avoid diabetic nerve pain symptoms.