Facebook Pixel

Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Options

Rate This

Peripheral neuropathy is a neurological condition where the patient's peripheral nerves (the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord) are damaged. Certain conditions can result in peripheral neuropathy, such as chemotherapy treatment for cancer and diabetes. The American Society of Clinical Oncology lists a number of different treatment options for peripheral neuropathy. For patients who do not want to take additional medication, certain measures, like improving nutrition, can also alleviate the pain.


Medication is often used to relieve the pain associated with peripheral neuropathy. Anticonvulsants and antidepressants are commonly prescribed for more severe pain. For mild pain, over-the-counter medications can be taken, as well as non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and analgesics for moderate pain. Topical pain medications, like lidocaine, can also be used for pain alleviation of peripheral neuropathy.


Having a better nutrition not only helps with peripheral neuropathy, but can also prevent its development in cancer patients (excessive vomiting from chemotherapy is one cause of peripheral neuropathy, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology). A diet that is rich in B vitamins, including B1 and B12 vitamins, folic acid and antioxidants are good for nerve health. While eating foods that contain these vitamins are ideal, supplements can also be taken. In addition, avoiding alcohol can also help with peripheral neuropathy recovery.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often prescribed for peripheral neuropathy patients to keep their muscles strong, and improve both coordination and balance. In addition, physical therapy can also reduce pain in some peripheral neuropathy patients. A therapist may recommend the use of assistance devices to improve mobility, especially if the peripheral neuropathy has affected the patient's motor nerves.

Complementary Medicine

Complementary medicine, such as massages, acupuncture and relaxation techniques, may also be used as a treatment for peripheral neuropathy. These techniques may decrease the pain from peripheral neuropathy, but they also can reduce the mental stress. Complementary medication is usually done along with other treatments for peripheral neuropathy.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, also is used to treat the pain from peripheral neuropathy. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation works through electrodes attached to the body in areas where the pain is located. A gentle current is transmitted to the electrode through a small electrical device, thus stimulating the nerves. When the nerves are stimulated, endorphins, the body's natural pain killer, are released to the areas of pain.

Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch received her bachelor’s of science degree in neuroscience from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in May 2009. She is the Hartford Women's Health Examiner and she writes about abuse on Suite 101.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Get Email Updates

Peripheral Neuropathy Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!