How Can I Prevent Neuropathy
The best treatment is prevention, and strategies for reducing injuries are highly effective and well tested. Since medical procedures ranging from casting fractures to injuries from needles and surgery are another cause, unnecessary procedures should be avoided. The new adjuvanted vaccine against shingles prevents more than 95 percent of cases and is widely recommended for people over 50, including those who have had previous shingles or vaccination with the older, less effective vaccine. Diabetes and some other diseases are common preventable causes of neuropathy. People with neuropathy should ask their doctors to minimize use of medications that are known to cause or worsen neuropathy where alternatives exist. Some families with very severe genetic neuropathies use in vitro fertilization to prevent transmission to future generations.
Why Does My Body Ache In Bed
Morning body aches can be caused by a lack of good quality sleep, which deprives your bodys tissues and cells of repair time. An effective way to improve sleep is with exercise, which tires the body and reduces stress, helping to improve both the quality of your sleep, and the amount of sleep that you get each night.
Slower Circulation In The Body
Our circulatory system works better during the day when we are generally upright and moving around. At night, when we are lying down, the circulatory system slows down and pumps less fluids through our systems, which can cause mild to moderate discomfort, swelling in the joints, and muscle cramps as well as slow the healing of injuries.
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Trigeminal Neuralgia Feels Like 10 On The Pain Scale
Typically if you ask someone with trigeminal neuralgia to rate how painful their symptoms feel, you would get a rating of around 10 out of 10 . Thats because the searing sensation on the facial muscles occurs without warning, and they can linger for minutes or hours, depending on the damage on your nerves. The worst part is that it can get triggered by many things, including routine activities like brushing your teeth.
Many doctors believe that while only a tiny fraction of cases get reported each year, trigeminal neuralgia is a prevalent health problem. Thats because its so easy to confuse its symptoms with usual dental health problems such as:
- Trigeminal neuromas
- Acoustic neuromas
- Temporal arteritis
Medication Timing And Dosage
Sometimes at night the medications that have kept your pain in check during the day can wear off.
Or your nighttime biochemistry and symptoms may need different dosages or medicines.
This is particularly true for many short-acting medications for neuropathic pain.
Even though your medication is working the way it should during the day, it will eventually wear off.
This often happens in the evening or right before bed.
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You Arent Distracted From The Pain
Another reason why neuropathy may seem worse at night is that youre no longer distracted from the pain. Youre not focused on work, television, reading, playing with your kids, or any other activity. Once you notice that your legs, hands, feet, or arms hurt, you may start to hyper-focus on the pain since you dont have anything to distract you. You may also notice this increased pain on the weekends or at other times when you dont have anything else to focus on.
If you have insomnia or another condition that makes it difficult to sleep, it can make the pain even worse. Youre already tired from not sleeping well, so you may be hyper-focused on anything that is contributing to keeping you awake.
Try Traditional Remedies And Acupuncture
Whether you know the cause of your pain or not, you can try traditional remedies or acupuncture. The efficacy of these remedies can be subjective. While there is some science to back them up, they dont seem to work for everyone. Some people swear by flower essences for pain relief, although there is no clear evidence about whether or not they are effective. In much the same way, some people swear by acupuncture for pain management, while others have not found it to offer any relief. With these and other traditional remedies, give them a try. If they work for you, then they work.
There are several pain-relieving herbs and spices you can try to ease inflammation and arthritis pain. People have used these remedies for centuries. For example, clove has been used to relieve the pain of toothaches and has been found to be as effective as benzocaine gel. Ginger is another traditional remedy proven to help ease muscle pain. Some of these herbs interact with medications you may be taking, so be sure to check with your doctor before you try any of them.
The bottom line when it comes to relieving pain at night is that you may have to try several different methods before you find the right one for you. It may even take a combination of a few methods to get the results you want.
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Leg Pain While Lying On The Side
Lying on the side can cause or exacerbate leg pain in a couple ways:
- Putting direct pressure on a nerve root by lying on the leg affected by sciatic pain.
- Lying with the hips tilted too far to one side, which causes the spine to curve, pinching the nerve roots and causing leg pain. For example, lying on the unaffected leg can cause the affected hip to curve too far up toward the ceiling, pinching a nerve root and causing pain in the affected leg.
If you tend to sleep on your side, it is usually recommended to lie on the unaffected leg. However, this advice doesnt work for everyone, and you may find that the reverse is more comfortable.
To prevent leg pain when sleeping on your side, try placing a pillow between your legs and keeping your hips in alignment with your spine, rather than curved to the side.
Symptoms Of Unexplained Nerve Pain
Nerve pain in idiopathic peripheral neuropathy is usually in the feet and legs but can also be in the hands and arms. People describe their unexplained nerve pain in different ways:
- Electrical shocks
Simple touching can cause nerve pain, and pain may be constant even when there’s no stimulation. Often, unexplained nerve pain is worse at night, interfering with sleep. This can compound the problem, because people need adequate sleep in order to cope with pain.
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Your Sleep Environment May Be To Blame
However, there are real factors at night that can cause you to feel more pain. For instance, cold temperatures can make your joints achier. Also, things such as dust can aggravate respiratory conditions and make issues such as sleep apnea worse. As you sleep and your breathing cadence becomes slower, more carbon dioxide enters your bloodstream, which in turn causes your blood vessels to dilate and your nerve endings to be more sensitive.
Neuropathy Nerve Pain And Sleep Disorders
According to studies, the prevalence of sleep disturbances and disorders in neuropathic patients ranges between 50% and 80%. Sleep disorders are primarily related to the increase in pain levels during nighttime in the majority of chronic pain patients.
Even with proper treatment, medications, and therapy, neuropathic patients cannot simply decrease the pain intensity as the nighttime arrives. That is why the connection between neuropathy and sleep disorders is bidirectional the pain prevents proper sleep, while the lack of proper sleep further aggravates neuropathy.
Patients that suffer from neuropathy are more likely to develop sleep disorders. Studies have shown a direct association between neuropathy and insomnia, restlessness, sleep fragmentation, etc. It is believed that antidepressants, opioid receptor agonists, and serotonin can reduce pain-related sleep disturbances in both depressed and non-depressed patients. That is why neuropathic patients are often prescribed antidepressants to reduce nerve pain levels and improve their sleep quality.
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What Causes Nerve Pain
Nerve pain can be due to problems in the central nervous system , or in the nerves that run from there to the muscles and organs. It is usually caused by disease or injury.
Common causes include:
- trapped nerves, such as in carpal tunnel syndrome
There are other conditions associated with nerve pain.
Sciatica is pressure on the nerves of the lower back that causes pain down the leg. The pain can be accompanied by pins and needles, numbness or weakness in the leg.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome associated with burning or aching pain in different parts of the body. The cause is not well understood, but it can be triggered by emotional distress and poor sleep. There may be genetic factors, too.
Take One Night At A Time
Its easier said than done to not think about the pain. The goal is to try. You have the ability to rethink how you perceive pain. It will take some time and effort, but its worth it.
Tonight, before you go to bed, turn off the television, lights and all electronic devices. Take deep breaths in and visualize something wonderful. Lets try to shut off the brain and calm the body for a peaceful nights rest.
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Sleep Positioning And Nerve Compression Syndromes
Does your sleep positioning make the nerves in your arm cranky?
Have you ever awoken from a sound sleep unable to find your arm in space? Have you noticed that when you wake up in the middle of the night, your fingers are numb and tingling? You may be sleeping in positions that stress the nerves in your neck or arm. Your nerve may have reached its tipping point, signaling that it has had enough compressive stress and can no longer tolerate that position. Our body has this wonderfully efficient system to alert us to make a changebefore permanent nerve damage occurs.
There are numerous studies in the literature that describe correlations between sleep positioning and carpal tunnel but actually, any of the peripheral nerves are subject to it. It all depends on how you sleep. We now know that low magnitude compressive stress applied to a nerve over a long period of time may cause significant changes secondary to impairment of blood flow, alteration in nerve conduction, and altered axonal transport. We have all heard about the relationship between carpal tunnel and how we sit at our computers all day. Consider how long we may maintain stress to a nerve when we are in a deep sleep and static position for up to 6-8 hours.
Here are some guidelines that may help you keep your nerves happy while you sleep:
What Are The Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy
Most instances of neuropathy are either acquired, meaning the neuropathy or the inevitability of getting it isnt present from the beginning of life, or genetic. Acquired neuropathies are either symptomatic or idiopathic .
Causes of symptomatic acquired peripheral neuropathy include:
Genetically-caused polyneuropathies are rare. Genetic mutations can either be inherited or arise de novo, meaning they are completely new mutations to an individual and are not present in either parent. Some genetic mutations lead to mild neuropathies with symptoms that begin in early adulthood and result in little, if any, significant impairment. More severe hereditary neuropathies often appear in infancy or childhood. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, is one of the most common inherited neurological disorders.
The small-fiber neuropathies that present with pain, itch, and autonomic symptoms also can be genetic. As our understanding of genetic disorders increases, many new genes are being associated with peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral Neuropathy Most Likely To Worsen During The Night
Peripheral neuropathy, also known as distal symmetric neuropathy, is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. The pain with this condition affects feet and legs firstly, and then hands and arms, due to nerve damage. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include numbness, tingling, burning pain, sensitivity to touch, ulcers, infection, and bone/joint pain.
However, what is particularly interesting with peripheral neuropathy is that its symptoms significantly worsen at night, when compared to other types of the condition. Peripheral neuropathy especially reacts to changes in temperature, which are known to increase the pain levels.
The reason this happens lies in the damage of the peripheral nerves. These nerves are responsible for signaling to the brain whether its hot or cold, but also signaling to the brain whether something is causing pain. When peripheral nerves are damaged, the brain translates the changes in temperature as pain, which then causes the sensations of tingling, burning, and sharp pain.
The body experiences changes in temperature mostly during the night. As the circadian rhythm adjusts to the nighttime, and the melatonin production increases, the body temperature lowers in the hope to make us feel sleepy. That is when the body becomes cooler, and neuropathic patients start experiencing an increase in pain levels.
Sometimes Surgery Is The Way To Go
These self-care options can sometimes provide relief and allow you to get the sleep you need. However, if conservative treatments are ineffective, surgically releasing the nerve so that it is no longer compressed might be the best option. Freeing the trapped nerve can offer lasting relief from meralgia paresthetica.
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Broken Tooth Or Dental Appliance
Sometimes cracked teeth dont hurt until pressure is applied to them. Broken or chipped enamel and dental work might go unnoticed throughout the day. But once you lay down and clench your teeth or run your tongue over them, you remember that its there. If you happen to grind your teeth at night or wear a removable retainer to sleep in, those broken areas might get a little irritated from the extra stimuli. Make sure you see your dentist as soon as you can before those broken teeth or appliances crack in half altogether.
Neuropathic Pain And Circadian Rhythms
For some, pain seems pretty simple you feel pain, you take some pain meds, and it goes away. But pain is a lot more complicated than that for others. New research indicates there may be a connection between headaches and neuropathic pain and our circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are your bodys built-in clock.
As you may have assumed by its name, neuropathic pain is caused by conditions that involve the spinal cord, brain, or nerve fibers. It can feel like electric, burning, or shooting pain. In these instances, even something as simple as putting on your socks can cause severe pain.
People with different conditions generally have pain at different times of the day. People suffering from inflammatory conditions such as migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, and toothaches tend to have pain in the morning. Those who have neuropathic pain such as diabetic neuropathy, prosthetic neuralgia, and cancer generally have worse pain at night.
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How To Reduce Neuropathic Pain
If you are living with chronic pain, rest is especially important. Because your circadian rhythm can affect neuropathic pain, keeping a regular sleep schedule can help you fall asleep easier. This will help you empower your natural sleep cycle. Your body will become used to a consistent schedule, which can help you fall asleep faster.
Stop drinking caffeine 4-6 hours prior to going to bed and try to drink less of it overall. The goal is to let your body get tired and ready to rest. In addition, caffeine can overstimulate your nerves and intensify pain. These actions can help anyone sleep better but are especially important if you suffer from nerve pain.
Neuropathic pain is not the only reason you may feel more pain at night. If you know you do not suffer from neuropathic pain, read on for more reasons.
Place A Pillow Between Your Knees
Placing a pillow between your knees helps keep your pelvis and spine in a neutral position. It also prevents your legs from rotating during the night.
How to set up:
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When To See A Gp
It’s important to see your GP if you experience the early symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
- pain, tingling or loss of sensation in the feet
- loss of balance or weakness
- a cut or ulcer on your foot that’s not getting better
It’s also recommended that people at highest risk of peripheral neuropathy, such as people with diabetes, have regular check-ups.
A GP will ask about your symptoms and may arrange some tests to help identify the underlying cause.
You may be referred to hospital to see a neurologist, a specialist in health problems affecting the nervous system.
Generally, the sooner peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed, the better the chance of limiting the damage and preventing further complications.