What is it?
Neuralgia (from the Greek words neuron, nerve and algos, pain) is a sharp, shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve and is due to irritation or damage to the nerve.
In most cases, the nerve inflammation is not caused by a pathological process, but by irritation and transient causes.
There are several forms of neuralgia:
- Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) involves the trigeminal nerve in the head. This nerve has three branches that send signals from the brain to the face, mouth, teeth, and nose;
- Sciatica is nerve pain in the leg that is caused by irritation and/or compression of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica originates in the lower back, radiates deep into the buttock, and travels down the leg.
- Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a complication of shingles infection (also called herpes zoster). Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
- Glossopharyngeal neuralgia is a relatively rare condition characterized by severe, paroxysmal episodes of pain localized to the external ear canal, the base of the tongue, the tonsil or the area beneath the angle of the jaw.
The underlying causes of neuralgia are different:
- Genetic predisposition;
- Metabolic disorders;
- Infectious pathologies.
The symptoms associated with neuralgia, regardless of the area of onset, are very characteristic:
- Continuous, stabbing and burning pain;
- Sometimes the pain is accentuated by coughing, temperature changes or poor posture.
The treatment for neuralgia can also be pharmacological, with drugs with anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and antidepressant action.
Although it must be said that drug therapy in most cases is addictive, i.e. the patient no longer responds to its effects over time.
In any case, there is also surgical treatment that aims to eliminate the underlying causes of neuralgia, by acting on the blood vessels that compress the trigeminal nerve or on the nerve cells responsible for pain.
An alternative strategy can be an intravenous injection of glycerol, which damages the trigeminal nerve, relieving the sensation of pain.
Either acupuncture or electrical nerve stimulation techniques.
Natural remedies for neuralgia
There are several natural remedies that we can use as a cure for neuralgia:
- La spiraea has a strong anti-inflammatory action and mimics the action of antipyretic and analgesic drugs;
- Willow has strong pain relieving properties;
- Elderberry also has strong pain-relieving actions;
- Bach flowers promote healing from inflammatory processes.
A diet to prevent neuralgia must be an anti-inflammatory diet, rich in vitamins, minerals and based on a healthy and natural lifestyle.
Prefer whole grains, legumes, white meat, vegetables and seasonal fruit.
Absolutely avoid inflammatory foods such as cured meats, cheeses, milk derivatives, alcohol, coffee, sugary drinks and all packaged products of industrial origin.
It is absolutely important to introduce foods rich in omega 3 and omega 6, such as oily fish and oil seeds such as sunflower, flax, pumpkin and sesame, olive oil and wheat germ and cold pressed flax oil.