How to Alleviate Nerve Pain with Topical Arnica

February 14, 2020

How to Alleviate Nerve Pain with Topical Arnica

Did you know that Arnica Montana, a natural pain reliever we have come to associate with muscle pain relief, can help with other types of pain too?  

In the post-opioid epidemic terror years, everyone is turning to alternative remedies for pain relief for all kinds of pain.  Natural pain relievers such as CBD and Arnica are locked in for muscle and joint pains, while topical analgesics are a mainstay for nerve pain. Escalate up to drastic measures of sorts and you’ll be receiving IV Ketamine infusion for management of dysesthesias, those tough to treat neuropathic pains no-one can figure out.  As complex the treatments may be, classification of pain itself poses a much greater conundrum.  To better understand how a natural pain reliever like a topical Arnica gel cures even the elusive ‘nerve’ pain, we must first define and differentiate nerve pain from other types of pain.

First, nerve pain is a clinical diagnosis not necessarily a disease process.  Second, the term is interchangeable with neuropathic pain which is not entirely accurate given the dozen or so types of pain under the umbrella of neuropathic pain.   For the sake of simplicity, we’ll adhere to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) terminology that describes neuropathic pain as pain caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system.  People define their nerve pain as pricking, tingling, pins and needles, electric shocks, hot or burning sensations, and touched-evoked pain.  Nerve pain can often linger and become chronic, and doesn’t always occur from physical injury.  For example, diabetic patients suffer from peripheral neuropathy in their feet from damaged nerve endings as a result of elevated glucose.  Some nerve pains are fleeting, difficult to pinpoint thus attacking it with heavy duty opioids or NSAIDS leads to worse outcomes.  Nerve pain is extremely common in the general population.  An estimated seven to ten percent of adults suffer from chronic neuropathic pain.  That’s 32 million adults in the US living with nerve pain!  Now triple that statistic in patients with diabetes or HIV and you begin to realize the gravity of the pain epidemic. 

In contrast, muscle pain, or myalgia is pain caused by a lesion or disease arising from specialized nerve endings (nociceptors) within the muscle itself.  The descriptors we use with muscle type pain are tearing, cramping, pressing, tenderness or soreness.  Muscle pain is by far the most common presenting complaint to a primary care doctor’s office, surpassing the prevalence of neuropathic pain by leaps and bounds.  

Although there are distinct differences between these two types of pains, the mechanism of action at the molecular level is essentially the same.  Inflammatory cytokines, prostaglandins, cyclooxygenase (COX), leukotrienes and ATP release are the main processes which signal tissue damage—whether the tissue is muscle, nerve or skin, and notify the central nervous system the unpleasant experience of pain.  Herein lies the therapeutic potential of the above mentioned remedies namely Arnica Montana for management of pain.  

Arnica and a handful of other herbal remedies have been extensively studied for their ability to act on these particular pathways effectively reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and enhancing nerve healing.  Specialized chemists prepare Arnica by a process of distillation of leaf extracts that result in 1-70X dilution of 5-25% extract.  The concentration of Arnica in a topical preparation is equally important as the quality of the extract in its ability to change the trajectory of one’s pain.  Aside note, ibuprofen is a popular medication for treatment of pain by direct inhibition of the COX pathway.  Therefore, in order for your topical Arnica gel to be just as effective, if not more powerful in alleviating your nerve pain, look for clean ingredients, and a high concentration of preferably organic origin. 

Post-Traumatic Response Gel with Matrix BTM is a clinically proven topical Arnica gel-based treatment that promotes tissue healing and alleviates nerve pain, positioning itself as an effective alternative or adjunct to pain medications.  Our very own founder, Dr. Yazdani woke up one day with a random shooting pain in her left arm, and when it hadn’t subsided within an hour, decided to use The Response Gel only to find complete and total pain relief within a matter of minutes.  

 

 

 

 

References:

Cameron, M., & Chrubasik, S. (2013). Topical herbal therapies for treating osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Chagas-Paula, D., Zhang, T., Da Costa, F., & Edrada-Ebel, R. (2015). A Metabolomic Approach to Target Compounds from the Asteraceae Family for Dual COX and LOX Inhibition. Metabolites.

Mense, S. (2008). Muscle Pain – Mechanisms and Clinical Significance. Deutsches Aerzteblatt Online.

Murnion, B. P. (2018). Neuropathic Pain: current definition and review of drug treatment. Australian Prescriber.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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