Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment
There are numerous options for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy that can reduce pain, numbness, tingling, hot and cold sensations, and even tightness. And some of the most effective treatments actually help reverse disease instead of just covering up symptoms.
Most people with peripheral neuropathy are told they have “idiopathic” neuropathy. That means that no one has found the underlying cause, or at least the most likely cause however and does not really help you understand how to get well. Others are told their neuropathy is due to diabetes, a side effect from medications such as antibiotics or chemotherapy, toxic environmental factors such as drinking too much alcohol or heavy metal exposure, or hereditary.
Fortunately all of these are either responsive to treatments that try and reverse disease or that can improve quality of life. While medications play an important role in covering up the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy for the most part they do nothing to treat the root cause. This is especially true if your doctor tells you the medication prescribed works on the nerves or brain to make you less aware of your symptoms.
Some medications however can treat the root cause of neuropathy. For example, tighter control of your blood sugar and medications that restore blood flow in cases where there is peripheral arterial disease can actually reverse disease. This is especially true when combined with a proper fruits and vegetables diet or medically recommended supplementation to correct deficiencies in nutrients like vitamin B12.
But there is more, much more. Quite frequently if electrodiagnostic studies are done damage can be found at the nerve root, not just in the periphery. The nerve root is often even more responsive to treatment than peripheral nerves are. If a cell phone tower has static on it then so will all cell phones connected to it. Fix the tower and the phone static goes away. When properly administered local, peripheral, and nerve root injections are done they can restore nerve function. Special injections that graft stem cells in your legs can even regrow peripheral nerve endings. Plus they can often relieve spinal pain when other treatments have failed.
Another very promising treatment for peripheral neuropathy is computer generated Laser Therapy. When properly dosed, and correlated to signs such as changes in vibratory sensation, pin prick, and light touch, controlled trials have shown impressive reductions in both the signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy that can be long lasting. Like other chronic conditions however the effects of Laser Therapy require occasional maintenance treatments to make sure that symptoms do not revert back to their pinnacle.
Tightness is often confused as being a symptom of peripheral neuropathy however it is more properly thought of as a soft tissue response to peripheral neuropathy. When there is nerve damage the tissues supplied by nerves (muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia) can get stiff. That is because without normal nerve supply these tissues do not get the chance to move or function as much as they would otherwise. Fortunately tightness can be addressed with treatments like physical therapy, soft tissue massage and mobilization, or with other interventions such as prolotherapy and platelet rich plasma (PRP) that actually help restore strained, stretched, or tightened ligaments.
Naturally reducing total load, the total number of things that do not allow you to get well, helps too. That means help yourself. Don’t smoke, do exercise, and eat a healthy diet. In the end no one has as much invested in your health as you do. Participate in your care. Find a doctor who cares. And focus on getting well.
Realief Neuropathy Center Greenville operates within Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PA.