Things You Can Do to Boost Your Neuropathy-Pain Relief Treatment
Neuropathic pain is usually sharp or burning in character. With peripheral neuropathy, the pain and numbness usually occurs first in the feet. With more severe disease, it can progress up into the legs or involve the hands. Numbness in the feet can be especially dangerous as skin sores may unknowingly occur. If the sores become deep, or remain open, ulcers can develop. Weakness usually occurs first in the legs. If a trunk or root is involved, as in radiation-induced plexopathy or diabetic neuropathy, the thigh may become weak. If weakness begins in the periphery, as with environmental, chemotherapy, or compressive neuropathies, the foot may be affected first. In either instance, walking and climbing stairs can be difficult. Neuropathy can also affect the arm resulting in a weak grasp or shoulder function. When there is a loss of ability to do something, irrespective of the reason, it is called functional impairment.
Fortunately, specialized tests called electrodiagnostic studies measure for the presence of sensory and motor nerve fiber damage. Thermography evaluates sympathetic nerve fibers, which are responsible for transmitting burning pain, skin temperature, and cold sensations. Once disease or injury is identified, there are many treatments that can be made available. What’s even better is that as a rule, these do not require any surgery, and they are generally effective.
What You Can Do for Your Neuropathy-Pain
One of the first steps you might want to consider when treating your neuropathy-pain is to take a look at your diet. Nutrition is the cornerstone of treatment for any neuropathic condition. The right diet—one high in fruits and vegetables, corrective for mineral or vitamin deficiencies and replenishing of omega 3 free fatty acids—provides nerves the fighting chance they need to both survive and repair themselves. Special blood tests can evaluate which nutritional components are deficient, if any.
Some people also report improvement with various foot baths, home massagers, personal soft tissue sheering exercises, magnets, and one of several topicals. In all instances the underlying mechanisms however to both increase local blood flow and to promote soft tissue mobilization (prevent scarring).
What Piedmont PMR Can Do for Your Neuropathy-Pain
Here at Piedmont PMR we can take your neuropathy-pain treatment a step further. Since improving blood flow to the legs is important in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy it is often worth the effort to assess for the presence of associated vascular disease. Peripheral vascular disease can be diagnosed with simple blood pressure studies and treated effectively with medication. The net result is more oxygen to the nerves and therefore enhanced function.
In addition to helping improve its chances for healing by promoting good nutrition and more blood flow we also help to actually reverse the signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy by employing several techniques. One of the most notable is the Realief system of care. In this medically published laser based therapy up to 85% of those treated report improvement in their neuropathy symptoms and doctors report improvement in their signs (such as ability to discern pinprick and vibration). To our knowledge there is nothing else on the market that does that.
More Things We Can Do To Boost Your Neuropathy-Pain Relief Treatment
There are several other pain relief techniques that can help boost your neuropathy-pain relief treatment. Physical therapy utilizing various forms of electrical stimulation, heat and exercise can also be effective for pain management and enhancing function. Restorative therapy is best received in a supervised environment, as in some instances inappropriately applied modalities or excessive exercise can worsen the condition.
While these represent only a few of the alternatives available for managing neuropathy, keep in mind that there are other responsible choices toward a healing path, including:
- Nerve blocks to restore function
- Sympathetic blocks to reduce pain and increase blood flow
- Participation in support groups and online education
- Reduction of total load (eliminating those things that don’t maximize wellness)
- Maintenance of an active dialogue with your physician
If you suffer from neuropathy-pain, let us help. Call Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to schedule an appointment today. 864-235-1834.