Neuropathy Treatment Basics

Help Yourself Today by Making a Neuropathy Treatment Plan

If you or someone you love suffers from peripheral neuropathy then you understand how difficult it can be. You know the story all too well: pain, tingling, numbness, burning, and sleepless nights. Maybe your walking has even been affected. So starting today make a neuropathy treatment list of all the things you can do to help yourself.

Most of the time neuropathy is a slowly progressing situation. Many patients look back and find that their symptoms have been developing for many years.

Other times it’s sudden. Some cases can result from chemotherapy, certain medications (most especially statins, antihypertensives, and some antibiotics) and yes, even accidents.

Chemotherapy-related neuropathy also often comes on suddenly.

Because we treat patients with neuropathy every day, we understand it’s easy to become overwhelmed and I’m sure it seems like you are always searching for answers too.

Neuropathy can also be caused by so many other health conditions. Things like viruses, rheumatoid arthritis, and even certain bacterial and viral infections. It takes a really good clinician to sort out everything that’s going on with every patient, to help you get an accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment.

But there are some things you can actually do immediately!

The most important thing you need to do is to take a look at your overall health habits. And we strongly recommend you start by making a Neuropathy Treatment list.

Regardless of what caused your underlying health problems, things such as quitting smoking, starting a stress management program, improving your diet, most especially by limiting sugars and starches, and becoming more physically active, all can be very helpful!

This will also help your healthcare provider take the best care of you possible.

Start by making a neuropathy treatment list of all the things you can do to help yourself, beginning today! To help yourself the most, be sure to continue to update your neuropathy treatment list as your health habits improve!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Best And Worst of At-Home Neuropathy Treatments

Better methods of controlling the pain and discomfort that peripheral neuropathy can bring are essential. By now you realize that there are a huge number of pills, potions, and gadgets etc… that are marketed to people who suffer from neuropathy and many other forms of chronic pain.

Many years ago when I became involved in the treatment of neuropathy and realized that this was inevitable due to the sheer number of people who suffer from peripheral neuropathy worldwide. And the huge numbers of patients is growing rapidly. Peripheral neuropathy now occurs in younger and younger ages.

Make no mistake about it this directly parallels our modern lifestyle and expanding waistlines. This of course is due to a high sugar, carbohydrate diets, and less physical activity.

In fact, the overall quality of diet and physical exercise for the vast majority of the population has deteriorated dramatically in the last 40 years.

All that said, doesn’t it make sense that these should be the primary targets of effective treatment?

Of course it does and even more so if you have the type of neuropathy that is directly related to obesity and poor fitness.

So why do these critical two components get ignored until it’s often too late?

This one is a combination of public health and healthcare professional education to be sure. The relentless push on you that all you need to do is to take this pill so that you feel better is an extreme disservice to both patients and their physicians alike.

But all neuropathy is not caused by lifestyle. Some are due to accidents, usage of certain medications, a side effect of surgery, genetics, or just bad luck.

All this means is that better methods of controlling the pain and discomfort that peripheral neuropathy can bring are essential.

The worst pain treatments are those that have no basis in science whatsoever; and there are plenty of them available. You only have to scan the aisles of your local pharmacies.

Employing other methods, which are researched and supported by science are our first choice both at home and in the clinic.

Shouldn’t they be yours as well?

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Physical Activity, Neuropathy and Chronic Pain Patients

While your pain may make any kind of physical activity the furthest thing from your mind, a good clinician can greatly increase your potential for rehabilitation. Your neuropathy does not have to be a life sentence.

Peripheral neuropathy affects virtually every patient differently. Some neuropathy patients suffer strictly from nerve pain, some have issues with numbness, and still others have issues with mobility or some combination of symptoms.

Any neuropathy symptom can make functioning and carrying on a normal life virtually impossible.

If you suffer from any of these issues:

· Pain
· Weakness or numbness
· Increased nerve sensitivity
· Abnormal gait when you walk
· Decreased endurance
· Limited range of motion
· Difficulty keeping your balance
· Problems with bracing yourself
· Joints that are stiff or contracted…

A good therapist, chiropractor, or osteopathic physician may be able to help you.  Clinicians who specialize in treating neuropathy patients, like our NeuropathyDR® therapists and chiropractors, will have a strong knowledge base when it comes to addressing whatever your particular neuropathy symptoms happen to be.

What To Expect

We will do a complete history and physical, and find out where you need the most assistance and what course of treatment will work best for you. Therapy can be a crucial step to increase the likelihood of rehabilitation from your peripheral neuropathy.

Be sure to find a clinician with expertise in treating neuropathy patients.  A qualified clinician will be able to develop a treatment regimen that won’t make your neuropathy symptoms worse.

One thing to remember – in order for your insurance to pay for therapy treatment, you will more than likely need a prescription from your treating physician.

Therapy Treatment Options

Some clinicians will attack your particular issues directly or they may opt to work indirectly and work around the underlying problem to first address whatever your particular deficits may be.  If you have balance issues, they may work to build your muscle strength and allow you to be more grounded.

Every patient is different.  What worked for one may not work for the next.  A good clinician will take the time to fully understand your particular issues and prescribe a treatment regimen that addresses the areas where you need the most assistance and that will show the best opportunity for improvement.

If you’ve never sought treatment before, you may not really understand what they do.  Here are some basic treatment techniques used in a therapy regimen that might help you:

· Soft tissue manipulation techniques
· Peripheral and/or spinal mobilization
· Thermal treatments
· Electrical stimulation
· Ultrasound
· Near infrared phototherapy
· Balance systems
· Individualized therapeutic exercise
· Functional activities

Seeing an expert can give you a chance at a positive outcome and improve your ability to function normally. Give yourself every opportunity to get your life back and live beyond your peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain issues.

We hope you found this information helpful and you take steps today to find a NeuropathyDR® practitioner in your area. Be an informed patient.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Questioning The Status Quo

One of the things that we find very challenging, and gets in the way of patient progress many times, is the patient’s unwillingness to question the status quo.

Now, if you suffer from neuropathy or indeed many forms of chronic pain, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, etc. know that often times the only answers presented to you are drugs and more drugs.

By and large, our system does a terrible job of educating patients the impact that their lifestyles, diet, and fitness have on the progression and wherever possible reversal of their underlying diseases.

Question the status quo.

One of the fundamental reasons for this is that very little time in professional education is spent in these critical areas.

Furthermore, the constant barrage in all forms of media with drug-only solutions does tend to brainwash people. Also, it’s a sad fact that these tools are made available to patients with little or no cost out-of-pocket before potentially less harmful, less invasive alternatives.

Thanks to patients like you, however, all of this is changing.

Social networks like this continue to grow and bring alternative solutions to patients literally around the world.

Oftentimes though YOU need to carry this a step further when dealing with your healthcare professionals.

Ask more questions.

Be sure you fully engage your doctors and therapists!

You have every right to. After all, this is the only body you’ll ever get.

Talk neuropathy and pain treatment side effects. Talk risks versus benefits. Talk about trying alternative solutions FIRST!

Above all do something more every day to improve the quality of your health.

You’ll be glad you did!

Your body will thank you day after day!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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Copper: Another Key Neuropathy Nutrient

Most people don’t think about copper as a key nutrient. Or in any way related to peripheral neuropathy or chronic pain. But as you’ll see, a small daily amount is necessary and essential to normal health and well-being.

Only the tiniest amounts are necessary for normal health. But like so many nutrients, lack this tiny amount, and we cannot survive.

In the human body, copper serves several roles. Perhaps the most important are our body’s ability to process oxygen, and absorb iron. Both of these functions are of course essential to life.

We only need approximately 3 mg or so per day to remain healthy. Unfortunately, excess copper more than our bodies can normally dispose of can cause a whole host of health problems, and must be avoided.

The most common source of excess copper in humans is likely from copper plumbing.

Copper levels can be measured in the blood and in the hair.

As we discussed recently, excess zinc supplementation will deplete copper, creating a mineral imbalance and the health problems that go with it. So, excess zinc supplementation will cause a copper deficiency.

This can lead to a host of health problems. There is a syndrome called myeloneuropathy in which copper deficiency causes a B12 deficiency like illness, with damage to the nerves and spinal cord.

Likewise, copper deficiency due to excess zinc, either due to supplements or poisonings like denture cream, can lead to the development of neuropathy too.

One of the key functions of copper is maintenance of normal joint and soft tissue proteins. There is no scientific evidence that copper bracelets and copper socks and the like work for arthritis, even though this was once suggested as a possible cure.

Our NeuropathyDR diet is adequate for normal intake of copper because it is high in nuts and seeds. Additional good sources include olives and avocados. Paleo sources include shellfish, beef, and lamb.

Because copper is essential for normal cellular energy and respiration, a deficiency could aggravate many underlying conditions yes including chronic pain and neuropathy.

Now you know more about this pretty metal!

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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The Best Neuropathy Diet

Even neuropathy patients can make the mistake of thinking that diet doesn’t matter!

 

Food, and especially quality food has a very big effect upon the function of our bodies, especially the brain and nervous system.

Neuropathy like many painful disorders can have a direct connection with diet quality. The most common types of neuropathy are related to diabetes, and its relative, metabolic syndrome. But we know that good food quality helps neuropathy patients function and often feel better!

Once upon a time when our ancestors roamed the earth we were hunter-gatherers. Humans ate from fields, trees and where available, lakes, streams and of course the ocean.

Not that this was ever easy, as diseases and starvation have been killers for centuries. But the basis of human diets was basically plants, and whenever available animals, eggs and fish. Nuts from trees were harvested and celebrated!

Now, humans roam the supermarket aisles filling their baskets often times with nothing resembling our early days. Too often, we shop with little thought. That is until we don’t feel well or face a health crisis.

Now This Is a Neuropathy Patient Shopping List!

Even neuropathy patients can make the mistake of thinking that diet doesn’t matter!

Here’s the basic problem with thinking that way and blindly shopping: too many calories, sugars and sweets including soft drinks, all of which can aggravate many forms of neuropathy.

So what’s the best diet? As close to our ancestors as possible! That means neuropathy patients do best with a plant (vegetable) based diet.

If you shop the outside aisles in the market, you’ll find all you need except for things like coffee, tea and spices. You can pick from vegetables like spinach, broccoli and asparagus. Minimize starchy veges like carrots and potatoes.

Grab low sugar fruits like apples, melon and in season things like peaches, pears, etc.

Then, grab a bag each of walnuts and almonds. Stop by the deli for fresh fish maybe some poultry.

Finally, circle around and grab some soy, almond or rice milk.

So you’ve avoided dairy, breads, cheeses, processed meats etc.

Next time, we’ll talk about why this neuropathy diet approach may be the best of all!

 

Neuropathy and Me Time

Me Time

Distraction seems to be the ruling force behind your day. Cell phones, computer, instant email, chats and text messaging. Now add to the mix a packed calendar with events others have seemingly filled for you.

Then there are kids, pets, and parents. Maybe a very needy family member. Doctor’s visits. Errands. The Car.

Actually, your list may be a whole lot bigger.

Before you know it, months and years start screaming by. This year is just about at the half way mark. Has everything you looked forward to on New Years Eve happened, or are they at least in progress?

What do YOU think about First Thing In The Morning?

Well, like most people this chronic sense of time crunch sets the stage for less health, not more. This behavior can make dealing with neuropathy or any illness much harder than it needs to be.

One of the first things we do in successful neuropathy treatments is ask patients to commit to better self-care. Why? Because we know from experience in hundreds of cases when neuropathy patients invest more time in them, the end result is less pain, more energy, and deeper personal resources to pull from.

But how can we do this? Where do we begin?

It all starts with quiet time, first thing every day. This means no computers, tablets or phones. Meditation, prayer or simply sitting quietly with a note pad. And if you really want to have the best chance of beating your health problems including the pain of neuropathy, you’ll do exactly the same thing at night.

You see, surveys tell us that as a world, we are no longer disconnecting. We simply will tend to let other peoples demands pull on us without a break. Worse yet, people now let their phones and “friends” rather than their inner voices or spirit guide them.

Don’t let this be you. Shut off the TV, phone and computers at least an hour before bed. Spend the first part of your day on the “Me” list.

So, what are YOU going to do to make this a healthier day?

Take 2 minutes with Mal Duane and I in this recent clip from “Beating Neuropathy and Chronic Pain”

The Second Step in Neuropathy Treatment Success

The Second Step

During our last time together, we talked about the very first step in dealing with neuropathy and really any major life challenge. Pain is something nobody welcomes into his or her life.

You heard Mal Duane and I talk about a different approach to neuropathy treatment patients than you may have expected.

And I bet you don’t hear it from your friends who do not suffer neuropathy, and maybe even your own doctors.

Simply, we spoke about regaining a sense of control. Taking some really very basic steps. You see, so much of modern health care is still about what can doctors do for us, when instead we should be asking ourselves daily “Am I doing my part and what else should I be doing?”

Or not doing.

Use Tools Like Journaling and Blood Sugar Monitoring Every Day...

So if regaining control is the first step, “action” is the second step. A game plan in any of life’s accomplishments, backed up by great coaches and cheerleaders is so important to us, whether we admit it or not.

Action is what allows us to actually maintain the control we start out with! And it could be the simplest step!  For example, today, it’s no more soda. Next week is cutting the poor foods out of our diet. Even if these steps have to be taken to be one by one.

Think about that. Don’t you feel better with each good thing you do just for you, just because it’s the right thing to do?

But we can’t have one without the other. Intention without action is wasted life energy. To do so is inviting failure.

And I know that’s not what you want from your neuropathy treatments.

PS I really do thank you for your kind comments following our last articles and videos.  It really is great to see you engaged here and over on Facebook too! It’s also so good to see so many of you putting into place what we talk about every week when it comes to your self-care!

Dr John (:

Chemotherapy Neuropathy “Cure?”

Cancer is one of the most persistent scourges of modern medicine.  Not only are the various types of cancer extremely dangerous, but the methods to combat them, including chemotherapy, can be aggressive to the point of heavily impacting a person’s health and quality of life. Hundreds of thousands of cancer patients in North America alone receive chemotherapy every year, and many of them experience damage to the peripheral nervous system—chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, or CIPN.

Like most neuropathy, chemotherapy-caused neuropathy shows up in the form of pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of temperature sensation, most commonly in the extremities.  Other symptoms, while less ubiquitous, are still common: loss of bladder control, constipation, loss of body awareness, and difficulty walking or standing.  Sometimes the condition is chronic, and will be a factor in the rest of a sufferer’s life.  In many cases, however, the pain and discomfort from chemotherapy-caused neuropathy can be effectively managed, allowing a cancer survivor to lead a normal, active life.

So what can you do to help protect yourself from chemotherapy-caused neuropathy?  First, report any unusual sensations, pain, or numbness to your doctor or a qualified NeuropathyDR® clinician.  Like any neuropathy, the sooner we identify a problem, the better we will be able to control your symptoms.  Let your chemotherapy provider know you might be experiencing a complication; in some cases, they may decide to postpone treatments to help your nerves recover.

Second, take steps to protect your peripheral nervous system, which is already under strain from the chemotherapy.  Wear gloves when performing manual labor.  Make sure your clothing and shoes do not rub against your skin and cause abrasions (loose clothing can aggravate neuropathy symptoms).  Work with a NeuropathyDR® clinician to develop a diet and exercise regimen that will contribute to overall nerve stimulation and health.  Perhaps most importantly, make sure to abide by your cancer doctor’s orders—managing the underlying condition is the most important factor in treating any kind of neuropathy.

Our patient, Joanne, knows firsthand how hard chemotherapy can be on the nervous system.  Joanne is a cancer survivor who, when she came to us, had been recovering from the effects of her chemotherapy for five years.  Along with most of the common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, Joanne complained of severe pain in her lumbar back, extreme stiffness in her neck and shoulders, and weakness in her legs.  Joanne’s pain, especially in her feet, was intense to the point of affecting her daily lifestyle.  She was taking medication for pain, but the medicine was marginally effective at best.

Our treatment plan for Joanne involved a combination of manual therapies to her spine, as well as  2 forms of electro-stimulation to her feet and hands.  We treated Joanne three times a week for five weeks; in only four weeks, Joanne was commenting that her symptoms had subsided dramatically. Immediately following each treatment, Joanne noticed a reduction in her pain level.  The pain and numbness in her feet subsided a whopping 65-70%!

In a thank-you note Joanne wrote us a long time after the completion of  the clinic portion of  her NeuropathyDR® treatment plan, Joanne told us she had been able to stop taking her pain medications and was feeling fine, almost entirely pain-free.  Her strength had begun to return, and her mobility improved as well.

Cold, burning and tingling, scaling skin and loss of sensation are unfortunate but treatable!

Joanne is a success story we are proud to have to our credit.   To be entirely honest, not many patients show the level of improvement we saw in Joanne in such a short time.  Even so, it goes to show that not only is there hope for cancer survivors who live with neuropathy pain, but in some cases the recovery can be swift and dramatic.  Everyone who experiences neuropathy can learn to manage their symptoms, and our treatment methods are highly effective.  If you suffer from CIPN or any other kind of neuropathy, contact us!  NeuropathyDR® can answer your questions and put you in touch with a specially-trained clinician who can help you get back to living at your best!

 

http://www.chemocare.com/managing/numbness__tingling.asp

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chemotherapy-neuropathy/MY01327

 

Your Quality of Life and Good Neuropathy Treatment

If you’re a NeuropathyDR® patient or follow our blog, you already know “no cure” is never the same as “no help!”  It’s an unfortunate truth: so far, peripheral neuropathy (sometimes referred to incorrectly as ‘neurophy’) has no actual cure, and most nerve damage is permanent.  That may sound discouraging, but the chronic nature of neuropathy only means that developing options for treatment is even more important, not less.

When you and your NeuropathyDR® clinician approach neuropathy treatment, you will really be talking about two things: managing your symptoms, and improving your overall quality of life.  We’ve made significant strides in both of these areas, and it’s important to realize how deeply they are interconnected.

NeuropathyDR Clinicians Use Several Methods to Assist Your Unique Neuropathy

In addition to the often-discussed pain, neuropathy has the potential to greatly impact your mobility.  Between motor neuropathy (which affects the strength in your limbs directly), difficulty walking due to foot pain and joint stiffness, and difficulty with manual dexterity and fine motor skills, it’s no wonder that many people who live with peripheral neuropathy have trouble doing simple tasks they once found easy; things the people around them still have no trouble doing!  The frustration that goes along with mobility loss can be almost as bad as the pain itself.  Anesthesia & Analgesia published a clinical study from Queens University which suggested that the impact of neuropathy on your mood alone is enough to be considered a serious symptom!

NeuropathyDR® clinicians use a neuropathy treatment method several known techniques and we are continuously testing newer technologies too! NeuropathyDR® Clinicians actually take new courses every single month, so they are never “stale”!

Your case is unique—no two cases of neuropathy are exactly alike—so it’s important that you and your clinician develop your treatment plan together.  Don’t forget feedback!  Be sure to let your clinician know what seems to be working, what eases pain, what helps your overall mobility, and what isn’t having any effect for you.

Our patient, Beverly, came to us about six months after major surgery.  Beverly had been undergoing radiation for breast cancer, and was experiencing severe pain in her hands and feet, as well as tightness and inflexibility in her spine and limb joints.  Over the course of 5 weeks, we treated Beverly with electro- stimulation, among other therapies to address her pain and range of movement.

Beverly’s pain lessened only incrementally over the time we treated her, but she let us know that the real improvement she experienced was in her range of movement!  Sure enough, our examination found that her range of movement had increased measurably (in some areas as much as fifty percent), and overall tightness in her back was reduced.  Needless to say, being able to move more freely will greatly impact Beverly’s quality of life—many of our patients stress to us that their mobility is what they miss most of all while living with peripheral neuropathy.

One of the factors that allowed us to help Beverly as much as she did was that she was very forthcoming about her symptoms, her improvement, and—also importantly—when a treatment wasn’t helping.  Neuropathy is complex, and different people will benefit in various ways from different neuropathy treatments.  In Beverly’s case, we were able to provide her with a home care kit which she was able to use to treat her flexibility and pain at home.  Even though she still lives with neuropathy, Beverly now knows how to make sure her condition won’t keep her from getting on with life!

Controlling your symptoms and improving your overall quality of life is what we’re all about at NeuropathyDR®.  If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, don’t wait to get in touch with us.  We can answer all your neuropathy-related questions and connect you with a NeuropathyDR®-trained clinician who will help you ease your pain, restore your flexibility, and live your life to its fullest!

http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/102/5/1473.full

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1262363609000408

http://www.neurology.org/content/68/15/1178.abstract