Be Your Own Best Neuropathy Advocate

“I’m not sure I have neuropathy, nor is my doctor…”

Unfortunately, this is something we hear all too often at our neuropathy and chronic pain clinic. This is why it is so important to get the knowledge out there in the hands of more competent and caring neuropathy treatment specialists. Being your own neuropathy advocate can also go a long way to ensuring you receive the treatment that you need to ease your symptoms and improve the quality of your life.

One of the worst things we can do for our symptoms is fail to try to treat the sleep disturbance and life disruption that oftentimes accompanies so many illnesses, including the various forms of peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain. This is where you can step in and become your own best neuropathy advocate.

Communicate with your providers. Some of our lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise or lack thereof, alcohol consumption, can exacerbate our symptoms. Be honest with your providers about these issues. And ask them what treatment options are available to you.

At our clinic we strongly recommend drug therapy only as a second, not first, resort!

The good news is there are now effective treatments, including the usage of portable devices like the NDGen, packaged in all our home care kits, which can be used by you or a loved one even at bedtime, which can make a huge difference in the resolution of your neuropathy and pain symptoms.

It’s also important to note that treating early and aggressively like this during the process of neuropathy and pain diagnosis has no negative side effects!

In fact, improving quality of life immediately is one of the reasons for our great NeuropathyDR® treatment success.

But this will require two things:

First, shifting your own mindset. Second, becoming your own neuropathy advocate.

The good news is, when neuropathy and chronic pain treatments are not harmful, and likely to be helpful in the short-term, most physicians and therapists are open-minded, and will go out of their way to help their patients.

But sometimes, it’s not enough to do your own homework. This is where NeuropathyDR® comes in.

One of the things we do all day long is field questions from patients and health care providers regarding our neuropathy treatment program success.

Often times, simply getting the knowledge out there in the hands of more competent and caring neuropathy treatment specialists is all that is needed.

Always remember, we are ready to begin help when you are!

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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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Common Household Neuropathy

If you experience sharp, shooting pains in your arms and wrists when sitting at your desk, driving, or doing other stationary activities, you probably don’t think of neuropathy.  You probably associate neuropathy with extensive nerve damage, like the kind that has to do with diabetes, severe injury, or cancer.  One of the most common forms, though, is a relatively minor condition that affects millions of healthy people: carpal tunnel syndrome.

The carpal tunnel is the small space between bones in your wrist that small tendons and the median nerve run through.  The median nerve runs from your forearm into your palm and controls movement and feeling in most of your hand, except for your little finger.  Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve in your wrist from swelling or tension.  This is known as mononeuropathy, or neuropathy that affects only a single nerve.

People who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome usually experience symptoms in their arms and hands that are similar to other kinds of neuropathy.  Soreness, numbness and tingling, loss of temperature sensation and problems with fine motor control are common.  Because the little finger is not controlled with the median nerve, symptoms that affect the other fingers but not the little finger could represent carpal tunnel syndrome.  At first, symptoms usually show up at night (people often sleep with flexed wrists) and go away by shaking the affected hand.  As time passes, though, symptoms can really stick around throughout the day.

So who is the most susceptible to getting carpal tunnel syndrome?  Many sufferers are simply genetically predisposed, usually because they have thinner wrists that constrict the carpal tunnel and the median nerve.  Women are three times more likely than men to develop the condition, again, because of thinner wrists. 

Many people associate carpal tunnel syndrome with heavy computer use.  This is probably unfounded; a 2001 study at the Mayo Clinic found that using a computer for up to 7 hours a day did not increase the likelihood of CTS developing.  Carpal Tunnel syndrome is not particularly confined to any specific industry or job over any other, but studies establish that it is more common in workers doing assembly, due to the repetitive nature of the task.  Because of the incorrect “conventional wisdom,” conditions such as tendonitis and writer’s cramp are often mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome.

As with any neuropathy, it is important to identify carpal tunnel syndrome early to avoid permanent damage to the median nerve.  A NeuropathyDR® clinician will be able to examine your neck, back, arms, and hands to establish the nature of any symptoms you might be having.  The clinician may also recommend blood tests to check for related health conditions and nerve tests to determine any damage.

If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, there are several routes for treatment.  Mild conditions can be treated at home with ice and rest to reduce swelling.   Avoid activities that cause repetitive wrist motions for extensive periods without resting.  Practice keeping your wrist in a neutral position, such as the way it rests when holding a glass of water.  Additionally, practice using your whole hand, not just your fingers, when you hold objects.

For more serious cases, or when damage to the nerve has already taken place, your NeuropathyDR® clinician may recommend more extensive measures.  If your symptoms have continued for more than a few weeks with home treatments, see your ND clinician as soon as possible!  Your ND clinician will be able to prescribe our specially designed CTS Protocol which is proving successful in centers around the country!

For the most serious cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, where mobility or nerve function is seriously impaired, surgery can be a solution. But almost never should you do this without trying the non-invasive ND/CTS Protocol First! [In these rare cases, a surgeon can reduce tension on the median nerve by cutting the ligament that constricts the carpal tunnel.]

If you have any questions about carpal tunnel syndrome or other neuropathic conditions, NeuropathyDR® is here to help!  Don’t hesitate to contact us—we can give you more information about your symptoms and help you find a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area.

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

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/DS00326

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/carpal-tunnel-syndrome-topic-overview

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