Massage Therapy Treatments for Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy

Chemotherapy’s Side Effects are No Picnic, Including Chemo-Induced Neuropathy Pain. Massage Therapy is One of Several Treatment Modalities That Can Help.

Chances are, you were hoping that when your chemotherapy cancer treatment was over, you’d be done with medications entirely.

Unfortunately, neuropathy is a common side effect of some chemotherapy treatments. In some cases, the neuropathy symptoms end within weeks or months of the end of chemotherapy. In other cases, neuropathy induced by chemotherapy drugs may be permanent.

But it’s important to understand that even if your neuropathy symptoms aren’t curable, that doesn’t mean that the current level of pain and impairment is a permanent fixture in your life. That’s because there are ways to treat chemotherapy neuropathy that can significantly reduce pain and discomfort. For many patients, massage therapy is a key aspect of treatment.

Peripheral neuropathy induced by chemotherapy may have any of these qualities:

  • Numbness, burning, or tingling in your feet, toes, hands, or fingers
  • Shooting nerve pains
  • Insomnia because of pain and discomfort

Here’s how massage therapy can help to reduce those problems.

In short, massage therapy means manipulation of the body’s soft tissues. One of the key features of massage therapy is its ability to improve blood circulation, which can reduce nerve damage in addition to relieving pain.

Massage therapy also helps you to relax, not just while you’re on the massage table but for days afterward. Relaxation is so important for neuropathy patients, because tension tends to make pain seem even worse. Being able to relax will also significantly improve your ability to sleep at night—which affects your quality of life significantly.

Massage therapy is just one form of the “complementary or alternative therapies” that we recommend for many patients with peripheral neuropathy. The best neuropathy treatment plans will often complementary therapies like massage, in addition to lifestyle changes, high-tech treatments like laser therapy, and appropriate medications.

To understand more about custom neuropathy treatment plans, please take a look at the “neuropathy owner’s manual,” I Beat Neuropathy!

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A Focus on Mobility in Your Neuropathy Treatment

Your Neuropathy Treatment Plan Should Include Appropriate Exercise to Help You Retain Your Ability to Walk and Move Normally.

No doubt, one of the most crippling side effects of chronic pain and neuropathy is losing normal mobility function—in other words, reduced ability to walk and move around as you used to do.

It’s such a common experience for neuropathy sufferers. Unfortunately, reduced mobility has dangerous side effects of its own, including an increased chance of becoming ill with other chronic conditions like heart disease, or making an existing condition (such as diabetes) significantly worse.

You might think that it would make sense for your doctor to prescribe rest when you have neuropathy symptoms, especially when walking seems to make your symptoms worse.

But light exercise (approved by your physician, of course) can actually help to reduce your symptoms and aid your overall health. That’s because even a small amount of activity can have good health effects like increasing your energy, raising your body temperature, and helping to maintain adequate muscle tone.

What’s more, if you are able to institute a regular program of doctor-approved light exercise, you may find that you don’t need as much pain medication!

This is a tricky area, though—striving for just the right amount of activity that isn’t too much (which can exacerbate neuropathy symptoms) or not enough (which causes problems of its own). It’s important for you to follow an appropriate exercise program that you’ve developed in collaboration with your neuropathy specialist.

When you are talking with your doctor about the appropriate type and duration of exercise, keep these key points in mind:

  • Staying well hydrated is so important. You’ve got to make sure to get an adequate amount of water every day—not just any old beverage, but specifically water, which your body’s systems must have in order to function as well as possible.
  • Try to avoid getting cold, which brings on stiffness. That means wearing light but warming layers of silk, microfiber, or wool, even in the warmer months. You’ll also need to stay out of drafts and wind, which may make certain neuropathy symptoms much worse.
  • Most of all, you’ll need to eat well in order to get the right nutrients and avoid neuropathy triggers. Our NeuropathyDR® diet is designed specifically with these goals in mind.

Are you ready to take charge of your neuropathy symptoms and get your mobility back? Just for you, we have created the neuropathy owner’s manual: I Beat Neuropathy!

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How to Improve Your Quality of Life with Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy Can Severely Impair Your Everyday Functioning—Unless You Take These Important Steps Back to Good Nerve Health

You already know from experience that peripheral neuropathy can have severe and destructive effects on your everyday quality of life. With neuropathic pain, even the easiest tasks can begin to feel impossible. It’s hard to work, to move around, or even to sleep when you are affected by nerve pain, numbness, and tingling.

When we talk about “quality of life” in the medical setting, we are looking at the degree to which you have been able to adapt to your medical condition. We take a look at things like your interactions with family and friends, your physical well-being, the activities you enjoy in your life, and your own perception of the state of your health.

That last one is crucially important. We know that your beliefs and attitudes about your underlying medical condition (such as diabetes, lupus, or HIV/AIDS) make a huge difference in your quality of life and your ability to deal with peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

Peripheral neuropathy is considered to be chronic pain. It’s not something that will come and go; people with peripheral neuropathy symptoms tend to experience them constantly. This kind of never-ending pain can be disruptive to your ability to work, your social life, your sleep routine, and your mental health. Many people with peripheral neuropathy become anxious or depressed due to their experience of chronic pain.

The Good News About Quality of Life with Peripheral Neuropathy

Let me share the good news about neuropathic pain. Although most nerve damage is permanent and there is no true cure for peripheral neuropathy, there are many things that you are able to do to improve your quality of life and regain close-to-normal functioning.

First, take good care of your feet, wear comfortable shoes and socks, and avoid going barefoot. Get foot massages to help reduce pain and improve your circulation. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any sore spots, blisters, or other issues on the soles of your feet.

Next, cut back on caffeine and nicotine. If you’re able to quit, do so! Nicotine has been shown to decrease your circulation, and caffeine most likely is making your peripheral neuropathy pain even worse.

Try to maintain an active lifestyle to the extent that is possible for you. Of course, you’ll need to check with your doctor or peripheral neuropathy clinician before beginning any exercise program. Exercise will improve your circulation, your mood, and your overall quality of life.

Finally, one of the most important changes you can make is to follow the NeuropathyDR® diet that provides everything your body needs to begin healing peripheral neuropathy. This is best undertaken under the supervision of a NeuropathyDR® specialist who can prescribe a custom treatment plan for your individual needs. To find a NeuropathyDR® specialist near you, click here.

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Top 5 Neuropathy Myths

Have You Fallen For These Neuropathy Myths? Find the Real Facts Here.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there concerning neuropathy—what it is, what causes it, and most of all, what you can do about it.

In some cases, these neuropathy myths arise from confusion due to outdated information, misleading claims, and rumors perpetuated by neuropathy sufferers looking for a cure.

Take a look at the following neuropathy myths and the real facts known by current medical science, and decide for yourself.

Myth #1: Neuropathy pain happens naturally with age.

Neuropathy can happen to people of any age; it’s just a little more common in the senior population. And neuropathic pain is not inevitable with advanced age. Instead, it’s correlated with certain problems that can happen to older people, such as drug complications and metabolic issues. In fact, there’s plenty you can do to help prevent neuropathic pain from negatively impacting your quality of life as you get older.

Myth #2: My friend with neuropathic pain says that my symptoms can’t be neuropathy, because my pain is nothing like my friend’s pain.

Neuropathy can present with a variety of specific symptoms. These can include sharp pain, lack of normal sensation, unpleasant tingling, or inability to retain control over motor functions. Some individuals will have only one symptom, while others have multiple indicators of nerve damage. In the most severe cases, there can even be organ damage that impairs normal function. One person’s neuropathy may not look anything like another person’s neuropathic pain. That’s why it’s so important to get a diagnosis from a trained clinician with a background in treating neuropathy.

Myth #3: Only people with diabetes develop neuropathy symptoms.

It’s true that neuropathy is one of the symptoms commonly associated with diabetes. However, there are many other patients who are affected by neuropathy—including people in chemotherapy cancer treatment, people with minor physical problems like carpel tunnel syndrome, and those who have undergone an illness or injury.

Myth #4: There is a simple cure for neuropathy.

Unfortunately, although there are many websites and books out there claiming that they alone can provide a “cure” for neuropathic pain, the truth is that there’s no real cure. It’s also important to keep in mind that neuropathy looks different for every individual sufferer, so how could a website or book possibly offer a miracle cure for YOU and your individual pain? Any cookie cutter solution is likely to be a scam or just plain ineffective. Always talk with your physician before beginning any type of neuropathy treatment program.

Myth #5: If there’s no cure for neuropathy, then there’s no point in trying to treat my symptoms.

Actually, many neuropathy sufferers have been able to significantly improve their quality of life and even reduce the severity of their symptoms. There’s no “cure,” but there is a proven effective treatment regimen that blends home care and lifestyle changes with clinical treatment protocols to ease neuropathy pain.

You’ve already taken the first step by reading this article. An informed patient is a powerful patient! For more concrete, practical information about neuropathy and how you can turn your symptoms around, take a look at the neuropathy owner’s manual: I Beat Neuropathy!

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For Neuropathy Treatment, Do I Really Need Pain Medications?

If Your Neuropathy Treatment Plan Is Based Entirely On Drugs, It May Be Time To Learn About Other Options.

Is your current doctor doing everything that can be done for your neuropathy and chronic pain?

Too often, the physicians who find themselves providing neuropathy treatment are well trained in their own specialties, or perhaps in general medicine, but not in treating neuropathy.

Unfortunately for neuropathy patients, doctors who aren’t trained in ALL of the treatment options available for neuropathy tend to rely heavily on the use of drugs to alleviate pain and discomfort. In fact, this is a global problem in healthcare today, with so many medical decisions being unduly influenced by the powerful pharmaceutical industry.

To be honest, this problem with excessive medicating actually goes back more than 30 years! It’s a tough one to combat.

In some cases, of course, medications can be very helpful and appropriate. But so many drugs have side effects and other factors that make their long-term use harmful.

Ideally, your neuropathy treatment plan will have a long-term component including many elements aside from medications. Many of the latest neuropathy treatments can work alongside your current drug regimen and eventually allow you to reduce or eliminate those medications altogether.

You’ve heard me say it before: The most basic elements of effective neuropathy treatment start with lifestyle changes that you can implement right away. Combine these at-home treatments with some of the best neuropathy treatment factors we know about today, and you have a powerful recipe for better health—not just in the short term, but over time as well.

With a thorough assessment and lifestyle treatment plan developed with a trained NeuropathyDR® clinician, you will be able to apply breakthrough neuropathy treatments like laser therapy and electrotherapy for relief from your symptoms.

If you’re ready to say goodbye to neuropathy pain that interferes with normal sleep, movement, and quality of life, then take your neuropathy treatment into your own hands with the neuropathy owner’s manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

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What To Do When Sleep Problems Make Your Neuropathy Symptoms Even Worse

Sleep Disturbances Are Common, But They Are Especially Disruptive to Your Health When You’re Struggling With Neuropathy Symptoms.

Most people experience sleep problems at some point in their lives. While there are those with chronic insomnia or other disturbances, sleep issues are brief and mild for many of us.

However, when neuropathy symptoms come into the picture, sleep problems become more than an annoyance. Insufficient sleep is a global health concern for those with peripheral neuropathy.

You already know that sleep is a required period of rest for your body’s systems. Without sufficient and regular sleep, we just can’t function on a normal, healthy level.

When your sleep is disturbed, your body simply isn’t getting a chance to recharge its key systems. Neuropathy symptoms can contribute to that lost sleep, and lost sleep means that your neuropathy symptoms will be intensified—both right now and over time. It’s a vicious cycle leading to fatigue, weight gain, pains or muscle aches, and possibly depression, in addition to the neuropathy symptoms you’re already experiencing.

So what can you do if your sleep problems are making your peripheral neuropathy symptoms even worse?

My first suggestion is a visit to your local NeuropathyDR® clinician or another trained physician who is well versed in dealing with neuropathy symptoms. You need to address any global health issues aside from neuropathy and accurately diagnose what is interrupting your sleep cycle. If medication or other neuropathy treatments are appropriate for you, those will aid you in better sleep, as well.

Next, make adjustments in your day-to-day lifestyle that will help encourage a healthy pattern of sleep. Daily exercise, as approved by your doctor based on your body’s needs, is very important. When you can exercise outdoors in the sun, that’s even better. Avoid dehydration, follow an effective neuropathy diet, and reduce stress wherever you can.

Some patients also respond well to supplementing with magnesium throughout the day, but this should only be done under your doctor’s supervision and is not appropriate for anyone with kidney disease.

Finally, consider the use of our home care kits, featuring an easy-to-use electrotherapy neurostimulator approved by the FDA. This simple but effective device can improve your sleep significantly by reducing neuropathy symptoms like pain and tingling. Best of all, you can use it while falling asleep, thanks to the built-in timer and automatic shut-off. Read more about the NDGen Home Care Kit.

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Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms After Surgery

If You Are Experiencing Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms Following a Major Surgery, You Are Not Alone. Keep Reading to Learn Why This Happens and What You Can Do About It.

Recovering from surgery is always a bit of an ordeal. It can feel like a huge triumph just to avoid infection, wean off those post-surgery medications, and start feeling somewhat normal again.

Unfortunately, surgery can sometimes cause brand-new neuropathy problems, including:

  • Nerve pain
  • Extreme sensations of warmth or cold in the skin of extremities
  • Inability to sense vibration or touch
  • Burning or tingling in feet and hands

There are a lot of reasons why you could be experience neuropathy pain after surgery. Let’s take a look at three of the most common reasons.

First of all, the use of general anesthetic, especially prolonged use in lengthy surgeries, can cause hypoxia. This is a condition in which the anesthetic prevents certain types of nerves in your body from getting the right amount of oxygen, leading to damage.

In addition, nerve compression, leading to neuropathic pain, can be caused by conditions like carpel tunnel syndrome and sciatica. Experiencing neuropathy symptoms after a surgery that intended to alleviate these conditions could simply be a new awareness of existing symptoms that were not adequately addressed by the surgery.

The question is, now that you know you have neuropathy—a real condition, not something that’s “all in your head”—what can you do about it?

There are several steps you can take right now to alleviate your neuropathy pain.

First, make an appointment for a consultation with a trained neuropathy doctor who can accurately diagnose your nerve damage issues along with any global health problems (such as diabetes) that can exacerbate your symptoms. Trained NeuropathyDR® clinicians are knowledgeable in customizing available treatments to address your unique neuropathy symptoms and health needs.

Next, begin to educate yourself so that you can be your own most effective healthcare advocate. Learn all you can about neuropathy treatment, including home treatment options and beneficial lifestyle changes that can keep your symptoms at bay.

Be sure to check out our Self-Guided Care page to learn more about at-home peripheral neuropathy treatment options, including the FDA-approved NDGen Home Care Kit.

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Neuropathy Pain Is Serious Business! The Hidden Dangers of Autonomic Neuropathy

Neuropathy Pain Can Lead to Serious and Life-Threatening Nerve Damage. Here’s What You Need to Know for Your Long-Term Health.

You already know that neuropathy pain can significantly impair your quality of life on a daily basis, and in a long-term way. But did you realize that ignoring neuropathy pain can actually contribute to the development of life-threatening illness?

When there is nerve damage to your autonomic systems (the parts of your body that function automatically, like digestion and blood pressure), these systems are likely to stop behaving like they should. This is called autonomic neuropathy, and it can actually threaten your life. Any impairment of autonomic systems is an immediate danger to your health.

When are you at risk for autonomic neuropathy? You should consult a qualified neuropathy physician if you have any of these conditions that are frequently associated with neuropathic pain and damage from autonomic neuropathy:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer that is being treated with chemotherapy
  • AIDS or HIV
  • Lupus

It is also extremely important for you to seek the support of a NeuropathyDR® clinician if you are experiencing any of these nerve damage symptoms:

  • Unusual sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling or numbness in extremities
  • Change in the way you feel sense hot and cold temperatures
  • Sexual problems
  • Loss of ability to control your limbs or fingers and toes

You might also be in a high-risk category for developing autonomic neuropathy related to neuropathic pain if you have had a severe injury or amputation. In these cases, be sure to see a NeuropathyDR® clinician for a consultation now, instead of waiting for symptoms to develop.

There are times when a trained physician can detect nerve damage before any symptoms arise, and early intervention in treatment is key—not just to quality of life over time in terms of neuropathy pain, but also avoiding life-threatening scenarios related to autonomic neuropathy.

For a list of NeuropathyDR® clinicians near you, see Find A Neuropathy Treatment Center.

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Neuropathy Self Care is Vital During the Holidays

Don’t Take a Vacation from Neuropathy Self Care During the Holidays!

The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone, whether it’s the positive stress of gathering with loved ones or a more negative experience due to personal hardships. Of course, most of us have a mixed experience of both positive and negative stressors during the holidays.

When you are suffering from the discomfort of neuropathic pain, holiday stress can take an even bigger toll—not just emotional but physical. You’re likely to be feeling more fatigue or a chronic pain flare-up during this time.

It may seem that neuropathy self care is just another stressor during the holidays. Sticking to your at-home treatment protocol of a healthy diet, nutritional supplements, light exercise, and mindfulness practice may seem like an imposition or even just another thing on your rapidly growing to-do list!

But the truth is, the most positive step you can take to reduce neuropathy symptoms during the holidays is to prioritize your neuropathy self care above all else.

If you’ve already fallen off the wagon in terms of your neuropathy self care plan, then it’s important to realize that you don’t have to wait for a New Year’s resolution to get back on. You can start right now.

And if that feels too overwhelming, then remember that you can add in healthy habits just one at a time. Every small improvement will have a cumulative effect on your well-being and help reduce neuropathy symptoms.

Need a refresher about the basics of good neuropathy self care? Here are a few key elements of your at-home care to reduce neuropathy symptoms and holiday stress:

  • A diet focused on protein and vegetables, with fewer carbs and unhealthy fats
  • Good hydration with plenty of water
  • Light exercise as prescribed by your medical team or NeuropathyDR® clinician, possibly including stretching, yoga, or other low-impact activities
  • Relaxation exercises or meditation

Above all, try to maintain focus on the joys and pleasures of the holiday season and let go of any preconceptions about how things should go.

To read more about at-home neuropathy self care, take a look at our neuropathy “owner’s manual”: I Beat Neuropathy!

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Why Self Care is a Vital Piece of Your Neuropathy Treatment Plan

You Are the Missing Link In Your Neuropathy Treatment If You Are Not Implementing This Self Care Component!

The best neuropathy treatment plan is a simple one. In part, that’s because the simplest plan is the one you are likely to follow… and you are the person most responsible for your health, even (or especially) when it comes to chronic pain and neuropathy.

When you become accountable for your own successful neuropathy treatment, you will empower yourself to make significant and beneficial lifestyle changes that are the foundation of good nerve health.

One example is the NeuropathyDR Diet, which is so straightforward that you’ll not only feel much better as you follow it, you’ll even save money on groceries! This diet supports other self care protocols that you can do at home, from neurostim to stretching and other gentle exercises.

The key is to make improvements every week that lead to a gradual but significant change in how you feel so that chronic pain and neuropathy symptoms are reduced over time.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get off the self care track, especially this time of year. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll go back to the neuropathy treatment plan (diet, hydration, exercises) right after that party, or on New Year’s Day. It’s tempting to think that just a little cheat here and there won’t make a difference. You might even decide that taking a break from your self care protocol is being “kind” to yourself and that you “deserve” it.

The truth is, you deserve a life free from chronic pain and neuropathy symptoms.

What would you do to be rid of the numbness, tingling, and pain forever? What wouldn’t you do?

Ultimately, the state of your health is up to you. It probably took you years to enter a gradual health decline, and it takes time to significantly improve your health through an effective neuropathy treatment plan. Every act of self care, every single day, is what will get you there.

For more information about what you can do at home to supplement professional neuropathy treatment, take a look at our Self-Guided Care page.

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