A Real Strategy

It’s no secret, most of life’s issues can be dealt with more effectively by having a clear strategy. If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy or really any other form of chronic pain than you understand how difficult it can be manage this on a day-to-day basis.

One of the reasons for this is that by its definition chronic pain is insidious, meaning it tends to creep up slowly.

So like most patients for quite a long period of time you may have already tried a dozen or more medications.

But yet this entire time no one has helped you focus on the simpler things that can have enormous and often extraordinary benefits to your overall health, no matter what stage you’re at.

Specifically we’re talking about diet, meditation, mindfulness, stress reduction, and as much physical activity in which your condition will allow.

For those patients who have been seriously ill or recovering from surgery this simply may be getting up and about out of bed more often with assistance and at home physical therapy.

In this category I would also add the appropriate use of non-drug treatment modalities, physical therapy modalities, massage, using your NDGen kit and your wearable laser system.

Some of these of course are available in the clinic as well as at home.

What DOES not work is continually plying your body with more pills and potions available on-line without paying attention to everything else.

This is not to say of course that medications are not helpful. Often times these are extremely beneficial in helping to manage the pain and discomfort associated  when it can be at its very worst.

But for too many, simply relying on meds while ignoring the simplest but critical behaviors is doing you a tremendous disservice.

Many patients find that learning more about how these different tools like the NDGen and then redesigning a simpler life, along with reducing medications and their associated side effects are more appropriate self-care strategies that go a long way towards helping them improve the quality of their life.

That’s why we are here! Our entire team is standing by, ready to help when you are.

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*As frustrating as it may be at times, we encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and treatment options as possible.

Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of  #pain & #neuropathy. Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about #chronicpain & #neuropathy  on our main website HERE

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A Simpler Chronic Pain and Neuropathy Treatment Strategy. is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome. What you might not know is that carpal tunnel syndrome is only one of a family of ailments in the upper limbs known as entrapment neuropathies. The other entrapment neuropathies are not as well-known in the mainstream as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), so often those who suffer from nerve symptoms in their forearms and hands frequently jump to conclusions without having an accurate diagnosis.

An entrapment neuropathy, also called nerve compression syndrome, occurs when a nerve is wedged or “pinched” against a bone, inflamed muscle. Aside from the median nerve (the one associated with CTS) there are two main nerves that help to control your arm and hand: the radial nerve and the ulnar nerve. Both are susceptible to compression, and the results can be painful!

Entrapment occurs under a number of conditions, most commonly:

  • When there is an injury originating at your neck or a disease of the cervical spine
  • When your elbow has been injured due to fractures or improper use
  • When your wrist has been injured due to fractures or Guyon canal alignment problems
  • An aneurysm or thrombosis in your arteries
  • Factors commonly associated with peripheral neuropathy, such as diabetes, rheumatism, alcoholism, or infection

Your radial nerve runs the length of your arm, and is responsible for both movement and sensation. Radial neuropathy usually occurs at the back of the elbow, and can present itself with many of the common symptoms of neuropathy such as tingling, loss of sensation, weakness and reduced muscle control (in this case, often difficulty in turning your palm upwards with your elbow extended).

A number of palsies affect the radial nerve, such as:

  • Saturday night palsy (also called Honeymooner’s palsy), where your radial nerve is compressed in your upper arm by falling asleep in a position where pressure is exerted on it by either furniture or a bed partner
  • Crutch palsy, where your nerve is pinched by poorly-fitted axillary crutches
  • Handcuff neuropathy, wherein tight handcuffs compress your radial nerve at your wrists

Two main conditions affect the ulnar nerve: Guyon’s canal syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome. Guyon’s canal syndrome is almost exactly the same in symptoms as carpal tunnel syndrome (pain and tingling in the palm and first three fingers), but involves a completely different nerve. Guyon’s canal syndrome is caused by pressure on your wrists, often by resting them at a desk or workstation, and is frequently experienced by cyclists due to pressure from the handlebars.

Nearly everyone has experienced cubital tunnel syndrome: it’s the “dead arm” sensation we’ve all felt when we wake up after sleeping on top of our arm! Sleeping with your arm folded up compresses the ulnar nerve at your shoulder, causing it to effectively “cut off” feeling to your arm. As you probably know from experience, this sensation is unsettling but temporary.

Diagnosis for all compression neuropathies is fairly consistent: We’ll examine your arms for signs of neuropathy, and will likely ask you to perform several demonstrations of dexterity.  If we suspect you may have an underlying condition,lab tests may be recommended. To pinpoint the specific location of a compression, we may also suggest MRI.

Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, most cases of compression neuropathy are mild. Good self care for mild cases involves ice, rest, and a change in habits of motion or stress that are causing the symptoms. Otherwise, professional care in office as well as at home is often indicated.

If you suffer from a compression neuropathy or have questions about this or any other kind of neuropathy, call us ASAP. As with any neuropathy, don’t wait! The sooner you get an accurate diagnosis, the more conservative options for treatment you’ll have.

Join the conversation at Beating Neuropathy!

References:

http://www.mdguidelines.com/neuropathy-of-radial-nerve-entrapment
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1285531-overview
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1244885-overview
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2599973/?tool=pmcentrez

Entrapment Neuropathy: More Than Just Carpal Tunnel! is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Eating More Frequently May Manage Neuropathy & Weight Easier?

On the surface, a statement like that might seem wrong. After all, isn’t eating at the root of weight gain, obesity, and its complications? To a point, yes. This is especially true when we consume far more calories in one sitting then we need, and load our meals with carbohydrates and poor-quality fats. So eating more frequently may manage neuropathy and my weight easier?

Eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn versus store fat, keep your blood sugar more even, and actually help keep you warmer.

What I tell all my neuropathy patients—and, indeed, every patient—is to try to eat something not more than three hours apart.

But a little-known fact is that when we eat less frequently, we become much more efficient at storing fat rather than burning it. This is not to say periodic fasting isn’t helpful. Turns out it actually is.

So what does this have to do with managing peripheral neuropathy?

The bottom line is, eating more frequently will stimulate your metabolism—or, how efficiently you burn versus store fat, keep your blood sugar more even, and actually help keep you warmer. For patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy, all of these things are crucial.

But this does not mean you can eat anything you want. What we do know is that by consuming relatively low amounts of carbohydrates in our meals, along with periodic low carb snacks, we become much more efficient metabolically. *Now, if you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, some of what I say here will not apply, so please be careful and work with your Doctor here.

What I tell all my patients is to try to eat something low carb (low carb meal or if a snack  some almonds, cashews, half a banana or apple, small salad with olive oil, small chia bar for example) not more than three hours apart. For example, you will start your breakfast with something like a protein shake, or a small serving of steel-cut oatmeal with a little added fat like Earth Balance, perhaps some berries. Approximately three hours later, you’ll have six to 10 almonds, or perhaps another lean, low-carbohydrate snack if nut allergies are a problem.

Again, this points out the need to work with well-trained neuropathy treatment professionals to truly manage your peripheral neuropathy and, indeed, your health in general.

What are some of your favorite snacks? Join the conversation on our Facebook page!

Learn so much more or schedule an evaluation HERE.

Eating More Often May Manage Neuropathy and My Weight Easier? is a post from: Neuropathy Doctors and Physical Therapists| Neuropathy | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Your Symptoms and Cell Efficiency

One of the things we get asked all the time is, “What makes NeuropathyDR different?” This is a really good question. For anybody who suffers (or loves someone who does) from peripheral neuropathy or another form of chronic pain, it can be very frustrating to sort through all the details. Treating both your symptoms and cell efficiency is how we are able to provide good treatment based in science…but here is what you must realize first:

Significant improvement in the quality of life can happen by making a few simple changes in your diet and lifestyle and adding special combinations of good treatment.

Our background is in health care and nutrition. So, when I first began intensely treating pain & neuropathy patients in 2008, we knew that improving their underlying health—especially how nerve cells process energy—had to help improve many patients’ peripheral neuropathy and other forms of nerve damage or chronic pain. Of course, there are some patients we cannot help. But we do find that even in patients with genetic neuropathies or other extremely difficult-to-treat cases, significant improvement in the quality of life can happen by making a few simple changes and adding special combinations of good neuropathy treatments.

Your nervous system is made up of billions of cells called neurons. Neurons are highly sensitive to their own environmental changes; things like long-term oxygen starvation due to cigarette smoking, or carrying around too much body weight for too long. Our society is now developing diabetes at alarming rate, in younger and younger age groups. This is largely due to poor food and lifestyle choices. We are also living longer, as a byproduct of better infection control, better chemotherapy drugs, and surgeries.

These things all bring with them increased chances for developing chronic and painful conditions such as peripheral neuropathy. The reason for this is, all of the things we have talked about today will affect how our body processes energy—leading to the development of peripheral neuropathy. Wherever possible, helping to restore energy efficiency to nerve cells can make a tremendous difference in many patients with peripheral neuropathy. And that is why our treatment program includes better nutrition and body motion—improving both your symptoms and cell efficiency by adding therapies such as neurostimulation, laser, and physical therapy, often with nutritional supplementation.

Please learn more and join the conversation all day on Facebook!

Neuropathy Symptoms and Cell Energy is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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