Perhaps the most frustrating, but real issue surrounding patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy and many types of chronic pain is that more often than not, there are often multiple underlying causes.
As you know, life is an accumulation of experiences—sometimes, unfortunately, including trauma and illnesses.
All of these things have consequences, some of which will not show up for many years. You probably also know that things that are very easy to ignore at 25 now become impossible to ignore at 65 and beyond.
One of the issues that concerns me while treating many neuropathy patients is when clinicians and patients focus exclusively on trying to find the “one” cause of their pain, burning, tingling numbness or other neuropathy symptoms.
The reason for this is quite simple. Most commonly, patients develop peripheral neuropathy as the result of multiple underlying causes.
For example, a common scenario is an overweight smoker who had a history of back surgery. Perhaps they are overweight or pre-diabetic, or have used some medications (commonly statins) known to cause neuropathy. These are some of the many multiple underlying causes we find in patient histories every day.
The reality is, all these things are risk factors for the development of chronic pain, and often peripheral neuropathy.
So, unless all these multiple underlying causes are addressed, the patient is unlikely to significantly improve.
Worse yet is when doctors and other caregivers are not familiar with this all-too-common scenario.
We honestly believe this is the reason why so many patients receive symptomatic prescriptions, yet no constructive advice on how to manage, let alone possibly beat, their peripheral neuropathy.
So the best advice we can give you is to try and understand everything that may be contributing to your current situation.
Also understand how very important it is NOT to delay proper treatment. The longer the delay, the more difficult peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain becomes to manage.
We find this is also why the biggest neuropathy treatment successes come when implementation of EARLY effective pain & neuropathy treatment, including neurostimulation (NDGen(R)), manual and massage therapy, laser (LLLT/LED) therapy, can have a profound impact on our patients’ outcomes, no matter what the multiple underlying cause(s) might turn out to be.
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What frustrates physicians and patients alike in peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain syndromes is that multiple issues are happening simultaneously. So often it requires considerable work by both patient and doctor to sort out each component properly. In essence, this becomes your treatment project.
The first step in your treatment project has got to be an accurate diagnosis. A detailed exam and some tests will help us map out the best “project” for you.
By reading our articles frequently you’ll get a good idea of what you should be doing on a daily basis with diet, lifestyle and the best home care treatment options to compliment professional treatment.
This is also why neuropathy and chronic pain treatment programs that focus only on stopping the pain process and not enhancing healing are almost always doomed to failure!
So always remember good treatment is a project.
And like all good projects you need a written plan, and somebody to help guide you through the process.
That’s why we are here; let us know how we may help you!
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One of the more common but sometimes under diagnosed components of some forms of peripheral neuropathy is loss of balance. Patients will often say “I don’t have neuropathy; I only walk like I’ve had a few drinks”. This is why it is so crucial to address balance and neuropathy treatment.
In the clinic, we call this “gait” changes. Of course, there are many neurologic disorders that can cause you to walk abnormally or to lose your balance.
But this loss of balance occurs frequently in peripheral neuropathy and sometimes its the very first things patients notice. This is primarily due to changes in sensation in your feet to touch, as well as position sense, or what doctors call proprioception.
One of the most important things to recognize is that left untreated, this problem often gets worse. It requires not only treatment for the neuropathy component but also rehabilitation to help retrain balance and coordination, wherever this is possible.
There are some very simple steps they can be taken almost immediately to prevent catastrophic falls and help balance and neuropathy treatment.
The first thing is to make sure that proper footwear is worn at all times. Secondly, remove common hazards around the household such as objects upon stairs, rugs without non-slip backing or pads, spilled liquids on the floor etc.
Be especially careful in kitchens and bathrooms. Once neuropathy treatment has begun, we’ll instruct you in a series of exercises to help retrain your nervous system.
This is only possible when adequate balance and neuropathy treatment has been able to improve sensation to the soles of your feet, and position sense to your toes and ankles and knees.
This is why getting care early can go along way towards helping possible neuropathy recovery, but also set the stage for a return to a more active lifestyle.
Remember, the sooner you act, the sooner you improve.
Please, do not wait for your situation to really deteriorate before seeking active balance and neuropathy treatment intervention.
Good treatment for many of the more common forms of neuropathy is now available!
All you have to do is ask!!!
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If you’re reading this, you likely already understand that so much of getting better when faced with a serious health issue and especially neuropathy and chronic pain is a do-it-for yourself project. And you likely realize a better self care plan can be a BIG piece of the puzzle.
It is also unrealistic for any doctor to say or any patient to assume that his or her own self-care does not have a major impact on their health, and yes of course recovery from any illness.
Because so many people find the topic so overwhelming, what I suggest is that you start by making very simple list. This is step one of your better self care plan.
For example, do you have the more common known risk factors that can cause or aggravate your health problems? This includes things like cigarette smoking, being as little as 10 to 20 pounds overweight, being inactive or sedentary, and consuming too much alcohol?
Do you now have to take more medications because your diet has been so poor?
You see all of these things can aggravate most health issues especially when neuropathy and chronic pain become part of them.
Perhaps there are genetic or family issues, which you cannot change completely.
But could you do a better job of taking care of yourself?
Could you walk more, stretch every day at least once, take your advised supplements and follow a plant based diet plan, and watch the timing and composition of your meals?
Are you using the NDGen® or wearable laser treatment devices you bought from us?
Could you do a better job of working on your stress, your high blood pressure and migraines?
Are you regularly exercising, and taking “time-outs” every day for meditation or prayer?
You see where I am going. One of the most important things you can do right now is to make a better self care plan list for yourself. Share this only with yourself and your health care professionals.
And then, choose just one thing to work on today!
Rather than becoming overwhelmed, it is much more productive to focus on one change at a time. Once that change has been activated, move onto the next. And so on, one day at a time.
When you start behaving in this way, you’ll likely find a better self care plan can improve results, and provide greater success when working with our treatment professionals!
This is after all is why many hundreds more patients are joining our ranks every week, and we so thank you for being part of our extended family!
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