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

 

Motor Neuropathy Care- Long Term Strategies are Key

If you are a regular NeuropathyDR® blog reader, you know that we tend to focus on the latest developments and research in treating neuropathy pain.  With peripheral neuropathy, though, pain is only one component.  This week, we’re going to talk about how neuropathy can affect your muscles, also called motor neuropathy.

There are essentially three kinds of motor neuropathy.  The first is the overall weakening effect of the muscles, especially in the extremities, which often accompanies peripheral neuropathy.  This can occur because the nerves which control motor function in the muscles have become damaged, or—in the case of a compression neuropathy—constricted.  The second kind is called multifocal motor neuropathy, and takes place when the immune system itself begins to attack the nerves, as can happen after a series of infections or after an illness.  The third kind is Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, which, as the name suggests, is genetic in nature.  Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, or HMSN, occurs when there is a naturally-occurring deterioration in the nerves that control the muscles, causing the muscles to not be used, become weak, or even atrophy.

Motor neuropathy usually starts in the hands and feet, and can affect the full extension of fingers and toes.  In addition to the dexterity problems this obviously causes, it often also has a visual appearance of “clawlike” fingers.  The condition is degenerative, getting worse over a period of months and years.  Twitching and spasms can also happen in affected limbs.  While motor issues associated with peripheral neuropathy usually accompany pain, tingling, and numbness, multifocal motor neuropathy involves no pain (only the motor nerves are affected).  Generally, none of the varieties of motor neuropathy are life-threatening, although they can absolutely impact your comfort and quality of life if you suffer from them.

When we met our patient Robert, he complained of a steady and declining loss of strength in his feet, which he had experienced over the past 4 years.  Robert had had cancer during that time, culminating in having his prostate removed.  His motor neuropathy caused Robert to have trouble walking or standing for long periods, and he even had trouble feeling his feet on some occasions.  He also complained of shooting pain, tingling, and soreness in his feet, all typical calling cards of peripheral neuropathy.  Since in cases of multifocal motor neuropathy, the sensory nerves are usually unaffected, Robert’s pain and numbness ruled that out.  Sure enough, when we performed a battery of tests, we found that Robert’s sensation to vibration was all but gone in several places on his feet.

Motor Neuropathy is Characterized by Weakness of The Muscles

Robert did not respond with the typical level of relief we usually see after treating a patient with electro-stimulation.  Over the course of three treatment sessions, Robert’s level of strength and comfort in his feet did not change in any meaningful way.  While this is unusual, it highlights an important theme: neuropathy is a complex problem with many symptoms and manifestations, and NO single therapy technique or tool—even those with a very high rate of success—can stand on their own as a complete treatment.

We designed a treatment for Robert intended to produce more long-term benefit, as his short-term progress was not substantial.  Motor neuropathies require an extensive MULTI-MODAL level of treatment, sometimes pharmaceutical and sometimes homeopathic, and usually involving some level of regular exercise and controlled diet.  Robert is currently improving steadily, and is seeing his NeuropathyDR® clinician as prescribed to monitor his condition and progress.

If you suffer from weakness or pain in your limbs, you may have peripheral neuropathy.  If so, we are here to help!  Contact NeuropathyDR® right away and we will help you find the best course of treatment for your specific symptoms.  We can even put you in touch with a specially-trained NeuropathyDR® clinician who can help you develop a therapy plan that will get results.

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multifocal_neuropathy/multifocal_neuropathy.htm

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multifocal_neuropathy/multifocal_neuropathy.htm