Is Neuropathy Treatable?

by Will Bozeman

Every day, physicians around the world are learning more about the condition of peripheral neuropathy. Although the condition is elusive and, at times, difficult to understand, by both patients and physicians alike, the history of increased knowledge on the condition is promising and proves to illustrate treatment has and continues to improve. Many who encounter the condition for the first time, either seeing the effects in a loved one or experiencing it for themselves, are often at a loss for what to do. 

Many patients are understandably frustrated with the lack of options for treatment while others ask: Can peripheral neuropathy even be treated effectively? Rather than finding a lasting solution that targets the problem at the source, patients will place a metaphorical band-aid on the problem and reapply when the pain resurfaces. The short answer is peripheral neuropathy is treatable. Before we talk about what you should do, it would be best to examine the most common treatments, metaphorical band-aids, to contrast against a treatment that is widely available, effective, and lasting.

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system, or the nerves that are located outside of the brain and the spinal cord. These nerves play the essential role of transmitting signals to the brain and enabling touch sensations, movements, and bodily functions. 

There are three different types of nerves in the peripheral nervous system:

  • Sensory nerves – These nerves transmit signals related to touch, vibration, and temperature to the brain. 
  • Motor nerves – Motor nerve fibers are located within the muscle mass and help the brain control movements. 
  • Autonomic nerves – Autonomic nerves enable those functions we don’t have direct control over, such as blood pressure, heartbeat, sweating, and digestion. 

When these nerves are damaged, they are unable to carry signals to the brain as they should, which results in pain, numbness, burning sensations, and extreme sensitivity to touch. 

Currently, over 100 neuropathies have been defined, each of which has its own set of symptoms, causes, and risk factors. Nonetheless, nerve damage is most commonly caused by poorly managed blood sugar, infections such as HIV, direct trauma, exposure to toxins such as lead, nutritional deficiencies, and medications such as the drugs used in chemotherapy. In up to 30% of cases, neuropathy has no known cause. 

Neuropathy is a degenerative disease that causes progressive and irreversible nerve damage. Because of this, obtaining an accurate diagnosis early on is crucial to find an adequate treatment program that allows you to limit nerve damage and avoid the most severe complications of neuropathy.

Causes and Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

While insulin levels will balance out with the level of blood sugar if patients are careful, patients may also wonder what steps they can take in managing the complications associated with peripheral neuropathy.  Khdour continues to list some of these treatments which include “the use of specific anticonvulsants and antidepressants for pain management in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy” (2020). Some patients may also choose to undergo expensive surgery to address the pain.  Other, more simple solutions include the use of NSAID pain-relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen or soaking the affected areas in cold water for a short period of time. When patients are given the options between high-risk surgery and metaphorical band-aid pain-relievers, the choice seems almost impossible. 

On the one hand, patients know that with surgery there is a high level of life-changing risk. On the other hand, patients have likely already turned to NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like ibuprofen and acetaminophen because they are easily accessible. Patients want solutions that will last and treatments that aren’t high-risk. However, recent solutions for peripheral neuropathy may be both simple and lasting. Treatment doesn’t have to be “high risk – low reward” it could be “low risk – high reward”. 

The burning, tingling, numbing, and loss of balance from the condition are stiflingly confusing; especially considering that the condition is most often related to type-two diabetes. Patients of the condition and those closest to them press through the condition with little knowledge or understanding of the frustrating pain or how it relates to their diabetes and insulin resistance. Regardless of a patient’s level of understanding, their most common concerns are type of treatment, availability of treatment, and efficacy of treatment. However, with a condition where little seems to be understood, many patients don’t seek effective treatment.

Diagnosing Peripheral Neuropathy

It is, of course, recommended that patients seek diagnosis or peripheral neuropathy before finding treatment. As mentioned before, the condition is most commonly associated with type-two diabetes. If a patient suffers from type-two diabetes or insulin resistance, it is likely that they will suffer from the conditions of peripheral neuropathy, especially if their insulin levels are not kept in check. When blood sugar rises above the levels that your insulin load can handle, sugar crystal molecules damage the micro-vascular tissues and nerves in the peripheral regions of the body. Leaving us with the term peripheral neuropathy, a condition that targets the peripheral nerves in the feet and hands because they are at the far edges of our nervous system. Understanding these causes and concepts can help a patient cope with and seek effective treatment for their peripheral neuropathy after diagnosis. We advocate for a patient’s education on their condition so that they can effectively communicate their concerns and find effective treatment with their doctors.

How to Treat Peripheral Neuropathy

Because of the myriad causes and symptoms of neuropathy, treating this condition remains a clinical challenge. In turn, most patients receive a treatment program that aims to ease their symptoms, but it does not address its underlying causes. 

Some of the common treatments prescribed for neuropathy include:

  • Medications – People with neuropathy often use medications to manage their pain. These drugs include over-the-counter pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, topical creams such as capsaicin, and steroid injections. 
  • Natural remedies – Acupuncture, compresses, and massages help patients manage their pain in the short term by stimulating blood flow and relaxing the muscles surrounding the damaged nerves. 
  • Lifestyle changes – Lifestyle changes such as managing your blood sugar, improving your diet, and practicing regular physical activity can limit nerve damage caused by diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. 

Given the degenerative nature of neuropathy, it is crucial for patients to look beyond short-term solutions and find a treatment program that efficiently addresses the underlying causes of nerve damage and provides long-lasting relief. That’s where Neuraganex’s proprietary treatment program – Neurofunctional Pain Management – can help. 

Neurofunctional Pain Management leverages multiple approaches, including high-pulse electrical stimulation and nutrient hydration therapies. Combined, these treatments support the regeneration of damaged tissue and provide long-term relief from pain. Let’s look at the treatment options for neuropathy and how Neurofunctional Pain Management can help in more detail below.

Non-Medical Treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy

Experiencing chronic pain can have a defining effect on your life. So, it is only natural to seek accessible medications to ease the symptoms of neuropathy. However, relying on pharmaceutical options can expose you to significant side effects, including dependency. 

That’s why it is of vital importance to look for alternative, non-medical treatment options for neuropathy, including the ones below.

Lifestyle Changes

Some lifestyle modifications that can help you ease your chronic pain and avoid further complications include:

  • Regular exercise –  Regularly exercising can improve muscle strength and prevent muscle loss, which are common complications of damage to motor nerves. Additionally, physical activity can help you manage your blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight. In turn, this can help you prevent obesity and diabetes, which are two of the greatest risk factors for neuropathy. 
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco – Alcohol and tobacco have a neurotoxic effect on nerve endings. These substances deteriorate the myelin, or the nerves’ protective sheath, and lead to demyelinating neuropathy. Additionally, it is estimated that between 26% and 55% of those battling an alcohol use disorder have neuropathic symptoms. Keep these substances to a minimum to avoid further nerve damage. 
  • Manage your blood sugar levels – If you have diabetes, you are at high risk of developing neuropathy. This is because poorly managed blood sugar can cause damage to the blood vessels responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to nerve endings throughout the body. Controlling blood sugar levels can prevent further nerve damage and ease the symptoms of neuropathy.
  • Daily massages and self-care – Massaging your hands and feet can relax the muscles and promote blood circulation in the areas most commonly affected by nerve pain and damage. Additionally, examining your feet can help you notice wounds and sores before they turn into ulcers.

Diet Modifications

Your diet plays an important role in helping you manage your nerve pain. Firstly, a balanced diet can help lower the risk of obesity, excessive weight gain, and diabetes, all of which are risk factors for neuropathy. 

Additionally, improving your diet may prevent nutritional deficiencies that have been seen to be correlated with an increased risk of developing neuropathy, such as vitamin B12, vitamin E, and copper. Adjusting your diet is particularly important if you suffer from conditions such as celiac disease, which may prevent you from absorbing essential vitamins and minerals. 

Lastly, a balanced eating regime will help you ease the symptoms associated with the damage of autonomic nerves responsible for regulating functions such as digestion, which include constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is important to maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system, especially if motor nerves have been affected by neuropathy. A physical therapist will help you practice movements to keep your muscles strong and your joints flexible, thus reducing the pain and disability often linked to neuropathy. 

Physical therapy can also help you adapt to the changes that are taking place in your nervous system. For example, neuropathy may prevent signals relating to your body’s position in the surrounding space from reaching the brain, thus exposing you to an increased risk of falls. A physical therapist can guide you in the process of regaining your sense of balance and coordination. 

At Neuragenex, our proprietary treatment program – Neurofunctional Pain Management – allows us to combine the non-medical treatments above with high-pulse electrical stimulation, hydration therapies, and lifestyle counseling to help you better manage nerve pain in the long term. Learn more about the benefits of this approach below.

Is Peripheral Neuropathy Treatable? – Neurofunctional Pain Management As The Solution

Neuragenex offers a new proprietary treatment program called Neurofunctional Pain Management that is the newest and most effective solution to peripheral neuropathy pain. Hundreds of patients have experienced relief from the pains and irritations of peripheral neuropathy through Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment protocols. Patients who may have been skeptical of taking medication or undergoing expensive surgery or invasive procedures to alleviate their neuropathy symptoms can instead engage in safe, effective, and life changing Neurofunctional Pain Management therapy. 

Many patients experience immediate relief and regain function in their extremities after only a few sessions. Neurofunctional Pain Management is a combination of specialized hydration therapy combined with high pulse electrical stimulation to activate and heal the nerves damaged from peripheral neuropathy. This technology is not only used to treat the effects of peripheral neuropathy but other chronic pain conditions such as knee pain, back pain, joint pain, fibromyalgia and pain stemming from injuries as a result of accidents or surgery.

The Benefits of Neurofunctional Pain Management for Those Suffering From Peripheral Neuropathy

Neurofunctional Pain Management can help you manage your nerve pain without medications or surgery, while also supporting the healing of tissues that have been damaged by neuropathy. Learn more about the benefits of this next-generation pain management approach below. 

  • Non-Pharmaceutical – Neurofunctional Pain Management does not involve pharmaceutical treatments, and it allows you to live a life free of steroids, over-the-counter pain relievers, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. 
  • Opioid-Free – With prescription opioids causing the death of over 16,000 a year, opioid addiction has become a severe problem in the US. At Neuragenex, we believe in helping patients live a pain-free life without putting themselves in danger of addiction, dependency, or overdose. 
  • Non-Surgical and Non-Invasive – Undergoing surgery can have a profound impact on a person’s personal, professional, and financial life. What’s more, surgical procedures often correlate to long and painful periods of rehabilitation and immobilization. With Neurofunctional Pain Management, patients can enjoy a pain-free life with minimal downtime and no invasive procedures.
  • Long-Lasting – Given the degenerative nature of neuropathy and chronic pain, patients should look for a pain management approach that is sustainable in the long term. With Neurofunctional Pain Management, patients can enjoy prolonged relief from pain and long-lasting improvements in their body’s functions.

Consider The Alternative Treatment For The Peripheral Neuropathy

If you are battling neuropathy, you may be facing two, equally daunting prospects: living a life reliant on medications or undergoing surgery. Fortunately, thanks to Neuragenex’s proprietary approach to pain management, there’s a third, non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical option to explore: Neurofunctional Pain Management.

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