Neuropathy, or nerve damage, causes pain, weakness, tingling, and numbness in the affected area. Often, these symptoms start in the hands and feet; a condition called peripheral neuropathy. A neuron is a fundamental cell in the nervous system responsible for transmitting signals, while neuropathy is a condition characterized by damage or dysfunction of peripheral nerves, leading to a variety of symptoms.
Researchers recognize more than 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy that create different nerve damage types, which can make this condition difficult to diagnose and treat. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates that at least 20 million Americans experience neuropathy, noting that many more cases likely go unreported and undiagnosed.
Risk factors for neuropathy include diabetes, alcohol abuse, certain infections, autoimmune disease, kidney disease, liver disease, toxin exposure, and a family history of neuropathy, etc. It can also occur if you have a history of repetitive motion or trauma.
Without diagnosis and medical care, neuropathy will worsen over time, leading to loss of mobility and sometimes even limb amputation. While neuropathy is a progressive condition with no known cure, these treatments may reduce its painful symptoms and slow its spread. Ranked from the least effective to the preferred treatment provided by RST-SANEXAS.
Diagnosis and Treatment of the Underlying Cause
If you’re experiencing symptoms of neuropathy, your doctor will first determine the cause of the condition. He or she will conduct a complete medical examination such as CT, MRI, blood tests, and nerve biopsy to visualize your nerves’ function. This process will inform the appropriate treatment plan for you.
Neuropathy is most common among people who have diabetes with poorly controlled blood sugar. Other common causes of neuropathy include:
- Alcohol abuse
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Physical trauma
- Autoimmune disease
- Certain prescription medications
- Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation
Taking steps to manage the effects of diabetes will often resolve neuropathy and slow its progression. For example, an individual with type 2 diabetes may experience relief from neuropathy with techniques to manage blood sugar levels. For an autoimmune disorder, immune-suppressing therapies can prevent the immune system from attacking healthy nerves. The treatment process for neuropathy begins with a physical exam and a spectrum of diagnostic tests to get to the bottom of the issue.
Neuropathy treatment often starts with over-the-counter pain medication. If these drugs are not sufficient, your doctor may recommend prescription drugs.
- Antidepressants such as Cymbalta and Effexor, which can reduce the pain signals released by the brain in response to nerve damage
- Topical treatments that offer pain relief, such as lidocaine patches or capsaicin cream, which block transmission of pain signals from the nerve cells to the brain
- Anti Seizure medications, which can help reduce nerve pain
- Pain medications such as oxycodone, typically prescribed only for severe neuropathy that does not respond to other treatments
Corticosteroid injections reduce the inflammation and nerve pain associated with neuropathy and often provide long-lasting relief. Your doctor may also recommend an anesthetic nerve block. With this approach, the health care provider injects an anesthetic such as lidocaine into the affected nerves. This blocks pain signals from traveling from the nerves to the brain.
Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
With this therapy, the health care provider will place electrodes on the skin that transmit small amounts of electricity. While TENS is not sufficient for every case of neuropathy, some people report minimal relief after this type of treatment.
Your doctor may recommend this peripheral neuropathy treatment if your symptoms affect the hands, feet, arms, or legs. They will apply an ergonomic cast or splint to support the painful body part and hold it in the correct ergonomic position. According to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, this approach can help relieve nerve damage pain, and other symptoms while strengthening and supporting muscles.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
These modalities can often help individuals who have peripheral neuropathy regain function and mobility. Physical therapy focuses on massage, exercises, and other treatments to improve the range of motion and strength in the affected limbs. Occupational therapy provides techniques to cope with the loss of function and pain associated with this condition.
You can also harness the benefits of massage for peripheral neuropathy at home. Firmly but gently rubbing your hands and feet or having a loved one do so can stimulate nerves and boost circulation, which may have a pain-relieving effect.
Complementary and Alternative Medications
Finding the solution of how to treat neuropathy often requires a multifaceted approach. Some evidence shows that complementary and alternative medicine approaches can have a beneficial effect on neuropathy symptoms.
This treatment may be relatively new to the United States. Acupuncture has been used in China since the start of recorded history. With this therapy, the acupuncture practitioner inserts tiny needles into points on the body that correspond with specific effects. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy recommends choosing a registered nurse with the American Academy of Acupuncture if you decide to try this treatment.
With this technique, you learn to detect and manage your body’s physiological pain responses, such as muscle activity, blood pressure, and heart rate. During the biofeedback process, you’ll wear electronic sensors that gather feedback about these vital signs. The biofeedback machine, which is operated by a certified technician, will also give you information about how to consciously control these responses, decreasing the pain experience and the associated stress.
Certain vitamins and minerals can help the body fight back against nerve pain. Research correlates this effect with foods that have plenty of protein, thiamine, and antioxidants. In addition, getting a well-rounded diet that has plenty of whole grains, low-fat dairy, and produce can boost the body’s immune response, potentially reducing neuropathy symptoms.
Learning yoga, meditation, guided imagery, and breathing exercises may help with peripheral neuropathy pain. Some research shows that these practices and similar relaxation techniques relieve tension that can exacerbate pain.
The Most Preferred Option: Electric Cell Signaling System (EcST)
EcST is a proprietary solution for pain associated with peripheral neuropathy designed to create recovery within affected cells. EcST relies on the RST-SANEXAS neoGEN-Series® electric cell signaling system, which transmits electromagnetic frequencies that trigger the recovery from pain associated with peripheral neuropathy. Clinical studies support these beneficial effects of EcST:
- Improved function of organs and tissues
- Improved communication between cells
- Increased energy storage within the cells, which fosters their ability to self-repair
In contrast with similar medical devices, the RST-SANEXAS neoGEN Series® provides both AM and FM frequencies associated with specific physiological effects. These frequencies create vibrations that facilitate energy transfer and restore the ability of the cells to recover themselves.
Patients appreciate EcST because it’s a safe, effective, non-invasive treatment. Individuals who undergo this therapy for neuropathy report decreased pain, fewer muscle spasms, improved circulation, and improved motion and mobility range in the damaged limbs.
To harness the benefits of EcST in treating pain associated with peripheral neuropathy and its associated systems, contact RST-SANEXAS today. We can help you find a doctor who offers this innovative treatment in your area.