What About Laser Treatments?

Laser has been around since about 1960 or so when a now famous scientist produced these “focused light beams” in the laboratory. Laser treatments in some forms have actually been used in medicine for many years.

Now, lasers are everywhere, everything from CD Players, printers and measuring devices to military weapons. I’m sure you may even have seen a few of your own! These ultra focused light beams can be used at high intensity to seal tissue, aid surgeons dentists and dermatologists in their daily work with patients. And at lower intensity, they have had applications in pain and neuropathy treatment for some time too.

So what does laser have to do with neuropathy and pain treatment? Well, it could be that laser treatments are the “missing link” in some forms of neuropathy and pain treatment! One of our basic attempts in neuropathy and pain treatment is to do whatever can help safely and effectively boost our cells use of “energy”. Well, along with proper nutrition and electrotherapy, laser may aid energy production in damaged nerves. The way this may happen is fascinating, but way beyond the scope of this column.

No treatment works 100 percent of the time. And that is a key point to remember. Nowhere is this more apparent than in laser treatments for neuropathy. Even amongst laser treatment experts there’s often disagreement as to what makes good neuropathy and pain treatment. But some techniques and equipment are proving very effective while others are a complete waste! And this is exactly why we now have so many types of laser treatments available.

This even includes an home laser treatments you can actually sleep with to improve your laser treatment results for pain and perhaps wound healing as well.

The good news is more experience and research including our own is helping us find even better laser treatments than we have available today!

Always remember though, our team members go to great lengths every day to be sure we are up to date in the latest, and best forms of laser treatment for you and your family!

Join our conversation today on Facebook by clicking HERE!

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Neuropathy Self-Diagnosis and Treatment

Ever heard the phrase “The man who represents himself has a fool for a client?” The dangers of self diagnosis and treatment of conditions like neuropathy could cost you your life.

While the old adage above is applied to the legal profession, the same can be said about patients who attempt to diagnose and treat their own illnesses and injuries. Especially when their symptoms indicate they’re dealing with something that could be serious.

The internet has made it easy for us to research our own health issues and become educated patients  but it has also made it easy to misdiagnose and inaccurately treat those medical conditions. Often from very unqualified information.

Now this may not be dangerous with a common cold, but if you have (or think you have):

–           Shingles

–           Diabetic neuropathy

–           Post-chemotherapy neuropathy

–           Guillian-Barre Syndrome

–           Peripheral neuropathy

You could be doing your body irreparable harm by not consulting a highly trained clinician, for proper diagnosis and treatment.

By researching and treating on your own, you’re wasting valuable time and when you’re dealing with neuropathy or any condition that involves nerve damage, because so often you don’t have time to waste.

The delay in obtaining medical treatment could make a small problem much, much worse.  Once that window for early treatment is gone, you can never get it back.  Treating on your own is an excellent example of being penny wise and pound foolish.

Here are just a few of the things that can happen when you diagnose and treat on your own:

–           You could be wrong about the diagnosis and taking medications that you don’t need.  That not only means that you’re not “curing” yourself, you could be making matters  worse.

–          You could be right about the diagnosis but taking the wrong medications.

–          You could be right about the diagnosis but need prescription medication in the appropriate strength to address your symptoms.

–          You could be putting yourself at risk for serious drug interactions with other medicines you’re taking (especially if you’re taking over the counter medicines and supplements without medical supervision).

–          You could be fixing one problem with over the counter medications but making another problem worse or even creating a new problem.

–          You could be missing the root cause of the problem – particularly in cases of neuropathy.

–          Finally, you could be putting yourself at risk for life theatening damage.

You Need to Seek Professional Care

Treating on your own is a classic example of being penny wise and pound foolish. You may save a little money up front but it’s going to cost you more in the long run when your health care provider has to play catch up and try to fix the harm done by delaying proper treatment.

If you have symptoms of any of the illnesses we talked about above (especially diabetes), it is vital that you seek professional medical care.

Early treatment provided by a specialist familiar and specifically trained with peripheral neuropathy will make it much easier for your body to repair itself and lessen your chance of developing permanent nerve damage as a result of peripheral neuropathy.

Don’t be afraid to ask for our guidance.

Before you try to diagnose and treat yourself, we hope you’ll consider the potential harm you could doing to your body.  And make the right choice – seek professional diagnosis and treatment.

Time is of the essence.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

For more information on neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

Patients and Doctors are invited to call us at 781-659-7989 at 12:30 EST Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to talk with the next available senior clinician.


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Is Peripheral Neuropathy Causing Your Sleep Disturbances?

For Peripheral Neuropathy Sufferers, Sleep Disturbances Can Cause Serious Symptom that Can’t Be Ignored

Did you know that more than 70 percent of people with neuropathy also struggle with insomnia? When chronic pain and tingling in feet or hands is keeping you awake at night, it’s a good bet that you’re not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep that you need for good overall health.

There are mixed reasons why neuropathic pain is tied to sleep problems. Pain associated with peripheral neuropathy has a tendency to feel more intense at night, when you’re tired and when there are fewer distractions available to break your focus on the pain.

What’s more, there may be another strong tie between insomnia and neuropathy. Sleep apnea is a very common cause of sleep disorders, and research has indicated that untreated sleep apnea can actually lead to peripheral neuropathy symptoms. And if you’re diabetic and resistant to insulin, sleep apnea may be even more likely to affect your neuropathy.

Of course, it stands to reason that lack of adequate sleep can make your peripheral neuropathy symptoms seem even worse than before. It’s a fact that lack of sleep tends to lower one’s pain threshold significantly.

Here are some of our guidelines for improving sleep when dealing with peripheral neuropathy:

  • Limit your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Institute a sleep routine that helps you wind down at night and go to sleep at about the same time every evening.
  • Don’t eat a large or heavy meal late in the evening. If your body is hard at work on digestion, it’s not resting.
  • Make any needed changes to your bedroom to induce restful sleep, including temperature, darkness, and noise.
  • Limit electronics at night, including television, computers, and any handheld devices. These have a stimulating effect on your brain. If you need an activity to help you sleep, try reading an actual book!

These are simple guidelines that can help you institute lasting positive change in your sleep patterns, hopefully leading to reduced peripheral neuropathy discomfort. But true relief can come only with the support of a trained NeuropathyDR clinician who can tailor the treatment to your specific needs. Click here to find a NeuropathyDR clinician in your area.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

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HIV/AIDS and Peripheral Neuropathy

If you have HIV/AIDS, at some point in the progression of your disease you’ll probably develop peripheral nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy. HIV/AIDS peripheral neuropathy is common by most estimates, in roughly one-third of HIV/AIDS patients especially in advanced cases.

While that may not be surprising, what you should also know is that some forms of peripheral nerve damage like Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) may affect early onset patients.

Your doctor may even be able to tell how far your HIV/AIDS has progressed by diagnosing the type of peripheral neuropathy you’ve developed.  As your disease progresses, your peripheral neuropathy will as well.

Exactly What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that develops when the peripheral nervous system is damaged by a condition like diabetes, cancer or HIV/AIDS.  When these nerves are damaged, they no longer communicate properly and all the bodily functions they govern are disrupted.

Depending upon which nerves are damaged and the functions they serve, you can develop serious or even life threatening symptoms.

Why Do AIDS Patients Develop Peripheral Neuropathy?

HIV/AIDS patients develop peripheral neuropathy for a number of reasons[1]:

•      The virus can cause neuropathy.

Viruses can attack nerve tissue and severely damage sensory nerves. If those nerves are damaged, you’re going to feel the pain, quickly.

The virus that causes HIV, in particular, can cause extensive damage to the peripheral nerves.  Often, the progression of the disease can actually be tracked according to the specific type of neuropathy the patient develops.  Painful polyneuropathy affecting the feet and hands can be one of first clinical signs of HIV infection.

•      Certain medications can cause peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy is a potential side effect of certain medications used to treat HIV/AIDS.  Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI’s) or, in layman’s terms, the “d-drugs” (i.e., Didanosine, Videx, Zalcitabine, Hivid, Stavudine and Zerit) most often cause peripheral neuropathy.

Other drugs, such as those used to treat pneumocystis pneumonia, amoebic dysentery, Kaposi’s sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, other cancers, wasting syndrome and severe mouth ulcers can all lead to peripheral neuropathy as well.

•      Opportunistic infections that HIV/AIDS patients are prone to develop are another cause of peripheral neuropathy.

The hepatitis C virus, Varicella zoster virus (shingles), syphilis and tuberculosis are all infections that can lead to problems with the peripheral nervous system.

How Do You Know If You Have Peripheral Neuropathy?

Most HIV/AIDS patients with peripheral neuropathy complain of[2]:

•     Burning

•     Stiffness

•     Prickly feeling in their extremities

•     Tingling

•     Numbness or loss of sensation in the toes and soles of the feet

•     Progressive weakness

•     Dizziness

•     Loss of bladder and bowel control

Why Should You Worry About Peripheral Neuropathy?

If your peripheral neuropathy affects the autonomic nervous system, you could develop

•     Blood pressure problems

•     Heart rate issues

•     Bladder or bowel control issues

•     Difficulty swallowing because your esophagus doesn’t function properly

•     Bloating

•     Heart burn

•     Inability to feel sensation in your hands and feet

Beyond being uncomfortable, any of these conditions can cause serious health issues; some can even be fatal.

Treatment Options for Peripheral Neuropathy

If you have HIV/AIDS and you think you’ve developed peripheral neuropathy, see a specialist immediately.  A good place to start is with your local NeuropathyDR® clinician for a treatment plan specifically designed for you.

You can help your neuropathy specialist treat you and help yourself, too, by:

•     Stop taking the drugs that cause peripheral neuropathy (but never discontinue drug therapy without supervision by your treating physician)

•     Start non-drug treatments to reduce pain like avoiding walking or standing for long periods, wearing looser shoes, and/or soaking your feet in ice water.

•     Make sure you’re eating properly.

•     Take safety precautions to compensate for any loss of sensation in your hands and feet, like testing your bath water with your elbow to make sure it’s not too hot or checking your shoes to make sure you don’t have a small rock or pebble in them before you put them on.

•     Ask about available pain medications if over the counter drugs aren’t helping.

Contact us today for information on the best course of treatment to deal with the pain of peripheral neuropathy caused by HIV/AIDS and taking steps to ensure that you don’t have permanent nerve damage.

For more information on coping with peripheral neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.

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“Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”

The minute you injured you back, your life changed forever…

The constant pain…

The loss of mobility…

The inability to live a normal life.

You wanted so desperately to feel normal again you agreed to back surgery.

And your pain is worse than ever.

If you’ve undergone back surgery and you’re still suffering from

Dull, aching pain in your back and/or legs

Abnormal sensitivity including sharp, pricking, and stabbing pain in your arms or legs

Peripheral neuropathy and the symptoms that go with it – numbness, tingling, loss of sensation or even burning in your arms and legs

You could have “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome” or “FBSS”.

You’re not alone.  Back surgeries fail so often now they actually have a name for the condition patients develop when it happens.  As back pain experts, NeuropathyDR® clinicians see patients like you almost every day.

What Exactly Is “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”?

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome[1] is what the medical community calls the chronic pain in the back and/or legs that happens after a patient undergoes back surgery.

Several things can contribute to the development of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.  It can be caused by a herniated disc not corrected by the surgery, swelling or a “mechanical” neuropathy that causes pressure on the spinal nerves, a change in the way your joints move, even depression or anxiety.

If you smoke, have diabetes or any autoimmune or vascular disease, you have a much higher chance of developing Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.

If you do have any of these conditions, think long and hard before you agree to back surgery.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

You know you don’t want another surgery and who could blame you? You’ve already been through the pain of surgery and recovery only to be in worse shape than you were before the surgery.

The good news is that there are some excellent alternatives to surgery.  One of the best places to start is with your local NeuropathyDr® specialist.

NeuropathyDR® clinicians have a treatment protocol is often perfect for treating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.

Hallmarks of for the chronic back pain associated with Failed Back Surgery Syndrome are:

Therapeutic massage to manipulate the soft tissues of the body to relax the muscles and eliminate “knots” in the muscles that can cause or contribute to your back pain and other symptoms.

Manual therapy to restore motion to the vertebrae, alleviate pressure and get your spine and muscular system back into proper alignment.

Yoga and other low impact exercises to aid in relaxation, pain management and alleviating stress and depression.

Proper nutrition to help your body heal itself.  This is especially important if you have diabetes or some other underlying illness that could be contributing to your peripheral neuropathy.

All of these are components of the NeuropathyDR® treatment protocol.

The right combination of these treatment approaches in the hands of a knowledgeable health care provider, well versed in the treating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, can be an excellent alternative to yet another surgery.

If you’re tired of living with the pain and don’t want to go under the knife again, contact your local NeuropathyDR® specialist to see if their exclusive protocol for treating chronic back pain, peripheral neuropathy and Failed Back Surgery Syndrome will work for you.

You’ll leave us wishing you had made the call sooner.

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Peripheral Neuropathy Caused by Immune Malfunction or CIDP

A Chronic Immune Disorder Like CIDP Can Cause a Range of Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms.

Immune disorders, in which your body’s own systems begin to attack good cells as if they were invaders, can cause weak nerve responses and peripheral neuropathy issues.

These nerve problems can range from:

  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Pain in extremities
  • Lost reflexes and weak muscle response
  • Unrelenting sense of tiredness
  • Fainting
  • Trouble with mobility

These peripheral neuropathy symptoms are a clue that you may be experiencing a specific type of immune disease known as CIDP, short for “chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.” It’s an acquired disorder that shares many features with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

In short, the immune system malfunctions, attacking the nervous system, which causes damage to the myelin sheath—a protective covering that is supposed to shield nerves from harm.

With CIDP, peripheral neuropathy symptoms can progress very rapidly, and yet you may also have good days. If you happen to see your doctor on a good day, you may not get an accurate diagnosis. Over time, the bad days can include issues with bladder and bowel control, walking, and other major functions. Be sure to track your symptoms and share this detailed list with your doctor to add in a correct diagnosis. He or she will want to see evidence of at least 8 weeks’ worth of symptoms for a CIDP diagnosis.

Your doctor should also do several tests to help narrow the diagnosis, possibly including a nerve conductor series, blood tests to rule out different autoimmune disorders, and in some cases a nerve biopsy.

CIDP isn’t currently curable, but your peripheral neuropathy symptoms can be treated and managed well. New medical treatments though are getting better every year!

There are also many steps you can take at home to help repair your immune system and support healing. Through dietary choices, exercise, and home treatment protocols like our NDGen Neurostimulator, you can take charge of your wellness.

A great place to start is our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

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Diabetic Neuropathy Results!

Neuropathy Treatment Success!

I had the good fortune of seeing several diabetic neuropathy patients in our clinic recently.

As you probably know a very large number of patients who suffer from diabetes go on to develop neuropathy. Furthermore, just getting the diabetes under control does not treat the neuropathy. So more than 75% of the time patients develop diabetic neuropathy require specific neuropathy treatment.

That’s what makes these cases, and the patient care we now have available so exciting!

The first patient had completed her initial weeks of NeuropathyDR care a month ago, and still her diabetic neuropathy continues to improve, BUT not only that, her blood sugar levels are continuing to drop, and exercise tolerance is increasing. After years of total misery and worsening neuropathy.

The second gentleman, a new patient started on Monday, had been miserable for 5 years, and after just the third session, is already sleeping better, even his foot mobility has improved. He has had such bad foot cramps and burning foot pain that can not even sleep without socks.

Finally, successful neuropathy treatment and encouragement. Real Results. Our Doctors and Physical Therapists who really take the time to care for the entire patient.

If you or a loved one are suffering, these cases are showing steady, real progress in beating neuropathy!

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Neuropathy Symptoms and Vitamin D

With Neuropathy Symptoms, Vitamin D can Make a Big Difference in Quality of Life.

We’re still learning about the powers of vitamin D, but we do know for sure based on research that this vitamin has a significant effect on building a strong immune system. Vitamin D is also important for helping to maintain bone mass.

These are two aspects of vitamin D’s role in the body that makes it an important nutrient for people struggling with neuropathy symptoms.

But even more important is vitamin D’s role is manufacturing substances called neutropins that help repair damaged nerves and grow new ones.

If you have neuropathy symptoms, you can help to support your own body’s production of neutropins, first by following a diet that includes vitamin D along with other essential neuropathy nutrients, and secondly by using appropriate neuropathy therapies such as neurostimulation.

The research strongly supports that neurostimulator therapies are appropriate and effective for many, if not most, patients suffering from neuropathy symptoms.

When paired with the right diet including vitamin D, these therapies can be incredibly effective in reducing neuropathy symptoms and neuropathic pain.

You may be wondering about the right daily amount of vitamin D that neuropathy patients should take.

It definitely depends on who you ask!

The official United States stance on vitamin D dosage is that you should have up to 600 IU (international units) every day. But other countries recommend higher levels, up to even 10,000 IU a day. This is based on the idea that most people just do not get much vitamin D from diet or sun exposure and so will need supplementation.

It’s not really possible to get enough vitamin D from plant sources. Fish oil is the best available form of supplement containing vitamin D.

I highly recommend to all new patients in our clinics to get their vitamin D levels checked. Then they can work together with their NeuropathyDR® clinicians to decide on the best daily dosage for supplementation.

Looking for more advice on dietary supplements to reduce neuropathy symptoms? Take a look at our Neuropathy Owners Manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

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Compressive Neuropathy Symptoms and What to Do About Them

Got a herniated disc, slipped disc, or ruptured disc? Read this key information on compressive neuropathy.

If you suffer from compressive neuropathy (a herniated, ruptured, or slipped disc), you already know that chronic back pain is one of the worst kinds of pain in existence.

When your back hurts, you just can’t get comfortable in any position and it seems like the pain will never stop no matter what you do.

You may have been told that your back pain is due to misalignment of your spine. But it’s more complex than that. The back pain you are experiencing is most likely due to compressive neuropathy, a type of peripheral nerve damage that can result in a host of unpleasant symptoms. For example:

  • Cold or a burning sensation in the legs or feet, typically on only one side of your body
  • Leg or foot tingling or numbness that is persistent
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sudden shooting pain like an electric shock

These pain sensations, over time, can lead to psychological problems as well. Many people with compressive neuropathy experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, and difficulty functioning in their everyday lives. You may not be able to continue working at your job or to spend social time with friends and family due to your pain.

Nerve damage like this can often be relieved with appropriate treatment. On the other hand, if left untreated, compressive neuropathy can become permanent damage with severe quality of life implications.

What are the main goals of professional treatment for compressive neuropathy?

The first goal is always pain relief. After that, treatment should address numbness or weakness in the low back, legs, and feet due to the impact of these areas on general mobility. Another goal is to prevent any future injuries that can worsen the existing nerve damage.

A NeuropathyDR® clinician is the optimal treatment choice for anyone with herniated disc pain or compressive neuropathy. This highly trained neuropathy expert will accurately diagnose your pain and customize a treatment plan based on YOUR needs. Click here to find a NeuropathyDR® clinician near you.

Compressive Neuropathy Symptoms and What to Do About Them is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

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Peripheral Neuropathy from Chemotherapy: What Can You Do?

Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) can severely impact your quality of life.

Living with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, also known as CIPN, can be a significant quality of life issue. Nerve damage from chemo drugs can lead to tingling, pain, numbness, and loss of agility or balance. You might be more sensitive to extreme differences of temperature. You might also be bothered by certain kinds of pressure on the affected area.

You might even be unable to do simple tasks like writing a grocery list or buttoning up a shirt.

What can you do about peripheral neuropathy that stems from chemotherapy? Your oncologist or other medical team members may be able to prescribe medications to aid with neuropathy or even adjust your chemo dose in an effort to reduce side effects. There are also many things you can do in your everyday routine to minimize these effects.

Get to know your symptoms. Identify what makes your neuropathy symptoms worse, and avoid those things whenever possible. For example, if ill-fitting shoes seem to trigger neuropathic pain in your feet, make comfortable shoes a priority.

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can intensify peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

For foot neuropathy, stay off your feet as much as possible. Take good care of your feet and inspect them every day for blisters and other injuries that could turn into infection.

If neuropathy symptoms are in your hands, be sure to keep your hands protected with gloves when washing dishes or doing repair work.

But there is one more thing, perhaps the most important thing you can do to reduce pain and discomfort from chemo induced peripheral neuropathy: Do your own research and insist that your doctors be at least as well-read as you. Neuropathy treatment is a joint effort between you and your medical team.

For more information about dealing with chemo induced neuropathy, check out our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!

Peripheral Neuropathy from Chemotherapy: What Can You Do? is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

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