Monday, 17 October 2016

Physiotherapy For Neuropathy? Worth A Shot

Today's post from (see link below) promotes the use of physiotherapy as part of your neuropathy treatment. It's important at this point to distinguish between physical therapy and chiropractic therapy because in general, chiropractors can have little effect in improving your neuropathy symptoms. Physiotherapy will also do nothing to make your neuropathy better but what it can do, is address the weakness and loss of muscle strength, plus eventual joint problems, that arise due to the effects of nerve damage. In that sense it can make your neuropathy experience more comfortable by improving your physical ability to carry out tasks that have been compromised by nerve damage. Most neuropathy patients will have noticed a marked decrease in muscular function: partly because the pain of neuropathy discourages exercise but also because decrease in muscle density has a direct link to damage of the nerves that stimulate it. Another advantage of physiotherapy is that most insurance covers across the world will at least cover enough sessions to find out whether physio is something for you. Maybe worth consideration: talk it over with your doctor.

Did You Know? Physiotherapy can help with Peripheral Neuropathy!
October 5, 2016 by Christine Campbell, Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists play a vital role in helping individuals improve and maintain functions that may be limited by Peripheral Neuropathy (PN). PN has a variety of causes, types and symptoms and therefore it is essential for each treatment plan to be tailored to help address each patient address their specific needs and goals. Physiotherapy may be helpful in maintaining strength, mobility, and function regardless of the underlying cause of PN.

Research has shown that strengthening exercises for peripheral neuropathy moderately improve muscle strength in people with PN. In addition, exercises to help peripheral neuropathy, when done regularly, may reduce neuropathic pain and can help control blood sugar levels.

The goals and treatment options associated with Peripheral Neuropathy are as follows: 

Decrease pain and numbness
There are many different treatment options to help manage the patient’s symptoms, such as hands-on soft tissue work, stretching, and nerve glides. Nerve gliding/flossing are effective exercises to help ‘unstick’ the affected nerves. This type of treatment helps manage mononeuropathies (peripheral neuropathy where only one nerve is affected) 

Improving overall function by maintaining or improving range of motion
This can be achieved through hands-on soft tissue work, passive range of motion or home exercises/stretching
A physiotherapist can also recommend moderate-intensity exercises that are best suited for the patient, which will help improve their physical function 

Maintain or improve strength
A specific series of exercises would be taught given a patient’s current strength, endurance and tolerance 

Prevention of falls
Balance training and coordination exercises will be prescribed, as well as discussing strategies for home to help prevent a future fall
Physiotherapists can also recommend braces and/or splints to enhance balance and posture 

Your physiotherapist may educate the patient on how to safely manage PN. The education will vary based on individual needs, and may focus on improving safety, preventing further complications, and finding alternative ways to perform certain tasks.

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