Saturday, 1 April 2017

How Can You Best Treat Your Neuropathy?

Today's excellent post from (see link below) is written by a chiropractor/doctor who clearly has some experience of treating neuropathy patients. It's honestly written and isn't burdened by advertising for his own practice and is definitely useful for all nerve pain patients, new or experienced. Why, because it tells you the facts in words we can all understand. His conclusion is that a multi-pronged approach is the best way to treat neuropathy currently and until a 'cure' comes along ,we have to combine therapies and treatments to suit our own individual situations. This blog wholeheartedly supports this approach. However, it's often difficult to find expert help and doctors are so crushed by time and budget constraints, they may not be able to construct the program you need. For this reason, this article will help you make some decisions about your own future. For the record, this blog is not really a supporter of chiropractic techniques for nerve pain/damage but this particular chiropractor knows a thing or two about neuropathy and deserves to be taken seriously. Of course the list of possible treatments outlined here is by no means extensive and there are many more but it's a good introduction to more research on your part.

What Are Your Treatment Options for Peripheral Neuropathy?
 By Apri Yanto March 24, 2017  By Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC  

If you suspect you have or have been diagnosed with neuropathy, also called peripheral neuropathy, you know it is not pleasant. Suffering from burning, shooting or electric shock type pain, especially when you are inactive is a common occurrence. In my opinion, the worst symptom of neuropathy is the inability to have a great sense of balance. When your feet can't accurately sense the surface you are walking on, you risk falling.

Neuropathy can be a painful, life altering condition. Selecting the proper treatment can lead to progression or regression. You need to choose wisely.

Let's face it, neuropathy can be terrible; I have seen people in my office who can't wear shoes, only flip-flops, due to the amount of foot pain they agonize with daily. Others have given up driving due to their inability to feel the brake and accelerator pedals. Losing your freedom is one of the worst outcomes of progressive neuropathy.

Neuropathy is a progressive problem if the cause is not determined

Generally there are five broad causal categories:

Blood sugar imbalance such as diabetes and hypoglycemia. Your nerves function best when fasting blood sugar is in the 85-99 range and fasting insulin and HbA1c is around 5.0

Toxic load damage such as occurs with Agent Orange exposure, chemotherapy, radiation therapy. Many medications are known to cause or contribute to neuropathy, including the cholesterol lowering drugs called statins.

Autoimmune damage can cause neuropathy and one of the more common underlying factors is gluten intolerance.

Idiopathic, meaning unknown cause. With this category the clinician must order very specific testing to discover the hidden cause or causes.

Physical damage to nerves can occur from sporting injuries, chronic poor posture that leads to spinal and nerve damage, or even from long forgotten "fender benders"

Many ineffective strategies to deal with neuropathy are common in the world of medical care, which I outline below:

Just wait and see how it goes. You really don't need any research for this one... all chronic conditions, like weeds overtaking the,garden will get worse over time and therefore, treating the complex conditions gets harder and harder. Once you have nerve loss of 85% or more in the peripheral nerves, the proverbial window has just about shut. Nobody, I mean, NOBODY is going to be able to help you. Time is of the essence in neuropathy care. Wasting time not getting to the root cause and correcting it often leads to a very poor lifestyle.

Medications. The most commonly prescribed medications for peripheral neuropathy - Lyrica, Neurontin and Amitriptyline - were not even designed or approved for the condition. Lyrica and Neurontin (Gabapentin) are anti-seizure medications that have terrible side effects like "burning, tingling, numbness, or pain of arms hands feet or legs... change in walking or balance, delusions, dementia, suicidal thoughts, difficult bowel movements, clumsiness, confusion, difficulty speaking, etc. - the list goes on and on and on. Amitriptyline, an antidepressant, has its own side effects such as constipation, drowsiness, dizziness and sexual dysfunctions. Many of these side effects sound like the condition itself, so, in my opinion, medications aren't really a great option - and besides they only treat the SYMPTOMS of the condition at best. I believe that you can NEVER drug your way into better health.

There are some types of PN that surgery could help with, such as a bulging disc or some other types of stenosis, but these types of neuropathies are usually mononeuropathies that affect only one leg (or arm) and usually only one nerve root, not the more typical neuropathy that we're talking about here. The kind that affects BOTH feet and legs (or hands and arms).

Physical Therapy. If you have muscle weakness, physical therapy can help improve your movements, strength and flexibility - all good for neuropathy. I'm a big fan of exercise, but I've never seen a case where a patient has been able exercise neuropathy away.

Rather than wasting time treating symptoms, taking a root cause approach for neuropathy is prudent and effective

Embarking on a revolutionary approach; one that determines the root cause or causes and seeks to correct the cause can be highly effective. If you have tried or considered any of the above four options and have lost hope or confidence in recovering from Peripheral Neuropathy, then you may want to consider a Functional Neurology program that involves a three-prong approach to recovery: 1) Inflammation reduction and tissue healing through nutrient balancing, 2) passive activation of nerves and muscles to increase neuroplasticity, strength and balance and 3) a course-of-action for sustainability of your recovery and even increasing your function and performance over time.

If your doctor told you that there is NOTHING else out there that can help you, they are not up on the latest research of neuroplasticity - NERVES CAN REGROW as long as they still have a blood supply and their the nerve cell is not dead - but don't believe me - read the scientific journals.

Clinicians who use several layered therapeutic modalities to trigger healing in the body successfully help peripheral neuropathy sufferers. The therapeutic tools employed help nerves work better, improve circulation and remove interference to the body's healing capacity. In the end, taking a root-cause approach does what is considered impossible; help heal neuropathy, and it is because we are using the right tools and strategies... not just treating the pain or symptom.

Here is an example of a successful neuropathy treatment protocol with a patient I personally attended. She had only 35.7% of normal sensation in her right foot and 21.4% in her left foot before starting our neuropathy recovery program. She developed neuropathy from chemotherapy and from the nerve damaging effects of diabetes. After instituting health supporting dietary changes and a neutraceutical regimen combined with the therapies her care program indicated, she ended up with 94.3% normal sensation in her right foot and 91.4% normal sensation in her left foot. These changes took place over three months of care.

In summary, know there is a path back to health. If you have been told there is no hope to stop the horrible pain or numbness in your hands or feet, don't give up. Searching for a practitioner who will look for root causes, decide if your nerves can still repair and employ a multi-pronged healing approach, may just the help you are looking for.

Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson is a chiropractic physician and medical writer in Shelby Township, Michigan. Dr. Johnson's areas of expertise include chiropractic, functional medicine, functional neurology and spinal rehabilitation. He is the author of the "Ultimate Strategy" series of eBooks on the topics of; fibromyalgia, balance disorders, migraine and other debilitating headaches and well as unresolved thyroid symptoms. If you would like to learn more visit my peripheral neuropathy page ( ) where I reveal some aspect of the five key elements that have to be addressed to defeat neuropathy. Go ahead - you will find it worth your while! For more information and to receive updates on my informative and useful blog, please visit or call 586-731-8840.

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