Treatment For Neuropathy In Legs And Feet
Treatment For Neuropathy In Legs And Feet
A generic term used to describe diseases affecting peripheral nerves—nerves outside the brain and spinal cord—is peripheral neuropathy, sometimes known as neuropathy.
Depending on which peripheral nerves are damaged, this damage may impair sensation, movement, gland, or organ function; in other words, neuropathy affecting motor, sensory, or autonomic nerves causes distinct symptoms.
It is possible for multiple nerve types to be afflicted at once. Peripheral neuropathy can be acute (with quick onset and rapid progression) or chronic (with subtle beginning and sluggish progression), and it can be temporary or irreversible.
There are several potential causes of peripheral neuropathy. In addition to a physical examination, which may involve blood testing, a diagnosis typically calls for:
complete medical background.
Your doctor will analyse your medical history, taking into account your symptoms, way of life, exposure to chemicals, drinking patterns, and any family members who have had neurological (or nervous system) disorders.
neurological assessment. Your doctor may examine your posture and coordination in addition to your tendon reflexes, muscle strength, and muscle tone.
Your physician might recommend testing such as:
A blood test. These can pick up signs of illnesses that can cause peripheral neuropathy, including vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, aberrant immunological function, and others.
imaging exams CT or MRI scans can check for cancers, herniated discs, pinched (compressed) nerves, blood vessel abnormalities, and other conditions affecting the bones and blood vessels.
Testing of nerve function. Your muscles’ electrical activity is captured by electromyography (EMG), which can identify nerve damage. To record electrical activity as the muscle contracts, a tiny needle (electrode) is placed into the muscle.
A nerve conduction investigation is often carried out concurrently with the electromyogram that your doctor or an EMG technician collects. A little electric current is applied to flat electrodes applied to the skin to activate the nerves. Your physician will keep track of how your nerves react to the electric current.
Other testing for nerve function. Some of them could be an autonomic reflex screen, which documents the functioning of the autonomic nerve fibres, a sweat test, which gauges your body’s sweat production, and sensory tests, which document your perception of touch, vibration, cooling, and heat.
Neuro biopsy In order to check for anomalies, a tiny section of a nerve, typically a sensory nerve, is removed.
Body biopsy. In order to check for a loss in nerve endings, your doctor removes a little amount of skin.
Goals of treatment include symptom relief and management of the underlying illness causing your neuropathy. Your doctor might advise watchful waiting to see if your neuropathy gets better if your lab results show no underlying problem.
In addition to drugs used to treat illnesses linked to peripheral neuropathy, drugs used to alleviate the signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
Drugs that reduce pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, for example, are over-the-counter painkillers that can treat moderate symptoms. Your doctor might recommend painkillers if you have more severe symptoms.
Opioid medications like tramadol (Conzip, Ultram, etc.) or oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone, etc.) can cause dependence and addiction, hence these medications are typically not recommended unless all other therapies have failed.
Anti-epileptic drugs. Pregabalin (Lyrica) and gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin, Horizant), drugs designed to treat epilepsy, may help with nerve pain. Drowsiness and lightheadedness are possible side effects.
Topical remedies Peripheral neuropathy symptoms can be slightly improved by using capsaicin lotion, which contains a compound found in hot peppers. Wherever you put the cream, you can have skin burning and irritation, although this normally subsides with time. However, some people find it intolerable.
Another skin-applied treatment that may provide pain relief is lidocaine patches. Drowsiness, vertigo, and numbness at the patch’s location are possible side effects.
Antidepressants. Amitriptyline, doxepin (Silenor, Zonalon), and nortriptyline (Pamelor), among other tricyclic antidepressants, have been discovered to help reduce pain by obstructing the chemical processes in the brain and spinal cord that make you feel pain.
The extended-release antidepressants venlafaxine (Effexor XR), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), and the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor duloxetine (Cymbalta, Drizalma Sprinkle) may also lessen the discomfort of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, changes in appetite, weight gain, and constipation are just a few of the side effects of antidepressants that may occur.
The signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may be reduced with the aid of various medicines and procedures.
Electrical nerve stimulation transcutaneously (TENS). Various frequencies of a mild electric current are delivered to the skin through electrodes. For roughly a month, TENS should be used for 30 minutes per day.
Immune globulin intravenously infused and plasma exchange. These methods, which aid in reducing immune system activity, may be advantageous for those who suffer from specific inflammatory disorders.
Plasma exchange entails drawing blood from you, purifying it of antibodies and other proteins, and then reintroducing it to your body. Immune globulin treatment involves administering large amounts of antibodies-producing proteins (immunoglobulins).
Physical therapy might help you move better if you have weak muscles. You might also require wheelchairs, canes, walker, or foot or hand braces.
Surgery. You may require surgery to relieve the strain if your neuropathies are brought on by pressure on your nerves, such as pressure from tumours.
Substitute medical care
For alleviation, some persons with peripheral neuropathy turn to complementary therapies. The following treatments have showed some promise, even though researchers haven’t looked at them as carefully as they have most medications:
Acupuncture. By inserting tiny needles into various body parts, you might be able to lessen the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. It can take several sessions before you start to see progress. When carried out by a licenced professional using sterilised needles, acupuncture is typically regarded as safe.
Acid alpha-lipoic. In Europe, this has long been used as a therapy for peripheral neuropathy. Alpha-lipoic acid consumption should be discussed with your doctor because it may impact blood sugar levels. In addition, skin rash and stomach discomfort are possible
Herbs. Some botanicals, such evening primrose oil, may assist diabetics with neuropathy experience less pain. Consult your doctor before using any herbs because some of them may interfere with certain drugs.
the amino acids. People with diabetes and those who have had chemotherapy may benefit from amino acids like acetyl-L-carnitine. Symptoms like nausea and vomiting could occur.
A way of life and DIY remedies
To aid in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy:
Especially if you have diabetes, take good care of your feet. Check everyday for calluses, wounds, and blisters. Wear padded shoes and soft, loose-fitting cotton socks. Bedcovers can be kept off warm or delicate feet by using a semicircular hoop, which is readily accessible in medical supply stores.
Exercise. Regular exercise, such as three times a week of walking, can enhance muscle strength, lessen the pain associated with neuropathy, and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Yoga and tai chi are both gentle exercises that can be beneficial.
Give up smoking. Smoking can reduce blood flow, which raises the risk of foot issues and other neuropathy consequences.
Eat nutritious food. To ensure that you receive vital vitamins and minerals, a healthy diet is very crucial. Include lean protein, healthy grains, fruits, and veggies in your diet.
Avoid drinking too much. Peripheral neuropathy may get worse after drinking.
Keep an eye on your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, this will help you manage your blood sugar levels and could possibly assist your neuropathy.
Getting ready for the appointment
It’s likely that your primary care physician will be your first stop. Then, a physician with experience in nervous system diseases may be recommended to you (neurologist).
You can use the information below to get ready for your appointment.
How you can help
Ask whether there is anything you need to do in advance before making the appointment, such as fasting for a particular test. jot down a list of
Your symptoms, including any that might not appear connected to the appointment’s purpose
Important details about you, such as your family’s medical history, any recent major life events or tensions, and whether you drink alcohol
Every prescription drug, vitamin, and dietary supplement you use, including dosages
Querying your physician
If you can, bring a friend or family member with you to aid with your memory of the information you are given.
Basic inquiries to ask your doctor about peripheral neuropathy include:
What condition could be causing my symptoms?
Exist any further potential causes?
Which exams do I need?
Is this a short-term or chronic condition?
What medical procedures are available, and which do you suggest?
What negative effects may I anticipate from the medicine?
Exist any alternatives to the main strategy you’ve proposed?
I suffer from various medical issues. How can I manage them collectively the best?
Should I limit my activities?
Can I take any brochures or other printed materials? What websites would you suggest?
What to anticipate from your physician
Your doctor may quiz you about things like:
Do you suffer from any medical ailments like diabetes or kidney disease?
What time did your symptoms start?
Have your symptoms been ongoing or only sporadically present?
What level of symptoms do you have?
Do your symptoms seem to be getting better in any way?
What, if anything, do your symptoms seem to get worse from?
Does anyone else in your family have the same symptoms you do?