Diagnosing neuropathy can be tricky and is a rather lengthy process so if there is reason for concern it is imperative that you seek out medical attention quickly to begin the diagnosing process. The first step a physician will take in diagnosing neuropathy will be to administer a full body physiological exam. Your doctor will want to compile your medical history compare it with your physical results before going further with testing.
If there is a need for further testing, one can assume the following tests will be administered:
- Detailed neurological exam that focuses on tendon reflexes and coordination. The test results will either prove or disprove if the nerves are responding correctly.
- An Electromyography (EMG) – this records muscle tissue and its electrical activity. An EMG test can determine if the symptoms you are expressing concern over are truly neuropathic related or a muscle disease.
- Nerve Conduction Test (NCV) – this tests the speed of which impulses travel through the nerves.
Once a diagnosis has been made, follow-up care will be needed in order to discuss neuropathy treatment and how to cope with life after diagnosis.
Coping With Neuropathy
Living with neuropathy is very painful and can have a profound effect on how a person functions. The pain and symptoms that are common place with neuropathy limit one’s mobility and ability to function in normal life situations. For instance, numbness is a symptom of neuropathy and can limit the patient’s ability to sense or feel terrain changes – risking further injury. Neuropathy symptoms have an implication on one’s social, vocational and functional life possibly causing the neuropathy patient to suffer with feelings of anxiety and depression.
Normal everyday activities and hobbies become threatened as neuropathic pains creep in and begin to signal painful sensations throughout the damaged nerves. Household responsibilities as simple as washing dishes become bothersome and painful. Fun leisure activities like dancing and walking on the beach become sidelined until something can be done about the chronic pain.
Finding A Treatment Plan
Finding a neuropathy treatment is the most effective way to deal with neuropathy in general. Without a cure for neuropathy the only natural step is to find some form of nerve pain relief and for the neuropathic patient there are several options for neuropathy treatment.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
- Low Impact Exercise
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Massage Therapy
- Topical Creams
- numbing cream
- Prescription Medication
- Natural Alternatives
- Vitamin Supplements
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Oat straw
- Passion Flower
- Vitamin Supplements
Low Impact Exercises
It may seem absorbed that a medical professional would ask his patient complaining of chronic pain when walking to get up and exercise daily, however that is exactly what is needed to help reduce nerve pain. Neuropathy often forces individuals off their feet due to the pain felt when on their feet walking about. What happens is that when neuropathic patients refrain from using their limbs they become stiff from lack of movement and a loss of mobility could occur – worsening the problem.
There are several low impact exercises that can help keep limbs loose and the blood circulating throughout. Walking and swimming are two wonderful options that when consistently done can help lessen the amount of nerve pain one experiences when walking and performing normal daily activities.
Massage therapy is looked at as a complimentary therapy that when used in combination with other treatments can be beneficial in reducing nerve pain. One complication of neuropathy is the development of still muscles due to poor circulation or from lack of use. Adding weekly massage therapy sessions, one can improve blood circulation as well as help loosen stiffened muscles thus providing relief to the damaged area. It appears as though research has shown through several studies that massage therapy has a way of calming the stressed nerve endings and relinquishing the pent up stress found in the nerve endings.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Electrical nerve stimulation may seem a little barbaric and once one lays eyes on the piece of equipment that provides the electrical shock their feelings may be confirmed. Though the thought of sending electrical volts through your body may make you shudder (ha ha) at the thought, the electrical therapy has proven to relieve nerve pain, in fact the use of TENS in treating nerve pain effectively has been proven in hundreds of clinical reports. For those neuropathy sufferers who do not wish to partake in acupuncture TENS is a safe noninvasive treatment that can send low frequency stimulation to the nerves helping increase blood flow as well as help activate opioid receptors in the central nervous system.
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