Occupational Therapy

foot neuropathyWhen there is a communication breakdown between the brain and spinal cord this is called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can be considered a collection of disorders that develop when damaged to the peripheral nervous system occurs. The peripheral nervous system refers to the part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord; when damage occurs to the nerve cells or nerve axons, it is called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy is a painful condition that can have an   effect on an individual’s life and their ability to maintain a normal active life.

When there is a breakdown in communication, it is if static is being heard and the nerve endings are getting mixed messages as to what they should or should not be sensing. The brain is what communicates to the sensory nerves that the burner they are about to touch is hot and the sensory nerves communicates back to the brain that they could sense through touch that the burner is too hot. When this line of communication is not working correctly, an individual has a hard time computing when something is hot or cold, terrain changes and if injury has occurred.

Education Is Needed

Due to the devastation that neuropathy can have on an individual’s life and daily normality, it is often advised that the recently diagnosed neuropathy patient seek out occupational therapy. Occupational therapy is vital in helping newly diagnosed neuropathy patients learn coping mechanisms on how to live life with their new diagnosis.  Occupational therapy can assist the patient by teaching valuable new life skills as well as limit the devastating impact that peripheral neuropathy can have on daily life by:

  • Improving      sensory motor skills
  • Educates      patients on how to avoid dangerous toxins and prevent exposing themselves      to industrial or environmental hazards
  • How      to self-care
  • Educates      neuropathy patients on the importance of observation such as terrain      changes, safely walking up and down stairs etc.
  • How      to safely sit, stand and walk that will not risk a drop in blood pressure      or cause them to fall.

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