Therapy is one treatment option that can help those that have been diagnosed with neuropathy and suffer on a daily basis with intense neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain can affect the hands and the feet making these extremities difficult to use. Nerve damaged extremities often feel painful sensations such as tingling, burning, numbness and needle like pricking. Sensations such as these make it difficult for a neuropathic patient to perform simple tasks such as washing dishes, folding laundry and even walking from room to room.
Due to the sensitivity often felt in the hands and foot area, neuropathy sufferers find it difficult to walk and perform simple tasks without excruciating pain. Even surfaces such as carpet and grass create an intense level of pain that men and women suffering with nerve pain symptoms like tingling, numbness and muscle weakness would rather spend their days in a chair than walking about enduring foot pain. Though walking and putting pressure on the feet may cause pain, it helps provide circulation, range of motion and muscle strength. If someone suffering with neuropathy chooses to reduce the amount of movement his or her joints receive, they run the risk of developing stiff muscles, loss of movement and further nerve damage from the lack of blood flow.
There are several goals or objectives to participating in physical therapy after being diagnosed with neuropathy.
- Maintaining a full range of motion
- Strengthening muscles that may have been weakened from the effect of neuropathy
Though a neuropathic patient may reach their goal of movement and pain tolerance when walking, it would be unwise to stop participating in physical therapy. Neuropathy patients should continue to adhere to their physical therapist maintenance instructions to avoid taking a step backwards in their therapy progress. For those neuropathic patients that suffer from diabetic neuropathy specifically should not solely rely on physical therapy as their form of neuropathy treatment, diabetic neuropathy sufferers must focus their time and energy on maintaining their blood sugar levels as their first and foremost form of neuropathy treatment.
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