Neuropathy affects several different aspects of a person’s life most of which are physical. The pain of neuropathy has been known to be crippling so it is important that those suffering from neuropathy find a natural and safe method to relieve the pain that is commonly felt from neuropathy and prevent further damage from occurring as a result of a lack of treatment implementation. Therapy is a great place to start in regards to neuropathy treatment. Therapy is safe, effective and easy to manage on a long term basis.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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