Moving is a miserable process. Sifting through endless boxes of clutter and junk makes the whole ordeal long, tiresome and very tedious. When the time comes to start packing up and organizing boxes for a BIG move the individual often stops looks around their current residence and ask themselves this questions “what am I going to do with all this junk?” . The next question they often ask themselves is where do I start and so the process and fun of packing begins. Though no one likes the pains of moving the idea of a fresh start a new place to live often makes the move worth it in the end.
Once the boxes have been unloaded and unpacked and the hew residence beautifully decorated than the individual can sit back, breathe a sigh of relief and take pride in knowing that all the frustration was worth this one moment. You may be wondering what moving and packing has to do with neuropathy and finding relief for neuropathic pain and symptoms, I will tell you. Neuropathy is a very painful incurable disease that plagues millions of men and women worldwide. Upon diagnosis an individual is forced to ask themselves “what am I going to do about all this pain?” Neuropathy pain and symptoms does not just go away on its own, it takes careful thought, planning and even failure at times to accomplish the end result – relief.
Trying and failing go hand in hand when it comes to treating neuropathy pain and symptoms. In most cases the first attempt at neuropathy treatment is an utter failure and the patient is left feeling frustrated and discouraged. It is easy to get discouraged when overcome with such intense pain, however it is important that one does not lose heart and that he or she continues to seek out a treatment plan or model that will work with and for them.
Neuropathy affects mobility so it is important that the individual stay active so not to lose the ability to walk. When muscles are not exercised (or even used), they become stiff and lose their range of motion. Neuropathy can cause muscle weakness as well as muscle stiffness which means if not treated neuropathy could lead an individual into a life of immobility and complete loss of freedom. So what treatments can help prevent a loss of mobility?
Treatment Options That Can Help Secure Mobility
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.
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.
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.
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