Jul 15

There are many people who suffer the effects of peripheral neuropathy on a daily basis. However, not everyone is fully aware of what it is or how it comes about. If you care about someone recently diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, or you heard you may have it, then it is important you learn what it is. The more you know about it, the better managed it can be. Here is an overview of what peripheral neuropathy is and how it can affect your life.

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Being diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy is often unnerving. It is having your doctor tell you that you have damage in your peripheral nerves, and it has lead to pain. The extremities of your body typically struggle the most with this type of diagnosis. It affects your hands and feet first in nearly all cases. However, it can also affect other areas around your body. You may not only have pain, but also numbness. This can make going through the motions of a typical day difficult or even impossible.  There are times where peripheral neuropathy is so intense, it can make it to where you struggle to move. This is definitely not the quality of life you want or should have to live with.

How Does Peripheral Neuropathy Present?

Most of the time, peripheral neuropathy presents itself in the form of numbness and pain. Tingling, stabbing, and burning are the three most used adjectives to describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy. The longer this condition goes untreated, the more pain people often struggle with. The sooner you can come in and see someone about your pain, the sooner you can regain your quality of life. There are a few different treatment options to help control the pain of peripheral neuropathy. However, not all of them work for every case. You may need to go through and try a few different forms of treatment before you find the right one.

The damage that leads to peripheral neuropathy results in nerves that no longer function properly. The type of presentation you have will depend on which of your nerves struggle with the problem. Some nerves will lead to numbness and a loss of complete control over the affected area. Other nerves will leave you feeling as though the area is on fire or being pierced with a hot object. Occasionally, you may also experience freezing sensations as opposed to burning sensations. In the more severe cases, your nerves may begin malfunctioning altogether. This can lead to problems controlling your heartbeat, blood pressure, bladder, and your digestion.

Where Does Peripheral Neuropathy Come From?

In most cases, peripheral neuropathy comes from some type of damage to your body. The most common reason people develop peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. However, that is only one of the many causes. You could develop it following an injury or an infection that damaged your body. Metabolic issues can also lead to peripheral neuropathy. Some people develop this condition because they inherited it from a parent through genetics. Yet others end up struggling with peripheral neuropathy because they were exposed to something toxic.

How Can You Treat Peripheral Neuropathy?

When you have a formal diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy, it is time to find out what options you have for treatment. The type of treatment that will help you best depends on the problem you have in the first place. The more nerves struggling from the damage, the heavier the treatment required. There are many pain medications that can relieve peripheral neuropathy pain. However, not everyone will respond to the same type of narcotic treatment. Some people will notice very little relief from pain medications, but will notice relief from other types of prescription drugs, such as muscle relaxers.

There are also technological treatments for peripheral neuropathy. One of the newer, yet more effective treatment options is called the Scrambler Therapy ®. It provides relief to 9 out of 10 people who get it done. How the Scrambler Therapy ® works is by stimulating near the area of pain through vibration. Your medical professional will put electrodes near your area of pain, and provide your body with a gentle vibration to help realign the nerves to send the proper messages to the brain. Instead of having your body read the messages as painful messages, this therapy provides your body with messages that the area is not in pain. This often provides a significant amount of pain relief.

If you are tired of living with constant pain, come in and meet with one of the experienced professionals here at the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho. You can reach us at (208) 629-2492. Let us help you manage your peripheral neuropathy and start living a good quality of life again.

Jun 24

Taking non-pharmaceutical approaches to pain management is the route many Americans are going. Some are allergic or don’t want to deal with the side effects. Others simply tried everything and nothing’s working. When you feel chronic pain in key areas of your body, the last thing you want to do is allow it to control you. Skip on the medication, and take a natural route to curing your pain.

Massage Therapy

If it’s your muscles that are directly affected most of the tie, especially when you’re dealing with chronic pain. If that’s the case, regular massage therapy could be the perfect option. Not only will you reduce muscle inflammation, but you can also feel a complete relief to pain and the symptoms of whatever you have going on with regular massage therapy.

Alleviating the stress and tension on your muscles can also allow small bouts of healing when under the right circumstances. If you’ve been enduring pain for a long time, you probably don’t even remember what relief feels like. During and after massage therapy, you’ll be in a sense of euphoria, all without having to take a single bit of medication.

TENS Therapy

This refers to a small device that emits electrical pulses that can dig into your muscles, and alleviate pain. It’s becoming an increasingly popular method for those wishing to alleviate pain through non-pharmaceutical means, and is completely safe to use. While some areas in the United States don’t look at TENS therapy to be a valid route, patients who have undergone it would beg to differ.

Applying Heat

You don’t have to apply patches to your body. Those contain medications that get absorbed by your skin, and don’t actually alleviate pain the way that they should. Skip the menthol scent and the discomfort that those patches give you. Your skin also gets all oily, and often feels wet because your pores are being suffocated by medical applications. Use a heating pad or a heated blanket across an area that’s in consistent pain, and feel it all melt away.

Applying Cold

Working in a similar fashion to applying heat, you can apply icepacks or cold towels to any area that is causing you pain. This will reduce swelling. When you reduce swelling, you’re reducing the inflamed skin that’s pressing on your nerves. Most times, applying cold to the site can offer more relief than applying heat. The popular method of this is when you see Icy Hot patches in stores, and their motto tells you that you should numb the pain, and then melt it away. You can apply this same knowledge if you wish by applying a heating pack to your skin and then a cold pack, all without taking a pharmaceutical approach.

Physical Therapy

If you’re endured an injury and the effects are lasting for years (which can sometimes be referred to as phantom pain), then you’ve been putting up with it long enough. Physical therapy can be a long road, but the best road to recovery when you’ve suffered extensive damage to your body. The biggest thing to remember with physical therapy is that you can never skip a day. There’s no off-day. Whatever your physical therapist says, they’re saying for a reason. Follow their instructions, and the pain will reduce over time, allowing you to feel a full sense of relief.

Chiropractic Adjustments

While many have their skepticism on chiropractic adjustments, the results don’t lie. When you have chronic pain, especially in your back, you’re more susceptible to injuring yourself further. If you baby your back (and it’s in pain, who wouldn’t?) you’re slowly allowing those muscles to atrophy, and making it more likely that they’ll suffer pain and injury in the future.

A chiropractic adjustment is the solution to many people’s pain, especially when they feel it in their lower back. Undergoing the careful hands of a chiropractor has helped millions of Americans, and it can help you. The biggest thing that patients say after receiving an adjustment is, “Wow, I didn’t expect the relief to be immediate.” How are you going to get that with medications? Exactly—you’re not.

Your Next Chiropractic Adjustment

With all the negatives to leading medications, you don’t want to take a pharmaceutical path so your pain, and you shouldn’t have to. Call the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho at (208) 629-2492 to get more information on how a chiropractic adjustment or other non-pharmaceutical approach to pain reduction could benefit you immediately.

Jun 10

More commonly referred to simply as “cancer pain,” oncologic pain is the most undertreated side effect of cancer. Those suffering with cancer on any site can, and often do experience high levels of pain, and they can be difficult to manage. What is oncologic pain? It’s a nightmare for those who experience it. We offer pain care management for people suffering from oncologic pain.

Oncologic Pain: Tumors

 When you’re suffering from cancer, your tumors could be pressing on your bones. More than that, they could be pressing directly onto your nerves. That’s going to make for sever discomfort, and it’s also going to persist through all hours of the day.

Your oncologic pain could be due to a tumor growing in a specific direction. When it presses down on your bones, you get the same feeling of growing pains from when you were a child or teenager. It can feel like muscle aches instead of sharp pain. Oncologic pain can start out very mild, and increase over a short amount of time. Your body doesn’t adjust to the different types of pain.

You can also experience oncologic pain in various areas of your body. For example, those tumors can be growing and pressing on specific nerves that mimic different types of pain. You could end up being diagnosed with chronic pain.

What Type of Oncologic Pain Do You Have?

There are virtually endless types of pain that you can endure. The most common is chronic pain, where tumors press down on your nerves, and make everything go haywire. If you’re experiencing acute levels of pain, it could be your body telling you that something isn’t right. It’s not always clear.

Even though tumors and cancer grow inside of our body, the rest of your body can still see it as a foreign object or entity. This means that a bunch of signals are going off, usually in the form of oncologic pain, and they are all trying to tell you that something isn’t right. While it can be frustrating, it’s also a sign to look further into your own health. If you are already suffering from oncologic pain and you know it, getting another evaluation to determine if there are more underlying issues could be in your best interest.

Pain Severity Depends on the Site

If you’re experiencing an increasing level of oncologic pain, it could be due to a number of reasons. More often than not, it’s tumor growth. Your different levels of pain could come in at different stages, especially if you have more than one tumor at a time.

Oncologic pain doesn’t have a scale, but when you go to your general doctors office and see the “1 to 10” pain chart, you always feel like it’s hovering around the top end of the scale. It’s not dramatic to say that—oncologic pain is something that’s very difficult to put into words.

Your bones may be experiencing extreme tension and pressure due to various tumor growth patterns. Every diagnosis of oncologic pain is unique to the patient. There’s no way to determine if nerve pressure or bone pressure is more painful—it’s also about the patients’ pain tolerance threshold.

Tissue Damage 

It’s not just your bones and major nerves—you could be experiencing pain due to damage done to soft tissue. For instance, if you are experiencing pain in your lower back, it could actually be due to the fact that you have incurred soft tissue damage to a vital organ, such as your kidney.

Phantom Pain

The term sounds insensitive to those suffering from oncologic pain, but in reality, it’s just used to describe pain in an area that has been removed. If you suffered from breast cancer, and you’ve since had that breast removed, you may still feel pain in that area. It’s still classified as oncologic pain, and may continue to hurt for some time. It’s also more common than you may think. If you had something removed, such as a limb, you’re among a vast majority of those suffering from phantom pain. It’s constantly affecting those who have had organs or appendages removed as a direct result of cancer.

Managing Your Oncologic Pain the Right Way

It’s not an easy thing to deal with. Contact us, the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho, at (208) 629-2492, to find out what we can do to help you manage your oncologic pain. It’s not an easy road to go down, and you shouldn’t have to go it alone. We can help.

May 20

Neuropathy affects older generations. As many as eight percent of adults over the age of fifty-five suffer from neuropathy. But what is it? The basic affliction is like an internet connection. Information is sent  and received back via the nervous system. With neuropathy, the body only sends and receives parts of the messages. Sometimes, you receive the wrong nerve responses. It’s a growing issue for Americans.

How Does Neuropathy Affect Your Body?

You have a lot of nerves in your body. They can be put into two main parts: Central nervous system, and your peripheral nervous system. It operates much like your vision. There is the part that you focus on, like voluntary movement. Then, there is your peripheral vision, where you see little details off to the side, where you aren’t focusing on them. It works the same way with your nerves.

Neuropathy is the result of your nerves becoming damaged or encountering problems. If they become disrupted, you can end up with sensitive nerves. There are a lot of different nerve types in your body, and they can all be affected by this painful condition.

What Causes Neuropathy?

A lot of the time, neuropathy can be inherited. If you have a family history of the condition, it’s very possible that you could someday be diagnosed with it. A lot of neuropathy is a result of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It is also a result of diabetes; it’s a widespread problem that tacks onto a lot of other problems we face every single day.

Muscle atrophy, whether due to an accident or otherwise, can bring on neuropathy. A lot of annual cases  are caused by car accidents and other injuries.

If you aren’t keeping up with your vitamin intake, whether through food or capsules, you run a higher risk of neuropathy. Alcohol abuse takes a vital role, as well. Hormonal diseases, chemical imbalances, and side effects from various types of cancer. In short, neuropathy has a lot of avenues to reach you, which is why it is so debilitating.

How Debilitating Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy can come in different pain severity. It is classified by the Social Security Administration as a disability. It can inflame your joints and cause extreme pain, making it difficult to work in most jobs. Even tasks where you can sit down for most of it are still taxing on your strength and ability to continue under adverse conditions.

Peripheral neuropathy is among the most painful. It affects those with diabetes the most, and is difficult to express if you aren’t suffering from it. Any sort of chronic pain is going to tire out your body, making every single task in your daily life that much harder.

Neuropathy Is Mentally Draining

Neuropathy isn’t just hard on your body; it’s hard on your mind. It restricts you from doing things that you used to love, partaking in activities that you used to enjoy, and more. It affects every single part of your life, no matter which way you spin it. It has been linked to depression and anxiety. When you feel as though you can’t perform the way you did in the past, such as work or keeping up with your children, it takes its toll on you.

Neuropathy is going to win some days, and that’s okay. It’s best to focus on the positive aspects of the day. Mental health and awareness for those suffering with it should always be a priority. Coping with large amounts of pain is a lot to deal with for anybody.

Neuropathy Requires Life Adjustments

If you ignore a problem, it will not go away. Neuropathy commands that adjustments be made, but it doesn’t have to control your life. When someone suffers from pain, it sneaks its way into their mind and tells them that they’ve been defeated, but that’s never the case. It’s not simple, but there are coping mechanisms to carrying on with pain, and adjusting accordingly. Minimizing the length of activities, the duration of exercise, and how long you spend sanding versus sitting are just a few examples. It requires adjustments, but it never has to mean defeat.

The Experts on Neuropathy Pain Management

In short, neuropathy changes the course of your entire life. Living with it is a daily struggle. If you are suffering with this affliction, the experts at the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho can help.

Call (208) 629-2492 for more information on what you can do to combat neuropathy, including alternative means to medicine.

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