Peripheral neuropathy refers to a condition in which the peripheral nerves (the ones which are present far away from the brain and spinal column) get damaged due to various reasons. Peripheral neuropathy may cause numbness, weakness or pain in your extremities and other parts of the body.(1)

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Coping Methods For Peripheral Neuropathy

Being diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy can be quite shocking and stressful. However, being acquainted with certain coping methods may help you in dealing better with your signs and symptoms and may also help in avoiding further complications. The coping methods may include-

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Preventing Falls-

  • It may seem unimportant in the beginning but is an essential step in coping up with peripheral neuropathy.
  • Falls can be avoided by removing slippery rugs or carpets from around the house, putting up railings and bars wherever necessary to take support when needed, putting bathmats near the bathtub and in the shower, wearing anti-slip grip shoes, using a stick or cane for support while walking

Being Careful In Showers And Kitchen-

  • It is a good option to ask someone to check the bathing water first ensure that it is not very hot
  • It is also a good idea to wear gloves when working in a kitchen or anywhere around the house
  • Protect the feet and check for cuts or wounds every day. If you can’t see yourself ask someone or use a mirror.
  • Ice packs may help your hands and feet feel better.

Seek Help-

  • Seek help wherever needed and don’t hesitate. Simple tasks like buttoning a shirt, using a computer, holding a pen or opening a jar also may need some assistance and there is no harm in asking for help when needed.
  • Don’t try to finish everything super quick. Take some time and do things slowly.

Follow The Guidelines And Treatment-

Follow your doctor’s suggestions and recommended methods to benefit from the treatment.

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  • Use over the counter pain medicines to relieve symptoms like pain. However, if the pain is severe, contact your doctor and ask for prescription medication.
  • Doctors may recommend medicines that are used to treat epilepsy and depression. These are found to be useful in the management of pain in peripheral neuropathy.
  • Try to include nutrients in your diet, like vitamin B12. Vitamins of the B complex group are essential for maintaining the health of nerves.
  • Topical medications like lidocaine patches, capsaicin creams, etc. can be used to relieve pain from peripheral neuropathy
  • Physical therapy can be useful in improving muscle movement and strength. Walking and exercises can also help achieve the same
  • Massaging the limbs or therapies like acupuncture may help in relieving symptoms like pain in peripheral neuropathy.(2)

Alternative Treatment Methods For Peripheral Neuropathy-

Some alternative therapies may prove to be useful in treating peripheral neuropathy. you may try these with your recommended course of treatment, but, with proper consultation with your doctor. These methods may include-

Acupuncture-

  • This method uses inserting small needles at various points in your body.
  • It is known to relieve symptoms like pain in peripheral neuropathy

Alpha-Lipoic Acid-

  • Alpha-lipoic acid has been used for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy for years in parts of Europe.
  • However, the downside is that it may affect your blood sugar levels.
  • It may also cause a skin rash and stomach upset.

Herbs-

  • Some herbs may be useful in reducing neuropathy.
  • However, herbs may interfere with your medications.
  • Hence, it is advisable to talk with your doctor first before starting on any herbal remedies.

Amino Acids-

  • Treatment with amino acids may be useful in people who have taken chemotherapy as treatment.
  • However, there may be side effects like nausea and vomiting with amino acids(3)

Conclusion

Getting diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy may be shocking and disturbing at first. However, knowing certain coping methods may help you accept and deal with the situation much better.

References:  

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 14, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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