Creativity Prescription as a Supplement for Neuropathy Treatments

Neuropathy Treatments Can Be Supplemented with Creativity

Are You Surprised That Making Art Could Be a Supportive Addition to Your Neuropathy Treatments?

One of the most effective at-home neuropathy treatments can be done anytime, anywhere, and you don’t need special materials to do it. You don’t even have to have a special talent or training in art.

Making art can include everything from drawing or painting to collage, scrapbooking, or even flower arranging. The basic human drive to make art, going back to cave paintings many thousands of years ago, is simply about making things that are special and unique that have personal meaning or bring beauty into your world.

And as it turns out, making art is physically good for you! Creativity might even be the perfect way to supplement neuropathy treatments.

Even way back in 2008, the National Institutes of Health described in their newsletter that scientists had already begun studying how the process of making art can reduce stress, ease pain, and improve quality of life. Art therapy has been shown positive benefits with many medical and emotional issues, from trauma or depression to chemotherapy fatigue. In other words, creativity can be a great supplement to your other neuropathy treatments.

There are many options for making art besides drawing and painting, and anyone can do these relaxing creative activities without any special training or materials. Try one of these easy art options.

Magazine Collage Journal

Materials you’ll need:

  • Blank journal or spiral notebook
  • Magazine
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Flip through any magazine looking for images that speak to you. Perhaps they make you feel happy or excited, or they remind you of good memories. Choose three images to glue down to your journal page in any way that looks right to you. If you want, flip to a new page in your journal and write down your thoughts about the images you selected today.

Index Card Mandala

Materials you’ll need:

  • Index cards
  • Pencil
  • Small jar lid
  • Markers or colored pencils

“Mandala” is a Sanskrit word for “sacred circle.” Psychologist Carl Jung used to make a daily practice of creating mandala designs to help him process his ideas. Coloring mandalas has also been shown to be relaxing to your nervous system. All you need to do is find a small circular object, like a jar lid, and trace around it onto your index card. Now use markers, colored pencils, or crayons to fill in the circle with any shapes, colors, and lines that you want. If you prefer to color in larger and more elaborate mandala designs, you can find free printable mandalas online.

Blind Contour Drawing

Materials you’ll need:

  • A Sharpie marker
  • Blank paper
  • Willingness to try something new

Elizabeth Layton is famous for having become an artist at the age of 68, using a daily practice of making blind contour drawings to help her battle depression. “Blind contour” means that you will be drawing a continuous line without looking at the paper; instead, you focus your gaze on the object you’re drawing. The end result obviously won’t be a perfect drawing, but what’s important in this process is the experience of drawing. I recommend a Sharpie marker because there’s no temptation to erase or “fix” anything and you can concentrate on really seeing an object, rather than forcing your drawing to look a certain way. Try it for a few days and see how much fun it can be to create messy, process-oriented drawings!

Are you curious about how to add a creativity prescription to your neuropathy treatments? Talk with us about it at our Facebook page.

foot stretches for neuropathy pain

Relieve Neuropathy Pain and Discomfort with These Simple Stretches

A Series of Simple Daily Stretches Could Help You to Reduce Neuropathy Pain and Discomfort

Neuropathy pain can lead you to feel immobilized. It’s easy to gradually become fearful of making the pain and discomfort worse by moving around too much, in the belief that too much exercise could increase your pain.

But in truth, mild exercise is likely to actually help you feel better on a daily basis. If moderate exercise causes more neuropathic pain for you, try some of these simple stretches, which you can even do lying down or in bed. You can repeat each stretch five or six times.

  1. First, gently spread your fingers wide apart, then loosely close them into a fist. Spread your toes wide, then curl them up.
  2. Next, begin making circles with your wrists and ankles. Be sure to rotate in both directions several times.
  3. Now pull your hands in toward your shoulders and bend your knees in gently toward your chest. Gently relax back into your original position.
  4. Slowly bring up your arms toward your ears, then back down to a resting position.
  5. Last, lift one leg as far as you comfortably can while keeping your knee straight. Gently lower the leg, then repeat on the other side.

These stretches are great for anyone with neuropathy pain that results in limited range of motion. They can help to improve circulation in your legs and arms in addition to giving your joints a gentle workout.

Remember, even mild and occasional exercise is helpful in keeping yourself as healthy and pain-free as possible. Start at a very slow pace, only going as far as you feel comfortable, and then build up your stretching stamina on a daily or weekly basis. Of course, be sure to speak with your NeuropathyDR® clinician before initiating any new exercise program.

Want to know more about stretching as a way to reduce neuropathy pain? Talk with us about it at our Facebook page.

Exercise for Diabetic Neuropathyv

Exercise for Diabetic Neuropathy Can Be Helpful, Not Harmful

If it seems to you that exercise for diabetic neuropathy sounds like a path to pain and discomfort, read these tips for turning exercise into a beneficial factor for your health.

Exercise is always a beneficial element of a healthy lifestyle. Yes, even for people with diabetic neuropathy! In fact, diabetics need regular exercise to help control blood sugar and to slow down the onset of new diabetes symptoms by maintaining good circulation and heart health.

It’s true that neuropathy can make your daily activities seem much harder, and some physical movements such as walking can become more difficult. But there are ways to safely and effectively exercise for diabetic neuropathy.

Before beginning any exercise program, be sure to talk with your NeuropathyDR® clinician about workout adjustments to accommodate your specific health needs. You’ll also want to consider exercise clothes and shoes to help prevent injury, including silica gel midsoles.

Which exercises should you stay away from? For most individuals with diabetic neuropathy, weight-bearing or repetitive exercises like walking or running can be harmful and make symptoms worse. There’s some debate about weight training, which could be beneficial in small doses but potentially harmful in excess.

The best exercise for diabetic neuropathy may swimming, which is adaptable for any fitness level and can be easily modified to alleviate neuropathy symptoms. As a no-impact exercise, swimming is the least likely to cause harm to your feet, legs, or joints but also offers great benefits for circulation.

Another great exercise for diabetic neuropathy is biking, whether you’re riding an actual bicycle or a stationary bike. This low-impact activity can easily be built into your overall treatment program for neuropathy.

Keep in mind that even the most basic, minimal types of exercise can be beneficial! For example, a simple and effective stretch for your feet and legs involves flexing your ankle several times and then rotating the foot in each direction.

With any type of exercise, be sure to check your extremities (especially your feet) for any kind of sores, blisters, or irritation that can develop into an infection. Make sure you don’t get overheated, since many people with neuropathy have trouble regulating their body temperature. Also, keep an eye on your blood pressure and heart rate when exercising, particularly if you suffer from autonomic neuropathy.

What kind of exercise for diabetic neuropathy has helped you? Join the conversation at our Facebook page.

clouds-floating

How to Use Meditation for Chronic Neuropathy Treatment (Part 2): 5 Surprising Ways to Meditate

Chronic neuropathy treatment can be supported with meditation—and it doesn’t have to be fancy, structured, or even spiritual in nature. Here’s a list of 5 ways to begin a meditation practice today on your own, for free.

When you think of meditation, do you picture a very serene-looking monk sitting cross-legged on a cushion? Or maybe a young man or woman in yoga gear on a cliff by the ocean? Maybe you’ve heard that there’s only one right way to meditate, and you’d need to watch a DVD or attend a class to find out how.

But I have great news for you! The truth is that you don’t need a class, a DVD, or a perfect body to meditate. You don’t even have to sit on a cushion on the floor. Best of all, meditating is so easy, you can start today.

Here are 5 kinds of meditation that don’t require any kind of training. You can start with just 5 or 10 minutes each day.

1. Sitting meditation

Sitting doesn’t have to mean sitting on a cushion. You can sit upright in any chair that is comfortable for you. The key factor is in having appropriate posture. Think of your head as a balloon that is rising toward the ceiling on a string; let it float over your shoulders. Now think of having a strong, upright back and an open, receiving heart. Sit in this way for 5 to 10 minutes and just notice any thoughts or feelings that arise, like clouds floating by in the sky.

2. Walking meditation

This is a special way of walking that holds less danger of repetitive stress, because you won’t cover much ground in 5 minutes. It might more accurately be called balancing meditation. Simply slow down each step and notice every aspect of it: shifting your weight onto one foot, letting the other foot rise forward, contacting the ground, shifting your weight again. Then repeat on the other side. It’s just like walking, but at a glacial pace that allows you to really notice the sensations of movement and balance.

3. Meditating in bed

For those who find sitting or walking meditation too painful due to neuropathy symptoms, the wonderful thing to know about meditation is that you can do it in any position—even lying down. (The Buddha himself said so!) The key practice isn’t your body position, although it’s best to be in a posture that allows for effective breathing. Instead, the key is in noticing sensations and thoughts and simply allowing them to pass by without judgment.

4. Mindfully doing a creative act

Meditation doesn’t even have to happen in stillness. It’s possible to engage in a daily meditative practice involving any creative act, such as cooking or creating music. Again, the key to a meditative practice is in being fully aware in each moment of how you are feeling, what you’re thinking, and what judgments are arising about the situation. If you find that your attention drifts, just gently bring it back to this moment.

5. Mindfully completing any household chore

Finally, meditation works with any activity, regardless of its nature. The dullest of household chores can be a form of meditation if they are done mindfully—that is, with your attention on sensation and awareness. For example, when you are washing the dishes after dinner, spend those 10 minutes noticing how the soapy water feels on your hands and being aware of the pattern of your breathing.

Meditation of any kind can be an effective stress relief and a self-help supplement for your chronic neuropathy treatment.

Have you tried meditation? Talk with us about it at our Facebook page.

healing chronic disease with the power of positive attitude

Healing Chronic Disease with the Power of Positive Attitude

How to Transform Negative Self-Talk into Positivity for Healing Chronic Disease

The bad news: Negative self-talk can be very damaging to your health.

The good news: You can easily learn to transform negative self-talk into positive thinking that can actively help you in healing chronic disease, from diabetes to cancer.

What is negative self-talk? This is the term for the kind of demeaning, insulting, or belittling internal messages that we give ourselves when we are frustrated by our perceived failings. “I’m so stupid.” “I always mess up.” “Nobody could ever love me.”

These messages are so hurtful because they are based on labeling and judgment. They tell you that there is something wrong with you as a person. When your goal is healing chronic disease, negative self-talk tells you that instead of getting better, you ought to BE a better person.

You wouldn’t allow your best friend to talk this way to herself. It’s time to become your own best friend and intervene in negative self-talk. All you have to do is learn to break the pattern and replace negativity with truly healing actions that support you in healing chronic disease. Remember that healing begins from within, and you have total control over the mindset that is either helping or hurting your chance at optimum health.

Begin by simply noticing during the day when you use negative self-talk. Write down what the circumstances were, what you said or thought to yourself that was negative, and how those thoughts made you feel. Then, pick one recurring negative thought and decide how you will turn it around into a healing action.

For example, if you have noticed that you think to yourself “I’m such a klutz,” use this thought as a cue to notice what you need. The next time you catch yourself thinking about being a klutz, stop and say, “What do I need right now?” Maybe it’s a rest break, some water to rehydrate you, or a kind word from a good friend. Then take that healing action.

We think of negative self-talk as “automatic thoughts,” but the truth is that you can break the negative cycle and turn the negative into a positive. Let your negative thoughts be a signal that it’s time for a wellness check-in to find what your body needs right now. Soon, every moment will become a healing moment on the path to healing chronic disease.

Come take part in the ongoing conversation at our Facebook page!

Meditation can help your neuropathy and chronic pain.

Looking for a Home Treatment for Chronic Neuropathic Pain? Reasons to Give Meditation a Try

Could Meditation be an Effective Home Treatment for Chronic Neuropathic Pain?

Meditation is a free wellness tool that you can use anytime and anywhere. And it’s not as complicated as you might think.

It might surprise you to hear that meditation can be an effective home treatment for chronic neuropathic pain. Maybe it doesn’t seem like something that would be an accepted neuropathy treatment, like medications or other traditional approaches to chronic pain.

In fact, there is a type of meditation that is actually considered to be evidence-based. In other words, multiple studies have looked at this method and seen positive results for chronic pain. A program called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction has been used in many renowned hospitals and medical centers, incorporating a type of mindfulness meditation that focuses on noticing thoughts and sensations without judgment.

There are books and tapes available about this program, but you don’t even need that kind of specialized training to begin using meditation for wellness on your own. All you need is to understand why mindfulness meditation works with chronic pain.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed this evidence-based program, says that when we have chronic pain, there are two things that make us suffer: the physical pain itself, and our thoughts and emotions about the pain that intensify what we are feeling. Our story about the awfulness or unbearableness of the pain builds a layer of tension around it, like wearing a shirt with a collar that’s too tight.

Meditation lets us change the way we feel ABOUT the pain, so that we can be more relaxed and accepting of it. That way, we can experience peacefulness even when physical pain is present.

Those are the reasons why meditation can be an effective home treatment for chronic neuropathic pain. Soon, we’ll discuss some different ways to meditate and how you can find the method that works best for you.

Meanwhile, please join us for an ongoing discussion at our Facebook page!

Build your support network for better coping with chronic pain.

Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need)

Don’t go it alone. Here’s why accepting support from family and friends is so important in treating chronic pain.Fotolia 5256891 XS 300x200 Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need)

 

Although it may be a shocking idea, your personal support network may be equally as important to your health as your medical treatment team—or any kind of supplemental therapies.

Why? Because the bottom line is that a positive outlook is the best medicine for good health outcomes. If you are feeling contented and supported in your personal relationships, you’ll be much better equipped to cope with pain when it arises.

Unfortunately, many people find it hard to ask for help from their family and friends. We may have heard the message that it was weak or shameful to be dependent on others.

The truth is that when we are able to accept love and support, we’re better equipped to be as independent as possible in our daily lives.

Make a list of people in your life who have helped you in big and small ways in the past, as well as people that would probably be willing to help now if you were to ask.

Now, think about the things that are making your life the most difficult or stressful right now. This list could be anything from a leaky faucet in your kitchen to a pile of medical bills. Just get it all down on paper.

Finally, begin matching the list of stress points with the list of helpers in your life. Who could come over and fix that leaky faucet for you? Who could help you make phone calls to arrange a payment plan for those bills?

You will find that most of the people on your list are grateful for a chance to help you—they just didn’t know what to do that would be truly helpful. And when your stress level decreases (now that the leaky faucet or pile of bills is a thing of the past), your overall health will be optimized. That means chronic pain becomes less of a burden because you’re better able to cope with it.

Building your support network is just one way that you can take control of your own health and overcome chronic pain. Learn more by visiting our Facebook page.

foot-neuropathy

A Simple and Effective Treatment for Foot Neuropathy: Gentle Yoga

 

Fotolia 594977 S 300x200 A Simple and Effective Treatment for Foot Neuropathy: Gentle Yoga

Ease the pain of neuropathy in feet with a simple yoga practice—even if you’ve never done yoga before.

 

Peripheral neuropathy can be an aggravating and chronic condition, and it’s tough to treat using traditional medications. But there’s a treatment you can do on your own—in a class, or at home—that can be very beneficial over time, and that’s gentle yoga.

Yoga isn’t just about spiritual growth or physical fitness anymore. Many neuropathy patients are finding that simple yoga poses can alleviate uncomfortable tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes. Best of all, many basic yoga poses are easy to learn and don’t require special equipment.

Some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice include:

  1. Increased circulation to the hands and feet. Many yoga poses use the pull of gravity to shift habitual blood flow patterns, particularly to the feet. (Don’t worry, this doesn’t require a headstand!)
  2. Improved body self-awareness. A regular yoga practice can help you connect with your body sensations and really notice what your body is telling you.
  3. Relaxation and peacefulness. A simple, non-strenuous yoga practice for 10 to 30 minutes before bed can help you relax and sleep better. Or, if you prefer, use yoga as a gentle wake-up practice in the morning to set a peaceful tone for your day.

In general, yoga is a wonderful form of self-care that can be modified for your own unique physical goals and needs.

If you have no experience with yoga, it’s best to begin with assistance from a teacher. You can look for a local “gentle yoga” class or use a beginning yoga DVD as a guide at home.

Here’s one very simple yoga technique to get you started with relief for your feet. Sit cross-legged with your shoes and socks off. Weave your fingers one by one through the toes of the opposite foot, and hold this position for about 20 seconds. Then, switch to using the other hand and foot. You may want to do this 2 or 3 times for each foot.

What do you think about using yoga as a support for other types of foot neuropathy treatment? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

exercise for diabetic neuropathy

Stopping Chronic Pain

Stopping Chronic Pain
Old Ladies Running 300x300 Stopping Chronic Pain
Do you know that approximately one fourth of the entire population of United States suffers from some form of chronic pain?

Did you also know that over half of these are related to neuropathic pain, that is conditions like chemotherapy neuropathy, shingles,  diabetic neuropathy and genetic neuropathy like CMT?

Of course there are millions worldwide who suffer from painful diseases and conditions like disc herniations, arthritis, failed back surgery, arachnoiditis, fibromyalgia, the list just seems to go on and on.  Unfortunately, for all these conditions there is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

Treating chronic pain requires significant expertise and patience on the part of providers.

I have to laugh at the email that’s been going around this week that is the “magic neuropathy cure”.  In this video the narrator talks as if all neuropathy is the same and ‘all will be fine if you just purchase this magic pill. It’s so top-secret the government is about to shut it down’.

Right.

Definitely reminds me of the snake oil salesman from the 1800s’.

But, you know better and that’s why you continue to read our articles, listen to our radio shows and watch our videos now more than ever before. Over 20,000 NEW patients per month find us on the web and many more are choosing the solutions our clinicians have to offer.

This is precisely because the more they read listen watch they understand that stopping chronic pain requires a team effort. It requires a stepwise improvement in habits, self-care, treatment approaches, medication adjustments or eliminations and so much more! You’re off your clinician stands above the rest, and her focus is only on you and getting you the very best care possible.

If you can’t go to a clinic, you can do telemedicine through your computer or telephone!

These services offered all of our 40+ clinics!

All you need to do is to stop the cycle of chronic pain by reaching out and letting a true expert guide your way!  Let us know how we may help you.
Contact us HERE or CALL 339 793-8591 24/7   (PATIENTS Line)

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Simply start your subscription by leaving your name and email address HERE

 

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Neuropathy Treatment Formula: Taking Charge of Your Health

Is Your Neuropathy Making You Feel Like You’ve Lost Control?
2 ladies on Lap Top 300x199 Neuropathy Treatment Formula: Taking Charge of Your Health

Neuropathy symptoms can make you feel like your health has spun out of control. But regardless of the particulars of your situation, there’s one thing for sure—anxiety and disappointment about the state of your personal healthcare are likely exacerbating your symptoms.

The number one reason to step in and take charge of your own wellness is that feeling in control will make you feel better. Anxiety can compound existing symptoms (such as trouble sleeping) and create new ones by putting the focus on what’s not working. But it’s important to remember that you DO have control over many of the factors that can positively influence your health in a big way.

Many people come to us looking for a “magic bullet,” one simple pill or procedure that will cure neuropathy overnight and permanently. They want a neuropathy treatment formula in a bottle like a one-a-day supplement.

Of course, there are many medically-based aspects to our treatment program, but there are also several significant components of the program that are completely in your control as beneficial lifestyle changes to impact neuropathy. Here are just two simple examples of things that YOU can control in your healthcare, starting today.

First, begin making small, gradual improvements in your diet. Start by weaning away from sodas and processed foods. Notice that you don’t have to go cold turkey or give them up “forever.” Just switch to thinking of them as occasional treats. Choose organic and local produce and other foods whenever you can. Seek out natural and healthy alternatives to your usual meal routine.

Second, get moving. Many people shudder at the thought of doing “exercise,” which sounds like some kind of aerobic torture device. Forget all that and just start moving more than usual—a walk around the block twice a day, slow-dancing to the oldies in your living room, or even vigorous housework or gardening are all candidates for healthy and fun exercise. Make sure you check with your doctor first to find out what’s appropriate for you.

The key is to think of “diet and exercise” not as unreachable fitness goals but as things you already incorporate into your everyday life. Just introduce a small shift in the WAY you do these things, and let a tiny pebble of intention turn into an avalanche of increased health!

Do you have questions about how to get started making beneficial lifestyle changes to heal neuropathy? Talk with us on Facebook.

 

Fat mature man measuring his belly with measurement tape

Neuropathy and Fructose

Neuropathy and FructoseFat Middle Age Belly Guy1 300x199 Neuropathy and Fructose

Much has been written about consuming processed foods and drinks laced with the sugar known as fructose.  But why is this simple product, which is often times billed as all natural food or sweetner such a troublemaker?

Mainly because fructose does not “burn” like other sugars. In fact fructose is only about 60% efficient in converting to simpler molecules. So this means 40% or so fructose gets converted to fat!

Yikes!

This also explains why those who consume the excess amounts of fructose common to modern diets have a very difficult time managing their weight.

The biggest offender of course is soda.

As we’ve written about before there is no reason that anybody with their eye on health or disease prevention should ever be consuming soda. This also includes artificial and calorie free sweeteners in soda, other drinks and foods.

Even a zero calorie soda that tastes sweet to your body WILL still create a weight gain situation!

Fructose can also be found in high amounts in fruits. This is why many people who go on the so called “fruit” diets or drink a lot of fruit juices have a very difficult time controlling blood sugar and losing weight or keeping weight off.

It’s also why our diet plan is carbohydrate controlled and this includes limiting serving sizes of fruits.

Typically, a serving size of fruit would be one half banana, one half or one small apple, pear etc. Generally, berries unless overripe are not so much a problem. Melon, again when consumed in moderation are usually not a problem either.

Remember we are having this conversation about fructose and neuropathy treatment because it is obesity, metabolic syndrome and prediabetes which are at the cause of over 50% of idiopathic cases of neuropathy and these also complicate many forms of chronic pain.

Taming your fructose consumption is just one thing but big thing you can do right now to improve the quality of your life both short and long term!

Let us help!

Join us here all day long.

 

Doctor

Neuropathy Treatment Challenge

Fotolia 46629715 S 200x300 Neuropathy Treatment Challenge

Neuropathy Treatment Challenge

As you probably know actually working with and effectively treating neuropathy can be extraordinarily challenging. Neuropathy is almost never an isolated symptom. Very rarely does it occur just by itself. It is so often the result of many different causes and other conditions.

Fortunately, the most common cause is correctable. As you have read here before the most common cause of neuropathy is prediabetes also known as metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X. This is a lifestyle disorder often caused by years of weight gain, aggravated by cigarette smoking, and inactivity.

The underlying conditions related to other forms of neuropathy such as genetic types can by very challenging!

But there are some truths that are common to all of these types of neuropathy in many forms of chronic pain.

And that is drug only therapy serves to simply mask the symptoms and not treat the underlying illness.
Too often patients who suffer from #neuropathy, #fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain can go on this pattern for many years before effective treatment is actually implemented.

This neuropathy and chronic pain treatment of course centers around improving our overall level of health and well being! Physically, mentally, and spiritually. Cleaning up our diets, getting on appropriate exercise programs and minimizing medications is better long term approach.

You must at all costs avoid prolonged self-treatment for pain or other annoying symptoms!

It is not unusual now that we see patients taking large amounts of self-prescribed over-the-counter drugs ending up with liver kidney damage and sometimes organ failure.

Don’t let this be you! Yes of course some medications are necessary to help with pain but using them only to the exclusion of other good self-care is a sure path down the road to disaster.

It’s very important that you take the most appropriate steps to actually improve your underlying health and function as quickly as possible.

Let Our Team of Clinicians Help!

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The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

Written by: Carol Jeffrey

10410908 10201354916388597 4209510695619029275 n 300x300 The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

We’re traveling down this windy, crazy, hazardous road of chronic pain. Often we’re speeding in the darkness with our headlights off, violently crashing into unseen obstacles. We shake off and often minimize the damage caused by these collisions. But if we don’t attend to these damages as they occur…our vehicle will soon be totaled.

 

Wildly we slip and slide out of control in the storms that overwhelm us. So we pull over, rest and wait for the storm to pass. But if the storm lasts too long, we stop clearing the windows, and cease to look if the sun has reappeared. This type of apathy is a slow and silent killer of hope.

Bridges often crumble beneath the weight of our burdens. This type of loss and isolation is one of the greatest hardships of chronic pain. If we are to avoid being stranded on an isolated island, and trapped in a deep dark pit of depression…survival requires us to adapt, learn new skills, maintain healthy relationships, and build connections to life.

We easily see when others are in need, and graciously pull over to offer assistance. After all, this is a welcomed distraction from our own painful journey…but lets not make it a road-stop. While it’s easy to identify needs and solutions for others, it’s equally as difficult to acknowledge our own need for fuel or repair. Our engines will cease to run, if we allow our ego to fill our gas tank with gallons of guilt, instead of letting another fill us with fuel.

At times we’re impatiently and painfully held up in surgical construction or we may find ourselves on a needed detour learning new paths that promote health. Pit stops are required, to clear the windshield, change the tires, tweak the engine so that we may travel with optimal performance. Maintenance and checking our route is essential for a less burdensome journey.

We are not alone in our chronic pain journey, for our doctors, friends and family are passengers…who’s needs also need to be acknowledged. It’s easy to forget that it’s a challenging and painful journey for them as well.

We are in control of our life and choose whether the pain steers us wildly off of a cliff or whether we take control of our vehicle and steer it in the path of our desires.

Mental Illness

Fotolia 41734006 S 300x200 Mental Illness Robin Williams was not only phenomenal actor but a wonderful human being.  Unfortunately Life’s challenges, combined with what is likely some genetic brain chemistry associated with mental illness take a heavy toll.

This has been a very sad week, losing one of the brightest actors and comedians to ever live.

With my last patient, a nurse this morning we had a frank discussion about why mental illness is still under recognized, under treated, and stigmatized.

I find it very helpful for both patients and professionals to look at it like this.  It is our brain and nervous system that determines how we interpret the outside world. When our brains and nervous systems fail to work properly, or are compromised by illness, drugs, or genetic changes, life challenges can push us and overwhelm then come to the forefront.

This is nothing to be ashamed of!!!

There are all different types of mental illness, ranging from depression to schizophrenia to bipolar disorder and of course so much more.

Because we are all unique biochemically and neurologically, some brains demand more but we all require in balance neurotransmitters (brain and nervous system chemical messengers) including dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine, serotonin and all the other co-factors which are essential to make our brains and nervous systems “hum”.

And taking good care of YOU is the FIRST LINE of good health care!

What a lot of doctors and patients fail to realize however is that just as lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol, obesity, and poor nutrition contribute to neuropathy and chronic pain they also can contribute significantly to mental illness.

Our brains are the most sensitive portion of our nervous system. This is why diligence and our lifestyles are so important throughout our lives.

And this is also why it is so important to make sure that any mental stress or resultant illness is dealt with compassionately, and professionally very early on.

Your healthcare professional knows that adding certain drugs, as well as nutrients may help lift the veil of mental illness and compliment good therapy and self care.

There’s also good evidence that exercise, yoga, meditation as well as cognitive behavioral therapy can go along way towards helping many people with mental and physical illnesses.

But the most important thing that you need to do is to recognize that dealing directly with mental illness is just as an important part of your health as maintaining normal blood pressure or brushing your teeth.

It’s time we lifted any stigma associated with mental illness early and care for ourselves, and every one around us compassionately and completely!

 

 

Vitamin D and Dementia

2 ladies on Lap Top 300x199 Vitamin D and DementiaVitamin D and Dementia

Even the news media has latched onto this one. Vitamin D is associated with many diseases and conditions. Now as it turns out as we have long suspected vitamin D is critical for brain health.

The most recent research highlights the relationship between vitamin D and dementia. Turns out maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D may actually prevent the onset of brain disease commonly called dementia.

But what about its involvement with neuropathy and chronic pain? Over the last few years we have highlighted it’s role, and the fact that vitamin D deficiencies are associated with chronic pain.

Furthermore vitamin D deficiencies are often associated with peripheral neuropathy.

Often times there is no direct cause and effect noted but we do know that vitamin D deficiency is associated with chronic poor health and many diseases and illnesses.

But why is this? How can one nutrient have such profound effects? The reason is vitamin acts as a hormone. Also acts as a cellular protectant.

One mistake that too many make however is simply blindly taking vitamin D without having it’s blood levels measured. This is a point I cannot stress enough.

You must know your vitamin D levels like you know your height ,weight and blood pressure.

So why not learn more about how vitamin D may help protect you from dementia, as well as numerous other disorders, including neuropathy as well as many forms of chronic pain!

Just use the search function on his site and go through our archives and learn much more about vitamin D!

There’s no other way to say it.

This should be part of routine testing for all patients, no excuses.

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Risks vs Benefits

Male Doc Elderly Male Patient 300x199 Risks vs BenefitsNeuropathy & Pain Treatment Risks vs Benefits

Here is a proven fact. All of healthcare in fact you could argue most of life our “decisions” are made pitting risks versus benefits.  As adults we ask ourselves and teach our children, do our actions today set us up for a healthier and better future or not?

What if we take no action at all? Is that better than doing something?

All of these are decisions that you need to make along with your healthcare providers on a regular basis. You see everything we do is risks versus benefits. This is so important to understand.  Make no mistake about modern science and medicine have developed amazing treatments.This also includes what we do here. We are continually working on treatments to help neuropathy and chronic pain patients.

Do YOU Always ASK your clinicians Is the cure is worse than the problem?

So, what if instead, we as both doctors and patients took a very strong look at the underlying causes of so much of illness and treated those first?

You know, all those things just get us into trouble. Poor dietary habits especially over the long haul, inactivity, cigarette smoking, not paying attention to stress and emotional health. I’m sure you get the picture.

What if we did all of those things before we prescribed for patients neuropathy and chronic pain treatment drugs, or surgical procedures that could cause significant harm.

For example, if doctors and patients paid more careful attention and worked together just like we do in NeuropathyDR Treatment Centers on weight loss and lifestyle, far less patients would be placed on statin medication.

Statin medications as you probably know are one major cause of neuropathy..

What if instead of injecting patients, and suggesting invasive procedures early on what if we both make sure as doctors and patients that all conservative treatment options were exhausted first?

You already know the answer…

You understand, as your NeuropathyDR clinician does, that’s all good neuropathy and chronic pain treatment is risks vs benefits!

So why not learn more today? Why not take actions that will help you live much more fully, without devastating side effects.

Make all your decisions about your neuropathy and chronic pain treatment very carefully!

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Neuropathy: Improve Your Sleep Quality!

Better Sleep Better Neuropathy

When suffering from neuropathy sleep can be difficult so let us help improve your quality of sleep!

Fotolia 36770769 S 300x199 Better Sleep Better NeuropathyAnybody who suffers from neuropathy or really any form of pain understands how difficult sleep can be. So often in neuropathy like so many pain conditions, sleep is never perfect. But there are often things you can do that will improve the quality of your sleep.

But before we talk about this let’s discuss why sleep is so very important.

During sleep, our body normalizes our body “cycles”. This includes everything from temperature, hormone levels, and yes even the circulation through our lungs.

These things are so very important to vital functions including our appetite and metabolism. In fact at least one study has shown by simply improving sleep quality patients lost significant weight. With neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and many forms of chronic pain, here is what we find works the best:

Number one, using your NDGen twice daily and again within two hours before bedtime helps many patients. As you improve, you’ll need to do this less often.

If you awaken during the night, simply apply the NDGen again and fall back to sleep!

In the absence of kidney disease taking some supplemental magnesium daily (not just any form but combinations like in our dose packs) and using topical magnesium like taking Epsom salts baths can really help.

*Just be very cautious not to burn yourself.

Lastly, many of our patients are now finding great improvements with our combination Metabolic Dose Packs. We designed this dietary dose pack to enhance all critical body functions, but most especially those critical to nerve function.

These key ingredients also foster good sleep and less pain.

Remember, there are no miracle neuropathy treatment formulas but when the NDGen, Metabolic dose packs, and other tools we offer are used together, this system is providing many patients with less pain, far better function, and improved sleep!

You can see and try out all of these fine products at your local NeuropathyDR your Treatment Center or HERE!

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Is There A Specific Neuropathy Lab Test?

Neuropathy Lab Tests

There is No Single Neuropathy Lab Test as Neuropathy is often a “Symptom” of Many Conditions.

Fotolia 17954759 XS 300x200 Neuropathy Lab Tests

One of the things that surprises many patients new to peripheral neuropathy and many other forms of chronic pain, is that is there is no single neuropathy or pain causing lab test to identify their problem.

In fact there is no single laboratory tests by itself, which is hundred percent accurate for so many disorders.

This of course is difficult not only for patients, but their families AND the physicians and therapists like ourseslves who treat peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain.

As we talk about often, neuropathy is most often a “symptom” of other conditions and as in the case of chemotherapy, toxic, or drug related neuropathy possibly caused by treatment. It is not necessarily a primary diagnosis.

So what this means is that very careful attention needs to be paid to multiple factors at the same time. This also often includes multiple laboratory tests.

For the patient new to neuropathy or chronic pain, this will oftentimes include blood tests. If it’s possibly related to a structural or spinal condition then MRIs, x-rays, CAT scans, and other tests may also be necessary.

One of the most important things your clinician will do is to conduct a very detailed physical examination.

Only after ALL of these things are done and then put together by an expert, can you most accurately identify what maybe going on.

This is NOT a one step or simple process!

So realize that in order to maximize your recovery, EARLY good care must still be administered ESPECIALLY when an accurate diagnosis is not possible! As we spoke about last time, waiting to act on correctable factors while obtaining a “perfect” assessment is the worst thing you can do.

And many times neuropathy and chronic pain patients are frustrated with negative or nearly normal tests. But as I tell my patients all the time, this is often the sign of a much better prognosis!

So of course you should work with your doctors and therapists in establishing an accurate diagnosis.

But don’t be surprised if this is not possible.

Often times there are several different conditions and lifestyle factors that work together to cause neuropathy and chronic pain. Typically these are stress, obesity, smoking and poor physical conditioning.

This is why it is so important that you address ALL these things together with your NeuropathyDR Clinician to give your body the best shot at any possible improvement or recovery!

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prevent acute pains from becoming chronic

Chronic Pain Answers?

 How To Prevent Acute Pain from Becoming Chronic Pain

PT Dumbell Pink 300x199 Chronic Pain Answers?Right now, this is a staggering statistic: one fourth of the population in United States suffers from some form of chronic pain. Unlike acute or short-term pain, chronic pain is difficult to treat requiring much more effort, resources, and is more expense than acute pain.

Even more amazing is that of these hundred million plus people a substantial number of people suffer from pain related to neuropathy, shingles, and other nerve related painful disorders or neuralgias. All of these belong to the family of chronic conditions called neuropathic pain.

But why is this? There are no simple answers. Bad things do happen to good people every day.

But two largely preventable causes of neuropathy and related conditions do stand out.

The first is that as a society, we pay less attention to our health on the whole than ever before. This of course is a lifestyle issue that we address here every single day.

The other issue, which is better known, is the failure of both patients and their professionals to manage acute pain correctly.

You see, pain that accompanies largely correctable causes that does not go away in a reasonable period of time can turn into the menace called chronic pain.

But there are some simple things that you can do that will prevent acute pains from becoming chronic.

The most important thing is to learn to treat new symptoms seriously. A good rule of thumb is to never ignore anything that persists more than two days or keeps you awake at night.

This will only serve to heighten the possible risk of developing a chronic or much more serious underlying condition. These can also be the signs that infection, inflammation, or other serious process is at work.

One other very important point that could prevent many acute pain cases from turning chronic,

Be sure that any injuries, accidents and any acute illness is treated appropriately.This often means early and active intervention on both the part of yourself and your healthcare professionals.

As inconvenient and time-consuming as this may sometimes be to treat acute health problems, it’s imperative that we in healthcare get the message out.

Initiating good early treatment, diagnostics and appropriate home care programs could save many from chronic pain and all the disability and life disruption that it brings with it.

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Contact a NeuropthyDR Specialist To Help You With The Best Pain Control Available!

The Best Pain Control

For the best pain control, first your clinician must make an accurate assessment of the type of pain and likely causes.

 

PT Electrodes 300x199 The Best Pain ControlAnybody who suffers from neuropathy and it’s related forms of chronic pain such as shingles, pinched nerves in the spine, or even spinal stenosis understands what a challenge finding the best pain control can be.

But what too many physicians and patients very often fail to understand is that early and active intervention to make a dramatic difference in patient outcome.

Let’s take for example back pain. It is been known for years that under-treated acute back pain can lead to prolonged episodes of pain and disability.

Neuropathy is often times the same because of early on the symptoms are minimized or blown off by both patients and doctors alike.

One thing that even too many physicians fail to understand is that different body parts generate different pain signals and this requires often times multiple and even separate forms of treatment.

For example the pain that is produced when a nerve is damaged is distinctly different from the pain from Norcott scraper, even a surgical scar.

Because these are two different problems, they often times need to be treated differently.

One of the key things to understand about neuropathic pain is that it does often respond well to various forms of electric nerve stimulation. This is why so many find relief with our NDGen at home and in the clinic.

By contrast, pain due to bruises, scars, and cuts etc. Do not always respond to direct neurostim (nerve stimulation) and other treatment modalities, such as ultrasound and laser maybe much more effective.

So this is why it’s very important that your clinician make an accurate assessment as to the type of pain you may have and what the likely causes actually are for best pain control.

As we said before the longer a pain pattern sets in the more difficult it becomes to treat.

This is why we strongly recommend active and early intervention especially in painful disorders like neuropathy, shingles and even acute back pain.

The longer you wait or put off the appropriate treatment the more difficult it will become to manage and find the best pain control.

In reality, far more difficult than it needs to be.

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