Chemotherapy’s Side Effects are No Picnic, Including Chemo-Induced Neuropathy Pain. Massage Therapy is One of Several Treatment Modalities That Can Help.
Chances are, you were hoping that when your chemotherapy cancer treatment was over, you’d be done with medications entirely.
Unfortunately, neuropathy is a common side effect of some chemotherapy treatments. In some cases, the neuropathy symptoms end within weeks or months of the end of chemotherapy. In other cases, neuropathy induced by chemotherapy drugs may be permanent.
But it’s important to understand that even if your neuropathy symptoms aren’t curable, that doesn’t mean that the current level of pain and impairment is a permanent fixture in your life. That’s because there are ways to treat chemotherapy neuropathy that can significantly reduce pain and discomfort. For many patients, massage therapy is a key aspect of treatment.
Peripheral neuropathy induced by chemotherapy may have any of these qualities:
- Numbness, burning, or tingling in your feet, toes, hands, or fingers
- Shooting nerve pains
- Insomnia because of pain and discomfort
Here’s how massage therapy can help to reduce those problems.
In short, massage therapy means manipulation of the body’s soft tissues. One of the key features of massage therapy is its ability to improve blood circulation, which can reduce nerve damage in addition to relieving pain.
Massage therapy also helps you to relax, not just while you’re on the massage table but for days afterward. Relaxation is so important for neuropathy patients, because tension tends to make pain seem even worse. Being able to relax will also significantly improve your ability to sleep at night—which affects your quality of life significantly.
Massage therapy is just one form of the “complementary or alternative therapies” that we recommend for many patients with peripheral neuropathy. The best neuropathy treatment plans will often complementary therapies like massage, in addition to lifestyle changes, high-tech treatments like laser therapy, and appropriate medications.
To understand more about custom neuropathy treatment plans, please take a look at the “neuropathy owner’s manual,” I Beat Neuropathy!
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