One of the most devastating effects to come out of the Vietnam era was agent orange. Agent Orange has been linked to a number of health disorders not the least of which is often a brutal neuropathy.
There are also other disorders from which are veterans suffer due to everything from infections, trauma, and a multitude of other exposures.
We recently discharged a veteran serviceman with 40% improvement in his PN Symptoms after completing 2 months of intensive in-office care.
His history included Agent Orange exposure, and unfortunately lymphoma.
He was recently post-chemotherapy.
After 3.5 weeks of our in-office care, he was able to stop wearing lidocaine patches, and shortly thereafter was able to reduce his gabapentin (Neurontin) significantly.
He also cut down pain meds substantially.
His care was intensive, using different manual therapies, component dietary supplements and modifications along the way, topical supplements, various ND Techniques were performed until the right combination was achieved.
He was discharged to follow-up care after just 5 weeks!
There is more on Agent Orange and Our Veterans HERE
Meanwhile, we welcome your patient inquiries and can even help get you some treatment tools via the VA.
If you are, or know a Vet who needs extra help, You Can Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “VET NEEDS HELP” in the subject line.
Thank You For Your Service!
Agent Orange and Other Factors in Peripheral Neuropathy is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
The post Agent Orange and Other Factors in Peripheral Neuropathy appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.
Cancer is one of the most persistent scourges of modern medicine. Not only are the various types of cancer extremely dangerous, but the methods to combat them, including chemotherapy, can be aggressive to the point of heavily impacting a person’s health and quality of life. Hundreds of thousands of cancer patients in North America alone receive chemotherapy every year, and many of them experience damage to the peripheral nervous system—chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, or CIPN.
Like most neuropathy, chemotherapy-caused neuropathy shows up in the form of pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of temperature sensation, most commonly in the extremities. Other symptoms, while less ubiquitous, are still common: loss of bladder control, constipation, loss of body awareness, and difficulty walking or standing. Sometimes the condition is chronic, and will be a factor in the rest of a sufferer’s life. In many cases, however, the pain and discomfort from chemotherapy-caused neuropathy can be effectively managed, allowing a cancer survivor to lead a normal, active life.
So what can you do to help protect yourself from chemotherapy-caused neuropathy? First, report any unusual sensations, pain, or numbness to your doctor or a qualified NeuropathyDR® clinician. Like any neuropathy, the sooner we identify a problem, the better we will be able to control your symptoms. Let your chemotherapy provider know you might be experiencing a complication; in some cases, they may decide to postpone treatments to help your nerves recover.
Second, take steps to protect your peripheral nervous system, which is already under strain from the chemotherapy. Wear gloves when performing manual labor. Make sure your clothing and shoes do not rub against your skin and cause abrasions (loose clothing can aggravate neuropathy symptoms). Work with a NeuropathyDR® clinician to develop a diet and exercise regimen that will contribute to overall nerve stimulation and health. Perhaps most importantly, make sure to abide by your cancer doctor’s orders—managing the underlying condition is the most important factor in treating any kind of neuropathy.
Our patient, Joanne, knows firsthand how hard chemotherapy can be on the nervous system. Joanne is a cancer survivor who, when she came to us, had been recovering from the effects of her chemotherapy for five years. Along with most of the common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, Joanne complained of severe pain in her lumbar back, extreme stiffness in her neck and shoulders, and weakness in her legs. Joanne’s pain, especially in her feet, was intense to the point of affecting her daily lifestyle. She was taking medication for pain, but the medicine was marginally effective at best.
Our treatment plan for Joanne involved a combination of manual therapies to her spine, as well as 2 forms of electro-stimulation to her feet and hands. We treated Joanne three times a week for five weeks; in only four weeks, Joanne was commenting that her symptoms had subsided dramatically. Immediately following each treatment, Joanne noticed a reduction in her pain level. The pain and numbness in her feet subsided a whopping 65-70%!
In a thank-you note Joanne wrote us a long time after the completion of the clinic portion of her NeuropathyDR® treatment plan, Joanne told us she had been able to stop taking her pain medications and was feeling fine, almost entirely pain-free. Her strength had begun to return, and her mobility improved as well.
Cold, burning and tingling, scaling skin and loss of sensation are unfortunate but treatable!
Joanne is a success story we are proud to have to our credit. To be entirely honest, not many patients show the level of improvement we saw in Joanne in such a short time. Even so, it goes to show that not only is there hope for cancer survivors who live with neuropathy pain, but in some cases the recovery can be swift and dramatic. Everyone who experiences neuropathy can learn to manage their symptoms, and our treatment methods are highly effective. If you suffer from CIPN or any other kind of neuropathy, contact us! NeuropathyDR® can answer your questions and put you in touch with a specially-trained clinician who can help you get back to living at your best!
If you are a regular NeuropathyDR® blog reader, you know that we tend to focus on the latest developments and research in treating neuropathy pain. With peripheral neuropathy, though, pain is only one component. This week, we’re going to talk about how neuropathy can affect your muscles, also called motor neuropathy.
There are essentially three kinds of motor neuropathy. The first is the overall weakening effect of the muscles, especially in the extremities, which often accompanies peripheral neuropathy. This can occur because the nerves which control motor function in the muscles have become damaged, or—in the case of a compression neuropathy—constricted. The second kind is called multifocal motor neuropathy, and takes place when the immune system itself begins to attack the nerves, as can happen after a series of infections or after an illness. The third kind is Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, which, as the name suggests, is genetic in nature. Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, or HMSN, occurs when there is a naturally-occurring deterioration in the nerves that control the muscles, causing the muscles to not be used, become weak, or even atrophy.
Motor neuropathy usually starts in the hands and feet, and can affect the full extension of fingers and toes. In addition to the dexterity problems this obviously causes, it often also has a visual appearance of “clawlike” fingers. The condition is degenerative, getting worse over a period of months and years. Twitching and spasms can also happen in affected limbs. While motor issues associated with peripheral neuropathy usually accompany pain, tingling, and numbness, multifocal motor neuropathy involves no pain (only the motor nerves are affected). Generally, none of the varieties of motor neuropathy are life-threatening, although they can absolutely impact your comfort and quality of life if you suffer from them.
When we met our patient Robert, he complained of a steady and declining loss of strength in his feet, which he had experienced over the past 4 years. Robert had had cancer during that time, culminating in having his prostate removed. His motor neuropathy caused Robert to have trouble walking or standing for long periods, and he even had trouble feeling his feet on some occasions. He also complained of shooting pain, tingling, and soreness in his feet, all typical calling cards of peripheral neuropathy. Since in cases of multifocal motor neuropathy, the sensory nerves are usually unaffected, Robert’s pain and numbness ruled that out. Sure enough, when we performed a battery of tests, we found that Robert’s sensation to vibration was all but gone in several places on his feet.
Motor Neuropathy is Characterized by Weakness of The Muscles
Robert did not respond with the typical level of relief we usually see after treating a patient with electro-stimulation. Over the course of three treatment sessions, Robert’s level of strength and comfort in his feet did not change in any meaningful way. While this is unusual, it highlights an important theme: neuropathy is a complex problem with many symptoms and manifestations, and NO single therapy technique or tool—even those with a very high rate of success—can stand on their own as a complete treatment.
We designed a treatment for Robert intended to produce more long-term benefit, as his short-term progress was not substantial. Motor neuropathies require an extensive MULTI-MODAL level of treatment, sometimes pharmaceutical and sometimes homeopathic, and usually involving some level of regular exercise and controlled diet. Robert is currently improving steadily, and is seeing his NeuropathyDR® clinician as prescribed to monitor his condition and progress.
If you suffer from weakness or pain in your limbs, you may have peripheral neuropathy. If so, we are here to help! Contact NeuropathyDR® right away and we will help you find the best course of treatment for your specific symptoms. We can even put you in touch with a specially-trained NeuropathyDR® clinician who can help you develop a therapy plan that will get results.