Spend any time on the Internet, and you would think that all neuropathies are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth actually.
Neuropathy is actually a group of disorders; some are relatively simple, some extraordinarily complex. So we strongly recommend that in addition to everything you can do at home, you put a true neuropathy professional in charge of your care. A neuropathy professional can help you understand the type of neuropathy you have, and how best to treat it.
Sensory vs. Motor Neuropathy
Let’s spend a little time talking about the differences between sensory and motor neuropathy. Sensory neuropathy is just as it sounds—that is, neuropathy where patient experience issues related to sensation. For example, patients with a sensory neuropathy may have decreased sensation, commonly described as numbness—or increased sensation such as burning, tingling, and pain.
Other patients will have simply a loss of sensation. Too often, related to loss of sensation, is the experience of losing one’s balance. As you know, this can be devastating to the neuropathy patient.
The most common forms of neuropathy are largely sensory. This includes early diabetic neuropathy, most chemotherapy-related neuropathy, and those due to metabolic syndrome.
In motor neuropathy, there is a loss of muscle power, and often muscle size and strength. As the name suggests, motor neuropathy can be accompanied by significant weakness.
As a general rule, motor neuropathies are serious, and more difficult to treat. A certain portion of motor neuropathies may be genetic in nature, and can be very difficult to diagnose.
Some motor neuropathy can be the result of serious infections, like Lyme disease, and represent true medical emergencies.
Although frustrating to both patients and doctors alike, a totally accurate diagnosis in some cases of motor neuropathy is impossible—or to do so would involve very expensive genetic testing.
Regardless of the cause of your underlying neuropathy, we feel that good self-treatment is essential.
Cases that have been labeled as hopeless sometimes show improvement with proper nutrition, good physical therapy, and appropriate neurostimulation techniques.
Even in genetic cases of neuropathy, where nerve function is impaired, patients sometimes will sometimes respond to energy simulation techniques, including appropriate supplements like CoQ10.
This is why we strongly recommend that in addition to everything you can do at home, you put a true neuropathy professional in charge of your care.
It will make a big difference in your outcome.
For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com.
Diagnosed with a Hereditary Form of Neuropathy? Here’s How to Treat Longstanding and Progressive Nerve Symptoms.
If you have hereditary neuropathy, you may have received your diagnosis years ago in your 20s or 30s, or even in your teens. You’re probably already familiar with terms like these: HNPP (Hereditary Neuropathy with Liability to Pressure Palsies), Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, DSD (Dejerine-Sottas Disease), or HMN (Hereditary Motor Neuropathy).
You probably also already know the kinds of symptoms that these hereditary neuropathies can cause:
- Pain in the hands and feet
- Tingling or numbness, especially in extremities
- Weak and emaciated muscles in the legs and feet
- Problems sweating
- Deformities of the foot (such as hammer toes) or spine (such as scoliosis)
But what you may not know is the vast advancements in treating hereditary neuropathy that have been made over the past few years. Though your condition is not curable, it is in many cases highly treatable.
Here are the general types of hereditary neuropathy that we usually see in our clinics. People with sensory neuropathy have limited input from touch and the other “six senses” that we normally gather information about the world. People with motor neuropathies have limited mobility or range of motion. People with autonomic neuropathy have trouble with their bodies’ ability to efficiently regulate things like their heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and other body systems that normally take care of themselves without any input from us. And some folks have mixed neuropathies that affect more than one body system.
Genetic testing is the primary way to diagnose hereditary neuropathy, along with nerve biopsies and nerve conduction studies. All of these elements are needed for an accurate diagnosis. Your neuropathy specialist should also interview you for information about your family’s health going back two to three generations. It’s important to note that you might have a hereditary form of neuropathy even if you don’t know of anyone in your family with similar symptoms.
When it comes to formulating a treatment plan, keep in mind that hereditary neuropathy can’t be cured, but treatments are available to help you heal as much as possible and significantly improve your quality of life. Typically, your treatment plan should include several elements, including:
- Addressing any underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes
- Beneficial lifestyle changes, including nutrition and appropriate exercise
- Medication (in some cases)
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Other high-tech treatment options, such as laser light therapy
It’s vital to seek a diagnosis and treatment planning from a highly trained neuropathy specialist who can customize your treatment for your specific needs. Click here to find a NeuropathyDR® specialist near you.
What’s The Prognosis for Hereditary Neuropathy? is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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It’s The First Question On Your Mind When You Are Diagnosed: Is There A Cure For Peripheral Neuropathy?
It’s the big question. When you’re just been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, there’s only one thing you want to know: Is it going to get better? Is there a cure?
I wish I could say a resounding YES in answer to this question. Maybe a more honest answer would be, “Not yet.” Unfortunately, depending on how your specific case of neuropathy originated, many cases of nerve damage are permanent.
But don’t stop reading there! What you need to know about peripheral neuropathy is that there ARE steps you can take to treat your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Yes, peripheral neuropathy is a chronic condition, but we have learned so much over the years about how to effectively manage symptoms.
One of the areas that can be greatly improved for anyone with peripheral neuropathy is increased mobility. You may be experiencing mobility-related symptoms such as motor neuropathy, which decreases the strength of your limbs; decreased fine motor skills and dexterity in your fingertips;or trouble walking because of stiff joints and painful feet.
All of these problems can be frustrating and can severely impact your daily life, when even the simplest tasks have become incredibly difficult. This can lead to mood disorders like depression, a secondary effect of peripheral neuropathy for many people.
That’s why the best approach to peripheral neuropathy treatment is multi-faceted. The closest thing we have to a “cure” is a flexible treatment approach that incorporates at-home nutrition and exercise adjustments, along with state-of-the-art options like laser therapy, based on a customized assessment from a trained NeuropathyDR® clinician. You’ll be able to take symptom management into your own hands and return to living the life YOU want to lead.
To start improving your quality of life right away and take charge of peripheral neuropathy, click here to locate a NeuropathyDR® clinician near you.
Is There a Peripheral Neuropathy Cure? is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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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.