For the best pain control, you must first have an accurate assessment of the type of pain and likely causes.
Anybody 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 clinicians make an accurate assessment as to the type of pain you may have and what the likely causes actually are for best pain control.
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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Our Clinicians are here to help you with Shingles (Postherpetic Neuropathy)
Including advanced laser & NDGen care, nutrition and your diet plan.
When you were diagnosed with shingles, you thought that as soon as the rash disappeared you would be free and clear…
You didn’t count on the nerve damage and pain you’re still dealing with.
The pain of postherpetic neuropathy.
Yes, you know you can take pain medications to help ease some of the discomfort but you don’t want to do that forever.
The good news is that there are other things you can do to help your body heal. With a little patience, perseverance and the help of medical professionals well versed in dealing with postherpetic neuropathy, like your local NeuropathyDR specialist, you can live a normal life again.
It Starts With Good Nutrition
The human body is a very well designed machine. If you put junk into it, you get junk out of it. But if you give it what it needs to function properly and to repair itself, the results can be awe inspiring.
The very first thing you need to do is make sure you’re giving your body the right tools to fight back against postherpetic neuropathy. And that means a healthy diet.
Your diet should include:
– Vegetables and legumes to provide B vitamins to promote nerve health.
– Green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and other greens) for calcium and magnesium. Both of these nutrients are vital to healthy nerve endings and health nerve impulse transmission and, as an added bonus, they give your immune system a boost.
– Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (such as squash, carrots, yellow and orange bell peppers, apricots, oranges, etc.) for vitamins A and C to help repair your skin and boost your immune system.
– Sunflower seeds (unsalted), avocados, broccoli, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts (unsalted), tomatoes and tomato products, sweet potatoes andr vitamin E to promote skin health and ease the pain of postherpetic neuropathy.
– Consider a personalized supplement to fill in any gaps in your nutrition plan.
Foods you should avoid:
– Excess coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
– Fried foods and all other fatty foods. Fatty foods could suppress the immune system and that’s the last thing you need when you’re fighting postherpetic neuropathy.
– Cut back on animal protein. High-protein foods elevate the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine which are both tied to high levels of anxiety and stress.
– Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol consumption limits the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body and can make a bad situation worse.
– Avoid sugar. You don’t have to eliminate sweets completely, just control them. Sugar contains no essential nutrients. Keeping your blood sugar level constant will help control your irritability.
– Control your salt intake. Opt for a salt substitute with potassium instead of sodium and stay away from preserved foods like bacon, ham, pickles, etc. Reducing the amount of salt you eat will help ease inflammation and that alone will work wonders in the healing process.
Talk to an affiliated clinician for a personalized diet plan to help you to help your body to heal with the right nutritional support for postherpetic neuropathy.
Give Your Body A Break by Managing Stress
We all know that stress is a killer. But few of us really take steps to manage the stress in our lives. By keeping your stress level under control, you give your body a chance to use the resources it was using to deal with stress to actually heal itself.
Some tips for managing your stress level:
– Exercise regularly. You don’t have to get out and run a marathon. Just walk briskly for about 15 minutes a day, every day, to start. You can build from there.
– Employ relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga or meditation. Any of these will calm the mind and, in turn, calm the body and nerves.
– Find a hobby that will take your mind off your pain.
Ask your clinician for suggestions and make stress management a part of your treatment plan to overcome postherpetic neuropathy. But remember, healing is a process not an event. Be patient with yourself and start the healing process today.
We hope this gives you some tips to get started on the road to putting postherpetic neuropathy behind you. Working with your medical team, including your local NeuropathyDR specialist, to design a nutrition and treatment plan tailored to your specific needs is a great place to start.
For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com
What You Need to Know About Shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia
You wake up one morning to a red painful rash…
A band of blisters wrapped around your body from the middle of your back around your side to your breastbone. As if that weren’t bad enough, you may also have
– Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
– Fluid-filled blisters
– Body aches
– Fever and chills
If not for the rash, you might think you were coming down with the flu. Instead, your first thought is that you’re having an allergic reaction to food, or a new bath soap or even the perfume in your laundry detergent…
But if you are
– Over 50 years of age
– Had chicken pox at some point in your life
– Have an autoimmune disease
– Have any other health issue or significant stress that weakens your immune system
You probably have a virus called Varicella zoster virus (VZV), more commonly known as shingles. VZV is the same virus that causes chicken pox. Once you’ve had chicken pox, the virus lies dormant in your system until it’s reactivated by various risk factors and you develop shingles.
And that’s a good news/bad news diagnosis.
Contrary to several old wives’ tales, shingles is not life-threatening…that’s the good news.
The bad news is that shingles is extremely painful and you may experience nerve pain (Postherpetic Neuropathy) long after the actual rash and other symptoms are gone.
If you think you have shingles or that you might be at risk of developing them, this is what you need to know about shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia:
Is Shingles Contagious?
Yes, like chicken pox, shingles is contagious. You can pass the shingles virus to anyone who hasn’t had chicken pox. And how’s this for a twist? The person you pass the virus to will develop chicken pox, not shingles.
Fortunately, the shingles virus is not an airborne virus. It’s passed through direct contact with the open sores caused by shingles. Until your blisters are healed, you are contagious. Avoid contact with
– Pregnant women
– Anyone with a weakened immune system
How Is Shingles Treated?
Shingles is not life-threatening and, much like any other virus, it will probably resolve on its own within a few weeks.
However, getting to the doctor as soon as your shingles appear (within 72 hours) is the wise (and much less painful) course of action to speed up the healing process and lessen the likelihood of potentially serious complications.
Once your doctor confirms that you have shingles, usually through taking a complete history and physical and cultures from your rash, the standard course of treatment is anti-viral and pain medications to kill the virus and make you more comfortable.
To help the medication work, you need to get plenty of rest, avoid stress and either take a cool bath or use cold wet compresses to ease the itch and pain.
What Are Some of the Complications from Shingles?
While shingles is not a serious illness, some of the complications arising from shingles can be.
Your blisters go away but the pain remains. Postherpetic Neuropathy is caused by damaged nerve fibers sending exaggerated pain messages to your brain. Pain medication, antidepressants or even anticonvulsant medications are often prescribed to bring relief from Postherpetic Neuropathy; however, repairing the damaged nerves is more desirable for long term relief. Contact your local NeuropathyDR clinician to ask about their unique treatment protocol for treating Postherpetic Neuropathy and repairing the damaged nerves.
Loss of Vision
If your shingles erupt around or in your eyes, you can develop serious eye infections that could damage your eyes and result in loss of vision. If you have shingles anywhere on your face, contact a healthcare professional for immediate treatment.
Depending upon where your shingles erupt and which nerves they affect, you can develop
– Hearing or balance problems
– Facial paralysis
– Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
If your shingles blisters are not properly treated, you can develop skin infections cause by bacteria. If the skin around your shingles becomes reddened, warm, firm, or possibly has red streaks spreading out from the affected area, contact your doctor. You will need antibiotics to stop the infection.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
This complication is rare but it does happen. If cranial nerves are affected by shingles you can develop Ramsay Hunt Syndrome resulting in facial nerve weakness and deafness. If you have shingles around or inside your ear, seek medical treatment immediately.
How Can I Protect Myself From Shingles?
The best way to protect yourself from shingles is to stay healthy, control stress and exercise on a regular basis.
The shingles vaccine is often recommended for people who are 60 years of age or older and have actually had chicken pox. Again, this vaccine won’t guarantee that you won’t develop shingles but it could lessen the severity of symptoms. It might reduce your chances of developing Postherpetic Neuralgia.
A word of caution – do not get the vaccination if you
– Have ever had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin or any other component of the shingles vaccine. Ask your healthcare provider what’s in the vaccine before you are vaccinated.
– Are receiving radiation, chemotherapy or any kind of steroid treatment
– Have ever had bone marrow cancer or any cancer affecting the lymphatic system
And by all means, if you know someone has shingles, exercise precautions!
We hope this information helps you deal with this very uncomfortable illness and the possible lasting effects of Postherpetic Neuropathy. Having a bit more background information on your illness will help you participate in your care and give you a better chance of a positive outcome.
Don’t just live in pain. Call us today at 781-659-7989 and talk to us about treating your shingles & postherpetic neuropathy with our NeuropathyDR Treatment Systems.
Attempting to Diagnosis and Treat Neuropathic Pain On Your Own Just Delays Effective Treatment (and Could Worsen Your Symptoms)
In some ways, the Internet has been a blessing in terms of the availability of medical information. This can be so helpful if you suspect that you have the flu, or a mild skin rash, or poison ivy.
Where it’s not helpful, and may be very harmful indeed, is when you rely entirely on the Internet for self-diagnosis of serious health concerns related to neuropathic pain—including diabetic neuropathy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, shingles, peripheral neuropathy, or chemotherapy neuropathy.
When you attempt to self-diagnose and self-treat these conditions, you are impeding a truly helpful evaluation by a trained neuropathy doctor that can prevent additional nerve damage and substantially improve your quality of life.
In short, by attempting to treat your own neuropathic pain, you are wasting your health and valuable time—in short, making your condition worse. Early treatment is crucial for the success of eliminating neuropathic pain.
We’ve talked to so many patients with neuropathic pain who delayed seeing a NeuropathyDR® clinician because they wanted to save money. They inevitably tell us that they regret the wasted time and the long-term expense caused by increased nerve damage and all that it entails.
When you are dealing with neuropathy related to diabetes, chemotherapy treatment, and other serious conditions, it’s so important to think long-term. Neuropathy isn’t just an annoying side effect. It is a degenerative condition that will get worse over time and complicate other health concerns.
You may have learned that self-reliance and “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” is a good thing. In the case of neuropathic pain symptoms, however, the worst thing you can do is spend time trying to diagnosis and treat yourself.
When we say that self-treatment and home care is important, we’re referring to lifestyle elements implemented over time that complement the medical therapies recommended for you by your NeuropathyDR® clinician.
Self-treatment is an important component of your neuropathy treatment, AFTER a clinical diagnosis. Anything else is just a delaying tactic—one that could severely impact your health, not just today but years from now.
To read more about the diagnosis process and where to go from here with neuropathic pain, take a look at our neuropathy “owner’s manual”: I Beat Neuropathy!
Self-Diagnosing Neuropathic Pain is a Dangerous Game is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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Nutrition Plays a Big Role in Healing Neuropathy—and Poor Nutrition Can Make Your Symptoms Worse.
Neuropathy symptoms resulting from conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, lupus, diabetes, or shingles can make life pretty miserable. Unfortunately, a medical treatment program focused on managing neuropathy only through injections or other medication may ultimately provide you with little relief.
That’s because so many symptoms of neuropathy are caused or made worse by nutritional deficiencies. Only by addressing those key elements missing in your diet can you see substantial and long-term improvement in neuropathy pain.
A beneficial neuropathy diet is especially important for you if you’re also dealing with gastritis, Crohn’s disease, or similar types of digestive issues. In that case, your body is simply not able to absorb the needed nutrients from the foods you eat, leading to chronic vitamin deficiency that over time can encourage neuropathy symptoms. As you can see, your body’s ability to process nutrients properly can have systemic effects that go beyond your digestive system to alter your quality of life.
Fortunately, what this means is that you can take charge of your neuropathy symptoms by making dietary changes. Following a neuropathy diet, along with other supportive treatments recommended by your NeuropathyDR® clinician, is likely to manifest noticeable differences in your symptoms.
Key Elements of a Neuropathy Diet
A nutritional plan for neuropathy should include the following:
Lots of veges, beans and peas otherwise known as legumes and with any grains always going gluten free; these can be a great source of B vitamins to support nerve health.
- Eggs and fish, which contain additional B vitamins including B1 and B12.
- Fruits and vegetables with a yellow or orange color, including yellow bell peppers, squash, oranges, and carrots, which contain vitamin C and vitamin A for an immune system boost.
- Kale, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables that offer magnesium and calcium for your immune system and nerve health.
- Foods rich in vitamin E (avocado, almonds, unsalted peanuts, tomatoes, unsalted sunflower seeds, fish).
If there are any nutrient gaps in your neuropathy diet due to an inability to eat some of the foods listed above, your NeuropathyDR® clinician will work with you to provide an appropriate supplement.
Remember, one key way that you can take charge of your health starting today is to implement beneficial dietary changes. Your neuropathy diet can make all the difference in the world.
For more information about neuropathy diet components and other ways to take control of your neuropathy symptoms, take a look at these resources for Self-Guided Care.
What Are the Key Elements of a Beneficial Neuropathy Diet? is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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If You Have Neuropathy Pain from Guillain-Barre Syndrome or CIDP, There Are Special Considerations When Choosing Whether to Have a Flu Shot. Keep Reading for Details On How to Weigh the Risks and Benefits.
Flu season will be here before we know it. Most healthy adults will choose to get a flu shot to help stop the spread of this sometimes incapacitating illness, which can be responsible for thousands of deaths every year. And finding a place to get immunized is easy, with availability at nearly any drugstore, pharmacy, and walk-in clinic. Your insurance may even cover the cost.
But for some, deciding whether to get a flu shot isn’t an easy decision. People with neuropathy pain face a tough dilemma due to potential reactions to the vaccine. The list of folks who may be wary of the flu vaccine due to possible side effects includes people with peripheral neuropathy caused by cancer treatments, immune disorders such as AIDS and HIV, celiac disease, liver or kidney disease, shingles, and diabetes.
It’s important for people with neuropathy pain to realize that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) actually recommends getting a flu shot due to the serious complications that can arise from flu exposure with certain underlying illnesses.
However, if you have neuropathy pain caused by some illnesses, including Guillain-Barre Syndrome and CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy), you will need to discuss this issue in detail with their doctors. That’s because the immune system stimulation from a flu shot can sometimes trigger a relapse of these illnesses. Many doctors will recommend waiting a year after symptoms cease before receiving a flu shot.
Who is most at risk of catching and transmitting the flu virus? The CDC says you may want to consider getting a flu shot if any of these apply to you:
• You’re at least 50 years old. (Children under 19 are also at higher risk.)
• You are dealing with a chronic serious medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease.
• You are a resident of a long-term care facility or nursing home.
• You are living with someone who is in a high-risk category, such as a child who is below the recommended age for vaccination.
Ultimately, whether to be vaccinated for the flu is your decision. People with neuropathy pain should speak with their doctors or NeuropathyDR clinicians about this issue before taking action.
Looking for more discussion about special topics on neuropathy pain? Come talk with us at our Facebook page.
Should People with Neuropathy Pain Get a Flu Shot? is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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