Don’t go it alone. Here’s why accepting support from family and friends is so important in treating chronic pain.
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.
Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is SO Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need) is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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Sleep Problems are Common among Neuropathy Patients. Here’s What You Can Do to Make It Better.
Sleep disturbances aren’t unusual for most people during times of stress or illness. But people with neuropathy tend to experience sleep problems more often, and in a more severe way, than the general population.
You may have already experienced how a lack of sufficient restful sleep can negatively impact your daily function. It can also be detrimental to your long-term health and quality of life.
If you’re not getting enough restful sleep, your body’s major systems just aren’t able to recharge like they need to in order to combat neuropathy symptoms. You’ll be noticing more and more weight gain, fatigue, depression, and chronic pain over time as you continue losing sleep.
It’s so important to share information about your sleep problems with your neuropathy specialist, who can build sleep adjustment into your overall treatment plan.
You can also make lifestyle changes starting right away to help improve your sleep quality and reduce neuropathy symptoms. Daily movement or exercise, preferably outdoors for the addition of vitamin D from sunlight, is very important for neuropathy sufferers with insomnia. Stress reduction is another key to healthy sleep to supplement your neuropathy treatment. Make sure to also get enough water and eat foods from a healthy neuropathy diet. Some patients (those without kidney disease) may want to ask their doctors about magnesium supplements.
Another option is the daily use of our home care kit featuring an FDA-approved electrotherapy neurostimulator. By reducing tingling and other symptoms that can distract you from sleep, this daily care program can get help you get more Z’s on a regular basis. The NDGen Home Care Kit also offers automatic shut-off and a timer so that you can safely use it while drifting off to sleep. Take a look at our NDGen neuropathy home care kit.
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You Can Reduce Neuropathy Symptoms Through Appropriate Movement, Even If Exercise Usually Tends to Be Painful.
Even if your neuropathy symptoms leave you feeling like it’s impossible to exercise…
There ARE ways to get moving and stay active while supporting your neuropathy treatment needs.
Your doctor will tell you that gentle, appropriate exercise will help you maintain a healthier weight, improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your bones, manage your blood sugar levels, and even help to ward off depression and anxiety.
The best exercise for reducing neuropathy symptoms is focused on gentle, fluid movement that isn’t jarring or overly taxing. Here are a few types of gentle exercise that you may want to consider as part of an overall treatment plan for neuropathy symptoms.
- Stretching is a basic but essential way to keep your body limber despite neuropathy symptoms. Try to develop a self-directed program of stretches that you do each day before getting out of bed as well as a few stretches to help you unwind before bed.
- Tai Chi is a type of martial art that involves very slowly and deliberately working each of the muscle groups in your body. It is considered a very gentle form of exercise that can also improve your circulation and improve mood.
- Some types of yoga are appropriate for people with neuropathy symptoms. Look for a class or video that is called “gentle” or “restorative” yoga. You don’t need to be particularly flexible or limber to participate in yoga and can move at your own pace.
- Swimming or a gentle version of water aerobics are both great movement choices for anyone who has difficulty or pain from walking. The support of warm water can help to loosen up your body and support your joints, as well as reducing pressure on your feet.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before undergoing any change in your activity level.
For more tips on reducing neuropathy symptoms, see our neuropathy owners manual: I Beat Neuropathy!
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Does Your Neuropathy Treatment Plan Address Underlying Anxiety and Depression?
Most patients in neuropathy treatment are dealing with more than just physical symptoms. Depression and anxiety are extremely common among those struggling with the various forms of neuropathy. That’s because neuropathy is a global condition that affects your nervous system in addition to the emotional stress brought on by any major medical condition.
Whether you are newly diagnosed and not sure where to turn, or already in the care of a highly trained neuropathy treatment clinician, it’s not unusual for anxiety or depression to be a daily part of your life.
But there is help. In addition to talking honestly with your doctor about these difficulties, you can take action right away to help yourself heal from the anxiety and depression that comes with neuropathy treatment.
The first step is to identify what you can’t control in the course of your neuropathy treatment, as well as what you CAN control. Make an effort to let go of those things that are out of your reach and trust your neuropathy doctor to competently follow the neuropathy treatment plan you have outlined together.
Make a list of the things you do have control over. Most likely this includes all the things you can do at home:
- Movement and appropriate exercise
- Relaxation exercises
- Reducing stress in your environment
- Spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer
- Bringing joy into your life through family and friend relationships, pets, new hobbies, etc.
- Prioritizing your physical and emotional needs first, especially if you are in a caregiver role
Although self care at home for anxiety and depression is a vital part of neuropathy treatment, make sure you aren’t trying to go it alone. Talk with your doctor today about getting the support you need for depression or anxiety symptoms.
If your current doctor is not trained in current approaches to neuropathy treatment including complementary therapies, click here to locate a NeuropathyDR® specialist near you.
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LED Use is Growing as a Neuropathy Treatment—Here’s Why.
LED stands for “light emitting diodes,” and it’s a modality that has been around for many years now. We have evolved from treating wounds and diseases with simple exposure to sunlight beginning centuries ago, to providing targeted light energy to heal specific types of pain and illness by penetrating the body’s tissues with light particles.
In terms of neuropathy treatment, LED technology is capable of stimulating greater efficiency of the body’s processes at a cellular level. In short, this means improving metabolism.
Our main focus from 2008 has been treating peripheral neuropathy through metabolic stimulation. We’ve used electrotherapy and LED therapy to accomplish this.
The NeuropathyDR approach combines many different neuropathy treatment modalities that have been shown to be effective in reducing or eliminating neuropathic pain and discomfort, particularly for those who suffer from complications of wound healing due to diabetes.
Your NeuropathyDR clinician will tailor your neuropathy treatment for your specific health challenges, due to the unique nature of neuropathic pain for each individual. Some of the key components of NeuropathyDR treatment often include:
- Nutrition and supplementation
- Exercise and physical therapy
- LED therapy
- Hands-on, injection-free therapy modalities
- Neurostimulation techniques
- Relaxation and stress management
Your NeuropathyDR clinician will create a custom treatment plan just for you, based on your medical history and symptoms as well as a thorough physical examination to provide additional data about your health condition.
It’s so important in neuropathy treatment to follow a strategic, detailed wellness plan based on your individual needs. With trained NeuropathyDR clinicians throughout the U.S. and beyond, you are likely to find a clinician near you who can provide this hands-on, injection-free care. You can also take a look at our NDGen kit for at-home neuropathy treatment.
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