Neuropathy & Massage
NEUROPATHY is a disease affecting the peripheral nerves. These are the nerves which send electrical signals (i.e., messages) from our extremities to our spinal cord. Neuropathy is very common, with more than 30M cases per year in the US. Treatment from a medical professional is advised because diagnosis will often require lab testing and/or imaging.
Nerve damage could be caused due to several different conditions, with diabetes being the most common cause. The
most commonly noted symptoms are pain and numbness, muscle problems and problems with body organs. The
treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on its cause. The most commonly used method of treatment being
Symptoms of neuropathy depend on which nerve is damaged, and whether the damage affects one nerve, several nerves, or the whole body.
Here are the most common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy:
- Tingling in the hands or feet
- Sharp, stabbing pain
- Numbness in the hands or feet
- A weak, heavy feeling in the arms and legs, which sometimes may feel like your legs or arms lock in place
- Regularly dropping things from your hands
- A buzzing or shocking sensation
- A drop in blood pressure
- Sexual dysfunction, especially in men
- Digestive difficulty
- Excessive sweating
Treatment may be more successful for certain underlying causes. For example, if diabetes is causing the condition, then the diabetes should be controlled.
Medications used for neuropathy include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): To control pain.
- Antidepressants: These drugs are used for relieving pain.
Venlafaxine · Nortriptyline
- Anti-seizure medication: For relief from nerve pain.
Gabapentin · Pregabalin
Self-care for neuropathy includes:
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Eat healthy meals
- Avoid excessive alcohol
- Take care of the feet
Therapies for neuropathy: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) · Plasmapheresis
Neuropathy is very common. There are many types and causes. Often, no definite cause can be found, although diabetes is the most common cause. High blood sugar levels over a long time can damage nerves. This is why diabetes is of special concern.
The major causes of peripheral neuropathy are as follows:
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Some drugs, for example, chemotherapy and HIV treatment
- Iron or folate vitamin deficiencies
- Poisons, such as insecticides and solvents
- Some kinds of cancer, including lymphoma and multiple myeloma
- Chronic liver disease
Massage therapy is beneficial for neuropathy because of the calming effect on nerves and muscle tissue. Massage causes the release of hormones which relax muscle tissue. Massage increases blood flow. This increase in blood flow helps to minimize pain.
Early diagnosis and treatment of peripheral neuropathy is important, because the peripheral nerves have a limited capacity to regenerate, and treatment may only stop the progression -- not reverse damage. If you have become severely impaired, you may need physical therapy to help retain strength and avoid muscle cramping and spasms
In summary, neuropathy is more prevalent than you might think. It is a disease in which the nerves messages from our fingers/toes, hands/feet, arms/legs, and organs are not making their way to our brains for interpretation. If you notice any of the signs, you should make it your business to get examined so you can get started on treatment.
Sidney McDonald, B.S., LMT
Certified Geriatric Massage Therapist
You owe it to yourself.
Massage by HARAMBE
Sidney McDonald 412.654.3749 email@example.com