Posts for: January, 2015
Do you have numbness, burning, stabbing pain in the hands and feet? It's called by many names: neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, or nerve pain. Thankfully, podiatrists have many treatment options available to offer their neuropathy patients. One revolutionary treatment is TENS, or Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation. To know if it can be helpful, the doctor and patient should evaluate this signs and symptoms of this chronic and potentially debilitating health problem, determine its cause, and then decide if TENS is the right way to go.
What is the source of neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is caused by a wide range of health issues, with the most common culprit being diabetes. However, other common causes include:
- exposure to toxins
- problems with metabolism
- vitamin deficiencies, particularly in B1, B6, B12, E and Niacin
Besides the characteristic pain, numbness and tingling, neuropathy can cause other issues such as blood pressure fluctuations, muscle weakness, sensitivity to touch, heat intolerance, sweating, and bladder and bowel problems.
There is hope for nerve pain.
Sufferers say neuropathy is persistently troublesome, causing sleep disturbances and reduced sensation which can lead to unrecognized and untreated injuries and infections. Doctors can prescribe medications to reduce these signs and symptoms. They may even use surgery and physical therapy to treat neuropathy.
A promising tool in the fight against peripheral neuropathy is TENS.
What is TENS, and how can it help?
TENS, or Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation, is a procedure that can be prescribed, in which an experienced and skilled foot doctor can apply to a patient's extremity to relieve the symptoms of neuropathy and, in particular, its pain.
Electrodes are put on the patient's skin with a light adhesive. The doctor positions them above and below the symptomatic area of the body. Then, the TENS unit delivers small electrical impulses to the area.
These electrical impulses are painless for the patient, and no drugs are used during the treatment. The science behind TENS is simple: the electricity blocks the pain signals which the affected nerves are sending to the brain.
In addition, research seems to indicate that the electricity stimulates the pituitary gland and the central nervous system to produce their own natural painkillers called endorphins. While the pain-reducing effect is temporary, it can provide the individual with significant relief from the stabbing, burning and tingling sensations characteristic of peripheral neuropathy.
Can TENS help me manage my neuropathy?
Individuals who suffer from peripheral neuropathy should discuss this with their health care provider, and in particular, with a skilled podiatrist. Other lifestyle helps include:
- stopping smoking
- controlling blood sugar levels
- wearing supportive shoes and cotton socks
- eating a healthy diet
- limiting the intake of alcohol
For further information on TENS, call the Foot and Ankle Institute of Nevada in Sparks, Nevada. Douglas Doxey DPM ABPS and L. Bruce Ford DPM, DABPS will help you get to the source of your nerve pain and put together a treatment plan to relieve the symptoms. Call their office for an appointment: 508-222-2510.
One of the services offered by Sparks NV podiatrist Dr. L. Bruce Ford is nerve surgery. Nerve surgery is a very delicate procedure because it requires the doctor to repair the connections that cause your feet and toes to feel and operate properly. Here are a few things you may not have known about nerve surgery that you should know in advance of yours.
Helps Restore Sensation in the Feet
The main purpose of nerve surgery is to restore sensation (feeling) to the feet and toes. Over time or with injuries, the nerves of the feet can become compressed. Continuous pressure in one spot of the foot can cause the tissues to scar and go numb. Some medical treatments, like chemotherapy can also cause patients to lose feeling in their feet. Nerve surgery decompresses the nerves by releasing them from the affected tissue.
The Nerves Have to Be Magnified
The nerves in our bodies are too tiny to see with the naked eye. So when Sparks NV podiatrist Dr. Ford is operating on the nerves of the foot, he uses high-powered magnifying equipment to view them clearly. This type of procedure is called “microsurgery” and requires a very skilled surgeon.
Diabetic Patients Are Often Candidates
Nerve surgery is a common procedure for patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetic patients who don’t have their condition treated often have problems with compressed nerves in the feet. This surgery helps to restore feeling and function to their feet before the problem worsens. Oftentimes, patients who have foot numbness or loss of sensation are don’t even know that they have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Consult Dr. Ford About How Nerve Surgery Can Help You
If you have a problem with numb, weak, tingling or painful feet, consult Sparks NV podiatrist Dr. L. Bruce Ford about whether you’re a good candidate for nerve surgery. Initial appointments can be requested online at http://www.bruceforddpm.com or you can call 775-331-1919 to speak to a friendly receptionist at the Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada.