There are a number of different kinds of therapy for neuropathy aside from standard medication. Some of the most common include physical therapy, support groups, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy. A person with diabetic neuropathy may be advised to make changes to his or her diet, including reducing alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, and getting more exercise. Certain medications may exacerbate neuropathy; in this case, the patient may need to ask the treating physician about an alternative drug.
Physical therapy is often used to help treat the symptoms of neuropathy. The goals included maintaining good levels of range of motion and strengthening muscles which may help reduce pain. Techniques to achieve these goals include exercises to minimize excess pressure on certain areas of the body, massage to relax muscles, and application of ice and heat.
Therapy for neuropathy may also include support groups. Neuropathy can be a frustrating condition and may lead to the patient feeling alone and discouraged. For this reason, neuropathy support is important and can improve a person’s mental state. Neuropathy support groups are also a good place to share and discover techniques for managing the condition.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is another form of therapy for neuropathy. It involves the application of a small electric current which helps to stimulate nerves in the body and reduce pain. TENS is considered to be a safe treatment, but needs to be ongoing in order to prevent the symptoms of neuropathy from returning. If treatment stops, then symptoms will usually return within a month.
In certain cases, therapy for neuropathy involves eliminating the cause. Sometimes the condition is made worse by alcohol or smoking, so cutting down on these substances can reduce the symptoms. Neuropathy is also sometimes caused by certain types of medication which may need to be adjusted by the doctor. If the symptoms are due to a vitamin deficiency, the patient’s diet may need to change in order to include more nutrients.
There are a number of other types of therapy for neuropathy including acupuncture and dietary supplements. Which treatments are suitable for a particular patient depends on the type of neuropathy and how severe the condition is. Neuropathy treatment usually begins with medication, but other treatments are often required in order to treat the underlying condition. Therapy for neuropathy may involve a range of different treatments, but the underlying objectives of reducing pain and preventing further nerve damage are always the same.