By Elissa Bass
It started out as simply feeling as if your foot had fallen asleep. But gradually over time, you realize that both your feet are feeling numb, and sometimes even your hands.
The numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands begins to spread upward into your legs and arms. Then it changes to sharp, jabbing, throbbing, freezing or burning pain.
When you walk, you feel less coordinated, and you worry that you are going to fall.
What’s going on?
You may be suffering from peripheral neuropathy. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Your peripheral nervous system sends information from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of your body.”
The Mayo Clinic identifies the following causes of peripheral neuropathy:
- Poor dietary choices made by people with alcoholism can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
- Autoimmune diseases. These include Sjogren's syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and necrotizing vasculitis.
- More than half the people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy.
- Exposure to poisons. Toxic substances include heavy metals or chemicals.
- Certain medications, especially those used to treat cancer (chemotherapy), can cause peripheral neuropathy.
- These include certain viral or bacterial infections, including Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, leprosy, diphtheria and HIV.
- Inherited disorders. Disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are hereditary types of neuropathy.
- Trauma or pressure on the nerve. Traumas, such as from motor vehicle accidents, falls or sports injuries, can sever or damage peripheral nerves. Nerve pressure can result from having a cast or using crutches or repeating a motion such as typing many times.
- Growths, cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign), can develop on the nerves or press nerves. Also, polyneuropathy can arise as a result of some cancers related to the body's immune response. These are a form of paraneoplastic syndrome.
- Vitamin deficiencies. B vitamins — including B-1, B-6 and B-12 — vitamin E and niacin are crucial to nerve health.
- Bone marrow disorders. These include abnormal protein in the blood (monoclonal gammopathies), a form of bone cancer (osteosclerotic myeloma), lymphoma and amyloidosis.
- Other diseases. These include kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders and an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
If you notice unusual tingling, weakness or pain in your hands or feet, make sure you tell your doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance for controlling symptoms and preventing further damage to your peripheral nerves.
Peripheral Neuropathy Can Be Managed
Beth Dawson was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy.
“I progressively got worse and worse,” she said. “My gait was off, I didn’t walk like I had, I had to walk slower, I had to hang on to my husband. When I walked there was pain in my feet, especially in my heels. I was really thinking I was headed towards a walker and maybe even a wheelchair.”
Beth was told by her physician there was no cure for her condition.
While it’s true that peripheral neuropathy cannot be cured, it can be managed through treatment. The most prevalent treatments are pregabalin and duloxetine, which are the only medications approved for treatment of peripheral neuropathy symptoms by the FDA.
However, an increasing number of patients are treating their peripheral neuropathy with Near Infrared therapy (NIR). NIR, which is cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is a painless, drug-free, prescription-free and non-invasive treatment for peripheral neuropathy symptoms.
LumenMD Offers Near Infrared Therapy Devices
LumenMD devices offer an efficient and comfortable experience for patients requiring treatment for peripheral neuropathy. They can be used for a variety of applications ranging from pain-points, such as elbows or knees, to larger muscle groups, such as the back and shoulders.
Research backs the effectiveness of Near Infrared therapy (NIR) to provide pain relief for symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. LumenMD uses cutting-edge, clinical-strength and FDA-cleared technology to provide sensation relief for symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
All LumenMD devices come with complete support and are easy to use. Simply strap them on and activate with the easy-to-use controller. Then relax for 20 minutes before switching the unit to the other side. If you lose track of time, the unit will automatically shut off. Watch TV, read or even doze off while you receive circulation-improving and pain-reducing Near Infrared (NIR) energy therapy.
For more information on LumenMD, visit our website at https://lumenmd.com/, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 833-LumenMD (833-586-3663)