In medicine, taking a holistic approach means treating the whole person – body, mind, spirit, and emotions – to achieve one’s optimal health and wellness. For example, if a patient comes in with a sharp, jabbing pain in his hand – a symptom of peripheral neuropathy – a holistic treatment plan may not only include pain relief medicine but also address underlying causes of pain. A holistic approach focuses both on treatment and prevention of further damage or progression of chronic conditions.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
In the US, nearly 20 million people suﬀer from peripheral nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy is a condition involving damage to the peripheral nervous system, or the nerves running from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Diﬀerent symptoms can occur when nerves are damaged since every peripheral nerve has a highly specialized function in a speciﬁc part of the body. Symptoms can harm your ability to perform daily activities and can reduce your quality of life, such as:
- Numbness, tingling, prickling sensations, or sensitivity to touch caused by sensory nerve damage.
- Muscle cramping and shrinking, or reﬂex abnormalities caused by motor nerve damage.
- Excess sweating, rapid heartbeat, heat intolerance, or diarrhea caused by autonomic nerve damage.
Peripheral neuropathy is usually caused by diabetes (called diabetic neuropathy), some medications (especially those used to treat cancer), other diseases (including kidney, liver, cancer, and autoimmune disease), and vitamin deﬁciencies.
How Can High Frequency Electric Stimulation Help with Peripheral Neuropathy?
A drug-free treatment that has become popular for managing pain is electric stimulation. According to a study by the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, electrical stimulation may be an eﬀective alternative and adjunctive therapy to current interventions for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Another study even found that one promising strategy to accelerate peripheral nerve regeneration is the application of electrical stimulation directly on the injured nerve.
A device like BioWave® could help with peripheral neuropathy. It is simple to place the electrodes on the area of pain and it has a smarter pain blocking technology delivering a signal straight to the source of pain in deep tissue. BioWave’s patented, FDA cleared smarter pain blocking technology delivers high-frequency electrical waves to block pain deep at the nerve and provide long-lasting pain relief.
Are There Other Ways To Treat Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is not reversible or curable, but there are diﬀerent methods of treatment to ease the pain, according to The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy. The main focus of treatment is to relieve pain, reduce discomfort and restore function. Doctors may prescribe nerve pain medications which may include corticosteroids, narcotics or opioids, tramadol, or some antidepressants. They could also prescribe topical ointments such as lidocaine, menthol, and methyl salicylate.
In addition to these medications, there are complementary and alternative therapies that are drug-free and non-invasive which may help manage the pain caused by peripheral neuropathy. These may be combined with other medications and treatments:
An ancient Chinese tradition used to treat pain by inserting needles into the body’s pressure points to stimulate the nervous system, this method helps reduce symptoms such as numbness and tingling pain. It also provides an energy balance to the body that can aﬀect your emotional well-being.
Biofeedback is a therapy that uses an electrical machine to help identify, monitor and learn to manage your body’s physiological responses. It helps people learn to alter activities usually controlled by the autonomic nervous system such as heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle activity.
- Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga can help lower stress, improve coping skills and decrease pain intensity. Taking a mind-body approach is a technique that provides you with more control over your peripheral neuropathy symptoms.
Adopt Healthy Habits to Prevent or Treat Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy involves damage to the peripheral nerves. It can be frustrating, painful, and diﬃcult to treat. Adopting healthy living habits is key to prevent or treat any health issues that may be at the root of peripheral neuropathy.
“Living healthy doesn’t have to be complicated or grueling,” Dr. Dan McClimon, a holistic neuropathy doctor, shared in an Instagram post. “It can be as simple as integrating small changes into your lifestyle.”
Check out BioWave’s blog for more tips on how to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle