At Arizona Health Pros in Phoenix, we offer a wide variety of treatments and testing done in our office, to provide help with neuropathy!
A physical examination together with a medical history is used by your doctor to assist in the diagnosis process.Physical examinations are great for the fact that they can be interpreted immediately. Physical examinations are not only reserved for patients experiencing symptoms or those who need help with neuropathy, but is also recommended as a way of ensuring your general health is good – you won’t always notice symptoms when something is wrong. For example, your blood pressure may be high but you may not be experiencing any obvious symptoms.
Peripheral neuropathy (PN), or nerve damage of the extremities, is one of the most common complications of diabetes (60 percent of all people with the disease develop it at some point). Symptoms include burning, tingling, numbness, a prickly sensation (like “pins and needles”), and muscle weakness. Neuropathy is the result of chronically high blood sugars, so the best way to prevent it is to maintain good glucose control. To check for neuropathy, your doctor should perform a monofilament test a measure of the sensation in your feet at least annually. In this simple yet sensitive evaluation, the monofilament, which is a piece of plastic fiber resembling fishing line, is touched against various parts of the sole of your foot, and your ability to feel it at varying pressure is assessed. It is sometimes called the l0 gram monofilament test because the fiber is calibrated to bend to 10 grams of pressure. Your doctor may also use a tuning fork on the bottoms of your feet to see if you can sense the vibration. Nerve conduction studies or velocity tests, which use electrodes to stimulate nerves and then measure the resulting impulses, are a less frequently used, more sophisticated method of diagnosing some neuropathies. Electromyography (EMG), which uses thin needles inserted into the muscles to measure electrical impulses, may also be prescribed. These latter two tests can be painful, and may not be ordered unless there is some question about the diagnosis.
NERVE CONDUCTION TESTING
A nerve conduction study (NCS) is a test commonly used to evaluate the function, especially the ability of electrical conduction, of the motor and sensory nerves of the human body. It is one of the tests that may be performed on patients needing help with neuropathy.
Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel to expose the body to high-frequency sound waves. Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
Electrical Nerve Stimulation is the use of electric current produced by a device to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. Nerve Stimulation by definition covers the complete range of transcutaneously applied currents used for nerve excitation although the term is often used with a more restrictive intent, namely to describe the kind of pulses produced by portable stimulators used to treat pain. The unit is usually connected to the skin using two or more electrodes. A Nerve Stimulation unit is able to modulate pulse width, frequency and intensity. Generally Nerve Stimulation is applied at high frequency (>50 Hz) with an intensity below motor contraction (sensory intensity) or low frequency (<10 Hz) with an intensity that produces motor contraction.
PERIPHERAL INFILTRATE NERVE BLOCK
The saphenous, superficial peroneal, and sural nerve blocks is gaining popularity not only for procedural anesthesia but also for treatment of chronic neuropathy pain. Recently, its use has been demonstrated to be an effective regional technique for non-systemic neuropathy pain.
While the saphenous, superficial peroneal, and sural nerves can be blocked above the knee, at the level of the knee, below the knee, or just above the malleolus, these nerve are commonly blocked at the ankle because of its predictable and superficial location.
Vasopneumatic compression is used to reduce swelling and inflammation in the upper or lower extremities following surgery or other injury. Typically, a boot or sleeve is used to cover the injured limb. The boot or sleeve is then filled with air by a small compressor thus causing compression of the limb. Compression is maintained a set period of time and then released.
For many years, physicians and therapists who aim to help with neuropathy problems have applied a physical therapy process known as vestibular rehabilitation to improve balance function. The Korebalance device is an essential component of any rehabilitation program and delivers a higher quality of therapy due to the ability to adjust difficulty levels and tasks over time. The Korebalance suite of products goes beyond the doctor’s office and into the gym or home where patients can continue therapy and improve at a quicker rate and return to ideal balance function.
However, the Korebalance advantage is not limited to those with balance disorders. Korebalance products include gym and home models designed to improve balance function in those without impairments. This type of training allows individuals to work out harder and more effectively and improves athletic performance for all levels of athletes from amateur to professional.
Korebalance is the only company that provides a suite of products useful in initial rehabilitation, maintenance therapy, and in balance normal individuals seeking better athletic performance and better workouts.
One of the more difficult and uncomfortable types of pain comes from nerve pain (called Neuropathic pain or Neuropathies). Whether the pain comes from diabetes, shingles, fibromyalgia, chemotherapy, or a host of other causes, this searing, burning, electric shock kind of pain can leave you miserable. Unfortunately, most physicians are still not trained in treating nerve pain, and give anti-inflammatory medications like Motrin (which are not effective) or narcotics, which are modestly effective.
The good news is that NERVE PAIN IS VERY TREATABLE. Many studies have shown that using nutritional support with lipoic acid 300 mg 2x day, Acetyl L-Carnitine 500-1,500 mg 2x day, Inositol (500-1,000 mg a day), and Vitamins B6 (50-100 mg a day) and B12 (500-5,000 mcg a day—both B vitamins and Inositol are in the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder) can actually help heal the nerves and decrease or eliminate the pain. Nerves take time to heal, so natural remedies need to be taken for 3-12 months. In the interim, Holistic Pharmacies can make powerful creams combining multiple medications effective against nerve pain (available by prescription from ITC Pharmacy 303-663-4224). These are rubbed over the painful areas, and can be very effective after 1-2 weeks of use. Being rubbed on the skin though, the total dose to the rest of your body is very low, making it largely side effect free! Other medications can also be VERY effective.
Call 623-776-2225 to make an appointment if you need help with neuropathy or if you’re experiencing any other pain. Here at Arizona Health Pros Phoenix, we believe you deserve to feel good again!
Want to learn how you can be pain-free? Head to our homepage and download our guide “Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy – A Guide to Managing your Pain”.