What Is Involved in Pain Management Treatment for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a type of nerve damage that affects individuals with diabetes. The damage occurs in the peripheral nervous system, which relays information between the central nervous system and other body parts. Individuals with diabetic peripheral neuropathy experience pain in the feet, legs, and hands. Various pain management strategies can be used to alleviate the neuropathy pain. Here are seven available pain management treatments for diabetic peripheral neuropathy:

1. Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

Peripheral nerve stimulation is a pain management treatment for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It involves implanting a small device that sends electrical impulses to the affected areas of the nervous system. This device is implanted beneath the skin and attached to leads near the affected nerves. The electrical impulses block pain signals from the nerves to the brain, preventing the sensation of pain.

2. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) Treatment

RFA is a pain management treatment that uses radiofrequency energy to heat and destroy nerve tissues that cause chronic pain. In treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy, RFA targets and destroys the nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals from the feet and legs to the brain. RFA can reduce pain symptoms, including numbness, tingling, and burning sensations. The minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a small needle-like device guided by an imaging tool into the affected area.

3. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy involves exercises and stretches that help to loosen tight muscles and improve blood flow to the affected area. People with DPN experience altered sensation, weakness,  and balance issues. This can lead to functional limitation and pain. It is a non-invasive treatment that effectively manages mild to moderate pain levels. Physical therapists can design personalized exercise programs to help improve mobility and balance in individuals with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Massage therapy can also improve blood flow and alleviate muscle tension.

4. Pain Medication

Prescription medications, such as antidepressants and anti-seizure, can help manage nerve-related pain. Antidepressant medications, such as nortriptyline and duloxetine, alter the brain’s chemicals that sense pain, reducing the transmission of pain signals to the body. Also, anti-seizure medications such as gabapentin and pregabalin can relieve pain in the nerves. They reduce the stabbing and burning pain associated with this condition.

5. Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation involves a surgical implant that delivers electrical impulses to the spinal cord. The stimulation can mitigate neuropathic pain for patients with DPN by blocking pain signals traveling from the affected nerves in the extremities. This helps reduce pain levels. Spinal cord stimulation can be recommended for patients with chronic pain.

6. Adaptive Health Living Habits

Adaptive health living is a pain management treatment for diabetic peripheral neuropathy that involves making lifestyle changes. This includes exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, losing weight, quitting smoking, and managing stress. A healthy lifestyle can help reduce nerve damage and improve blood sugar levels. This can help manage the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

7. Complementary Treatments

Complementary treatments refer to the use of alternative treatment approaches to alleviate neuropathic pain. Examples of complementary treatments include acupuncture. Acupuncture is a pain management treatment option that involves inserting small needles into specific points on the body. Acupuncture is thought to stimulate the release of natural painkillers in the body, reducing pain levels. It is a non-invasive and safe treatment option for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Learn More About Pain Management Treatments

Pain management doctors can help in managing the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral nerve stimulation, radiofrequency ablation, physical therapy, pain medication, spinal cord stimulation, adaptive health living, and acupuncture are some of the management treatment options available for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Individuals with diabetic peripheral neuropathy can consult a healthcare professional to determine the best pain management treatment option for their specific needs.

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