Goals of treatment include:
- Finding the cause
- Controlling the symptoms
- Promoting a patient's self-care and independence
Depending on the cause, treatment may include:
- Changing medicines, if they are causing the problem
- Controlling blood sugar level
- Not drinking alcohol
- Taking daily nutritional supplements
PROMOTING SELF-CARE AND INDEPENDENCE
- Exercises and retraining to maximize function of the damaged nerves
- Job (vocational) therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Orthopedic treatments
- Physical therapy
- Wheelchairs, braces, or splints
CONTROL OF SYMPTOMS
Safety is important for people with neuropathy. Lack of muscle control and decreased sensation can increase the risk of falls or other injuries.
If you have movement difficulties, these measures can help keep you safe:
- Leave lights on.
- Remove obstacles (such as loose rugs that may slip on the floor).
- Test water temperature before bathing.
- Use railings.
- Wear protective shoes (such as those with closed toes and low heels).
- Wear shoes that have non-slippery soles.
Other tips include:
- Check your feet (or other affected area) daily for bruises, open skin areas, or other injuries, which you may not notice and can become infected.
- Check the inside of shoes often for grit or rough spots that may injure your feet.
- Visit a foot doctor (podiatrist) to assess and reduce the risk of injury to your feet.
- Avoid leaning on your elbows, crossing your knees, or being in other positions that put prolonged pressure on certain body areas.
Medicines used to treat this condition:
- Over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers to reduce stabbing pain (neuralgia)
- Anticonvulsants or antidepressants
- Lotions, creams, or medicated patches
Avoid pain medicine whenever possible, or use it only when necessary. Keeping your body in the proper position or keeping bed linens off a tender body part may help control pain.