A podiatrist possesses analytical skills, management competencies and treats orthopaedic issues with the feet, ankles and lower extremities. The skills and expertise in this field stretch to those that have peripheral neuropathy. After all, this is where so much pain and lack of feeling can be found – therefore treatment of peripheral neuropathy is vital. Treatment from a local podiatric doctor can come in many forms but first they must diagnose the specific type of peripheral neuropathy treatment they can offer. This will depend on the type of PN the patient has. So, it is for this reason that the podiatrist must determine whether the PN has been caused by a certain underlying condition like diabetes, inflammation or deficiencies.
There will be a number of options available to the podiatrist when offering help to peripheral neuropathy pain, including recommending padding within the shoe, socks or an orthotic. It is possible that your podiatrist may recommend surgery on your foot or feet to help relieve the ongoing pain; this is by far a last resort for the surgeon as peripheral neuropathy treatment but should never be ruled out. There are of course cases where the treatment of peripheral neuropathy has been stifled by the doctor being unable to establish any underlying cause of where the peripheral neuropathy origins lie. In these cases, pain clinics can be a recommendation by your podiatrist or a course in physical therapy.
There are of course medications, although a general practitioner would have most likely already recommended anti-inflammatory tablets or general pain killers in the past. There are many pain management techniques they could recommend as a dynamic way to aid peripheral neuropathy treatment.
However, nerve pain is often so bad in patients needing advice on the treatment of peripheral neuropathy than stronger painkillers are sometimes recommended and prescribed. Trying to combat your nerve pain you get from peripheral neuropathy is challenging; doctors and podiatrists do have a wide choice of solutions to combat the pain however.
Prescription pain relief like vicodin and anticonvulsants like neurontin and gabapentin are commonly prescribed for strong pain coming from the nerves in PN patients. There are also other techniques that might be suggested including acupuncture, electrical stimulation and other techniques. . Diabetes is one of the main causes of peripheral neuropathy, so if determined, a podiatrist would look to give advice on lowering the debilitating effects of diabetes.
Anticonvulsants are often the first port of call for podiatrists when treating nerve pain in the feet. The drug was first manufactured for suffers epilepsy to combat seizures. It might sound a little dramatic but it turns out those who suffer from peripheral neuropathy pain swear by this form of treatment of peripheral neuropathy, as it dulls the sensation of pain in the nerves, especially those in the feet and ankles.
You should bear in mind that anticonvulsants do not work for everyone suffering from PN pain, often your podiatrist will try an antidepressant course of tablets. Tricyclic antidepressants have often been the treatment of choice for podiatrists when helping patients with neuropathic pain in the feet or hands.
Tricyclic antidepressants are not the best choice for every patient in pain. There are known side effects to the treatment such as making some people feel dizzy, blurring vision and tummy troubles. Older people with heart problems are also ones to suffer side effects when considering tricyclic antidepressants. Treating neuropathic pain and pain associated with peripheral neuropathy is often beneficial when using a more updated antidepressant on the market like serotonin, as these are deemed to have less side effects than the tricyclic antidepressants but some patients have complained that the nerve pain associated with PN is not suppressed enough like it is with tricyclic antidepressants.
Antidepressants are a good choice when treating patients with pain because of peripheral neuropathy – essentially because those in constant pain are often feeling low or depressed, so the drug acts as both a pain inhibitor and an antidepressant to lift mood.
There are many of us however who would like the idea of taking no tablets or capsules whatsoever to treat pain; although sometimes we might not have the choice, there are solutions which can be touted as viable alternatives and your podiatrist will consider creams like an ibuprofen or a lidocaine patch to be placed onto the foot, or area of pain as an effective pain reliever.
The advantages of these pain killing creams is that the area alone is targeted and the pain is attacked at source. There are also very few side effects with pain killing gels and creams for PN, apart from some patients experiencing skin rashes or redness around the affected areas the cream is applied to.
Patients who have PN as a result of Vitamin B12 deficiency can be offered injects of the vitamin or tablets, if preferred.