Driving with neuropathy

Posted by ssheid @ssheid, Jan 20, 2019

Why is my neuropathy worse while driving?

@ssheid I have no medical training or background but I do have small fiber PN and it's always worse when driving for me. I think it's because you are sitting in a sometimes less than comfortable position and maybe longer than you would normally sit. Also I'm sure each of us are a little different in how driving impacts us. How is your neuropathy worse? more pain?

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Mine gets worse whenever I'm not up and about, walking or running. The morning is the worst. I drive about 5 hours regularly – just the last few months my feet and legs have been getting numb and painful after about an hour so I make a pit stop, hobble around until the stiffness is gone, then get back on the road. I don't know why, I just know that it does. My neurologist said that it's Restless Leg Syndrome which quite a few of us seem to have.

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@nycgirl

Hello everyone. I am new here. I will try to make this brief. I have neuropathy in both feet from a congenitally narrow spine made worse by the aging process, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis (with fusion). I have been working from home for 23 years and due to situations of the economy we are now in, I have to go out to work 3 times a week in order to get health insurance and support my family. I have been a happy user of public transportation for many many years and have never needed a car. I need one now and got an old used car. The numbness in my right foot makes me nervous to drive. Needing to drive now is a nonnegotiable, I have to do it. I looked into hand controls and went out on a test drive but the cost of having that installed and needing driving lessons to use them is impossible for me. Has anyone used any medication to help the numbness (I have just lived with it, uncomfortably, but fully functional and never took medication)? Any alternative treatments? Special shoes? Braces? Other therapies? I need to drive 30 minutes each way, 3 times a week. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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Oh boy, you just described my new life style. I can only drive about 40mins max before my leg is in so much pain. I don't have any answers for you but my doctor just gave me some new cream for the nerve pain that runs down my butt into my leg and wraps around my knee
Hope someone out there can give you some good advice

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@nycgirl

Hello everyone. I am new here. I will try to make this brief. I have neuropathy in both feet from a congenitally narrow spine made worse by the aging process, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis (with fusion). I have been working from home for 23 years and due to situations of the economy we are now in, I have to go out to work 3 times a week in order to get health insurance and support my family. I have been a happy user of public transportation for many many years and have never needed a car. I need one now and got an old used car. The numbness in my right foot makes me nervous to drive. Needing to drive now is a nonnegotiable, I have to do it. I looked into hand controls and went out on a test drive but the cost of having that installed and needing driving lessons to use them is impossible for me. Has anyone used any medication to help the numbness (I have just lived with it, uncomfortably, but fully functional and never took medication)? Any alternative treatments? Special shoes? Braces? Other therapies? I need to drive 30 minutes each way, 3 times a week. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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@nycgirl, I also have numbness in my feet but I still have some feeling and can drive OK. I've been taking supplements which I believe has slowed or possibly stopped the progression of my neuropathy. There already is another discussion Driving with neuropathy but it doesn't have many posts. Our Connect Director @colleenyoung may want to combine these 2 discussions.

Driving with neuropathy: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/driving-with-neuropathy/

The main concern I would have is if the numbness reduces your ability to safely drive I don't think I would want to cause an accident that would injury or take the life of someone else. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy has a good article that you may want to read – Staying safe and independent and continuing to drive with peripheral neuropathy: https://www.foundationforpn.org/2017/03/06/driving-peripheral-neuropathy/

A few years ago I saw a demo of a device called Walkasins that attach to your legs that might be a good answer for you — "Walkasins is a rechargeable wearable external lower leg neuroprosthesis for daily use, designed for those with sensory peripheral neuropathy to replace lost foot pressure sensation via gentle sensory signals delivered to the skin above the ankle." — https://rxfunction.com/

I also have numbness only in my feet with my small fiber peripheral neuropathy. There are no cremes or topicals that will help with the numbness. @steeldove has experience with using hand controls for driving and may be able to offer some suggestions. Here is a post discussing the hand controls he uses — https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anyone-here-dealing-with-peripheral-neuropathy/?pg=87#comment-283906

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Hello everyone. I am new here. I will try to make this brief. I have neuropathy in both feet from a congenitally narrow spine made worse by the aging process, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis (with fusion). I have been working from home for 23 years and due to situations of the economy we are now in, I have to go out to work 3 times a week in order to get health insurance and support my family. I have been a happy user of public transportation for many many years and have never needed a car. I need one now and got an old used car. The numbness in my right foot makes me nervous to drive. Needing to drive now is a nonnegotiable, I have to do it. I looked into hand controls and went out on a test drive but the cost of having that installed and needing driving lessons to use them is impossible for me. Has anyone used any medication to help the numbness (I have just lived with it, uncomfortably, but fully functional and never took medication)? Any alternative treatments? Special shoes? Braces? Other therapies? I need to drive 30 minutes each way, 3 times a week. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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Hi @johnbishop and @nycgirl. I merged the 2 discussions about driving with neuropathy into one to bring everyone together on the topic.

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@nycgirl

Hello everyone. I am new here. I will try to make this brief. I have neuropathy in both feet from a congenitally narrow spine made worse by the aging process, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis (with fusion). I have been working from home for 23 years and due to situations of the economy we are now in, I have to go out to work 3 times a week in order to get health insurance and support my family. I have been a happy user of public transportation for many many years and have never needed a car. I need one now and got an old used car. The numbness in my right foot makes me nervous to drive. Needing to drive now is a nonnegotiable, I have to do it. I looked into hand controls and went out on a test drive but the cost of having that installed and needing driving lessons to use them is impossible for me. Has anyone used any medication to help the numbness (I have just lived with it, uncomfortably, but fully functional and never took medication)? Any alternative treatments? Special shoes? Braces? Other therapies? I need to drive 30 minutes each way, 3 times a week. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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@nycgirl, so I see you again and you are posting quite well. I just want to throw out a suggestion that has worked for me. I have numbness and pain in my feet from small fiber neuropathy. As the deadline for my driver's test in a new state was suddenly fast approaching, I was worried that I might be asked to do the actual driver's test. Besides that, I didn't want to have or cause an accident because of my neuropathy.

So…off I went to my Myofascial Release (MFR) therapist to see what could be done. I sure didn't want to have an accident because of a numb foot or two. It took some time and I was rewarded with a leathery sole with little pain and not too much numbness. Got my driver's license and am committed to making sure that I am a safe driver. There are devices you can purchase that will help. I will see if I can find a quick pix.

And here are some pretty effective exercises you can try. Just walking across the carpet helps me.
https://neuropathycure.org/foot-exercises-neuropathy/
On Amazon, there are several pages of foot massagers….some mechanical and some electric. I don't use them so you may have to experiment. The secret is to set up a schedule and stick to it.

Let us know what you choose and how it is going. We'll be thinking of you.

May you be safe and protected.
Chris

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@adrianna143

Oh boy, you just described my new life style. I can only drive about 40mins max before my leg is in so much pain. I don't have any answers for you but my doctor just gave me some new cream for the nerve pain that runs down my butt into my leg and wraps around my knee
Hope someone out there can give you some good advice

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@adrianna143 Hi I have neuropathy also in legs I find doing leg exercises help me alot Also for RLS an old remedy helps me drink some dill pickle juice when out eat mustard A friend would keep mustard and crackers with her in her purse and use when out
This works When my sciatic starts to hurt I go to my chiropractor who fixes it for me unlike a lot of believe about the cracking your bones they don't the cracking noise is the gas being released from the cartilage

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Has anyone tried B12 supplements to help with numbness in the feet? A friend who is diabetic told me that it helped to relive some of the numbness in her hands and feet. I have not tried it yet but my Dr. Is going to check my B12 levels.

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@dcgirl

Has anyone tried B12 supplements to help with numbness in the feet? A friend who is diabetic told me that it helped to relive some of the numbness in her hands and feet. I have not tried it yet but my Dr. Is going to check my B12 levels.

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@dcgirl, B12 is just one of the supplement I take for my small fiber peripheral neuropathy. I've been taking it since 2016 and I feel like it has helped me by slowing and possibly stopping the progression of my neuropathy. I still have numbness in my feet but it's not as bad as it was when I started taking the supplements listed in the discussion below. I don't believe there is any one single vitamin you can take to help with the pain or numbness of neuropathy.

Protocol 525 product for neuropathy relief?
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/have-you-tried-the-new-protocol-525-product-for-neuropathy-relief/

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I take a small amount of B12 daily during the summer months because it repels mosquitos – it makes us not smell like food to them. I haven't noticed any less neuropathy symptoms, but I will pay attention to that and let you know. Peggy

Liked by rwinney

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@pfbacon

I take a small amount of B12 daily during the summer months because it repels mosquitos – it makes us not smell like food to them. I haven't noticed any less neuropathy symptoms, but I will pay attention to that and let you know. Peggy

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Mosquitos, huh? Interesting. Is that why I got eaten alive when I was deficient?!?! 😂

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@pfbacon

I take a small amount of B12 daily during the summer months because it repels mosquitos – it makes us not smell like food to them. I haven't noticed any less neuropathy symptoms, but I will pay attention to that and let you know. Peggy

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Hummm…I take a lot of B12 daily and still get eaten alive by them flying critters. Bummer….😂

Liked by rwinney

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Maybe it's just one of those medical stories that go around … Peggy

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@johnbishop

@dcgirl, B12 is just one of the supplement I take for my small fiber peripheral neuropathy. I've been taking it since 2016 and I feel like it has helped me by slowing and possibly stopping the progression of my neuropathy. I still have numbness in my feet but it's not as bad as it was when I started taking the supplements listed in the discussion below. I don't believe there is any one single vitamin you can take to help with the pain or numbness of neuropathy.

Protocol 525 product for neuropathy relief?
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/have-you-tried-the-new-protocol-525-product-for-neuropathy-relief/

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Thanks. Good info. I appreciate it.

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