Why is my neuropathy worse while driving?
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@flashgordon51 and @dbeshears1, I appreciate that you have genuine concerns about driving with neuropathy in your hands. I also have pretty significant numbness, pain, and tingling in both of my hands from SFN (small fiber neuropathy), I began to notice that I was gripping the steering wheel pretty intensely. It finally came to me that I was concerned about losing control because of limited normal feelings. Here are two things that have helped.
1. Twice a week I have MFR sessions with two therapists. They split their work for my hands and feet. This means that one begins and the other finishes. For my hands, they lock fingers with my hand and perform a flexing of the fingers. That sure helps.
2. I use a topical Medical Cannabis balm on my hands to reduce the tingling and numbness.
3. My bonus is that over the last few years I have become more able to tolerate the neuropathy symptoms to some extent as the SFN progresses. I was surprised at how much we can learn to tolerate.
Have you tried any of these helpful possibilities?
May you both be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
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Chris – Thanks for sharing and confirming we’re not alone in our travels (so it’s not all in our heads ☺️) My current neurologist had never heard of MFR and quickly dismissed it. I have a new Neurologist scheduled in a few weeks and plan on discussing with him. I also mentioned it to my Integrative Medicine Dr. – she’d heard of it but didn’t know a lot about it, but recommended acupuncture. I have my “last” session this week. I’ll say I’ve been pleased with results and positive energy so far, but more in my feet than in my hands.
Where better should I ask about MFR? In the mean time I’ll try to release the death grip on my steering wheel and do more finger interlocking exercises.
MFR……..Myofascia Release Therapy is a hands on approach to releasing restricted layers of fascia that can cause pain, swelling and other discomforts and irritations. I currently have two sessions every week. Without it, I can’t imagine coping with the level of pain and discomfort that I would have without MFR. As my SFN progresses, I will need even more sessions or more therapists at every session. I now have two therapists and two sessions a week.
Myofascia Release Therapy is a hands on approach to releasing restricted layers of fascia that can cause pain, swelling and other discomforts and irritations. I currently have two sessions every week. Without it, I can’t imagine coping with the level of pain and discomfort that I would have without MFR. As my SFN progresses, I will need even more sessions or more therapists at every session. I now have two therapists and two sessions a week.
One of our mentors, @jenniferhunter, has posted an entire section on MFR here on Connect. I'll let her introduce it to you. You can also go to https://myofascialrelease.com/ and read about the work of John Barnes. Only the John Barnes Expert Level therapists have enough experience and training for my level of need for myofascial therapy. There is also a Find a Therapist list so you can see who might be in your area. Not every therapist is on the list so let me know if you need helping locating one in your area.
May you be content and at peace.
I am curious as to how well the can I is cream works.
@dbeshears1 Oh Chris, thank you for the nice introduction. Chris did a wonderful job describing how MFR works. I started a discussion about myofascial release so I could get a lot of information together. Look at the first pages for lots of links to information.
Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR) for treating compression and pain: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/
John Barne's website is https://myofascialrelease.com/ and the provider search can be found at http://mfrtherapists.com/
Another source of information is to call Therapy on the Rocks which is the practice of John Barnes and a treatment center. They can give you names of therapists who have trained there who may not be listed on the http://mfrtherapists.com/ website.
Here is the link. https://therapyontherocks.net/
MFR helps release tension and allows the body to realign itself. A lot of pain happens when bones and joints are pulled out of alignment by overly tight tissue, and surgeries also create scar tissue in the fascia that gets tight. MFR can help stretch that out and get the body moving better.
Imagine your body bound up with lots of tight rubber bands. Now if you could only loosen those….. well, yes you can!
Thanks @jenniferhunter and @artscaping for the MFR locations. It appears that there are a couple on the list about 30 miles from me, but in the same communities as my Neuro and Integrative Med doctors who knew little or nothing about it. Through you, I know more! Perhaps it’s because none of the MFR are in the same medical system practice as all of my other doctors. I will call one of the practitioners on the list and see about a consult. The therapy appears to offer great relief and good life skills maintenance, and you’re both walking proof. Thanks again! Debbie
@dbeshears1 Thank you, Debbie. A lot of doctors haven't heard about myofascial release therapy and they don't think about how living fascia works because in med school, they are learning on dead tissue.
Yoga stretches are also a gentle fascial stretch. There are other ways to stretch too, but problems happen when the force of stretching is too aggressive because the body resists that, and if you tear the fascia, you've made it worse and created some scar tissue like a knot. The real difference is that you apply a gentle pressure against the barrier and just hold it, and wait for the fascia to release itself. The fascia changes from a semi-solid to a fluid state to do this like a spider web unwinding itself. You can get to where you are aware of this and can feel that happening like a slight tingle. The stuck tissue gets dehydrated, and when you get it moving again, it gets body fluids back in that flushes out stored waste products, so drink water to help clear that from your body. If there is a lot, it can make you tired at first. It's kind of like pushing to knead bread dough, except the therapist holds it as they push. There are ways to do some of it at home using small balls to push up against, and once you understand the feel of it, you can help your progress with home stretching.
This video shows living fascia. You can see the fascia unwind and remodel. It's interesting if you don't mind looking at living tissue from experimental surgery. I find it very interesting.
I'd love to know what you think after you try this. It's exciting to try something new that is so simple! I hope you get a great benefit from it. It takes multiple sessions as you work through more layers of adhered tissues. Thanks for your kind words. Would you share your progress?
@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
If you see videos on YouTube of cars being driven backwards uncontrollably or moving in either direction when the car when intended to go in one direction only. These are mostly due to us old folks with lower extremity PN in that we cannot feel the pedal so we don’t know which pedal our foot is on. And when we press down to stop the car movement we get more confused in the fact that the car isn’t stopping and we press harder on the wrong pedal unfortunately. These are becoming more common and we need to keep checking on ourselves so we don’t end up in the news.
Yup…just fortunate that I can still feel the pedals 🙃
Hey John hope you are doing well. Gives new meaning to term “lead foot”.
Just trying to stay out of the Minnesota heat wave today, hope all is well with you also!
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