Mayo Clinic Connect
Can increasing blood flow help me manage pain in my extremities diagnosed as peripheral neuropathy?
@growyourflow Thanks for posting this interesting question. I did a little research and came up with one website regarding Blood flow in the diabetic neuropathic foot: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7060850 I’m going to invite one of our volunteer mentors, @johnbishop into this discussion as well as he has experience with neuropathy. Teresa
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director, John, Volunteer Mentor
Hello @growyourflow, welcome to Connect. You did pose an interesting question. I have had small fiber peripheral neuropathy for over 15 to 20 years. I do take a lot of supplements and one that I take sodium stablized Alpha Lipoic Acid mentions helps with blood flow. I don’t have a medical background or any training but have done a lot of my own digging and searching for answers. I only have numbness with my neuropathy – no pain. The one thing I’ve found is that all of the drugs for neuropathy only address the pain…and they do that by masking it and not really fixing anything.
I did do a search on http://scholar.google.com which does give you the ability to refine the search so you can look for the latest information on your topic, etc.. I used the search phrase – increase blood flow for neuropathy and it found quite a bit of info:
Liked by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor
Thanks John and Hopeful,
I have been offered a trial at a clinic that uses noninvasive transdermal CO2 therapy-specifically targeting pain and numbness…I will keep you up-to-date on my progress….I am looking at management tools that I can use at home or at least independently, to mitigate the symptoms I have from Diabetic Neuropathy and Arthritis.
Liked by John, Volunteer Mentor, Teresa, Volunteer Mentor
May I ask whether a Tens Unit is part of your therapy for pain, as well as for numbness?
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I’m tagging @johnbishop on this question. John, you use a TENS unit, do you not?
Liked by John, Volunteer Mentor
Hi Rosie (@rhepler), I have used a Zopec DT-1200 tens unit for my feet which I have numbness but no pain. I found out about it from the Minnesota Neuropathy Association when I read about things that have helped others on their website –
It is a programmable device but has several built-in programs for neuropathy. I used it for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening for about 2 months with mixed results. There were times when I thought it made my feet feel a little better but it was really hard to tell since I don’t have the pain with my small fiber peripheral neuropathy. Some others in the group report that it has helped them but I stopped using it since I didn’t really see the results I was expecting. If you are looking at a tens unit and the price is not too much it might be worth trying. Here’s a YouTube video of the device treatment:
Hope this helps…
I am very interested in this topic as well. I have both a neuropathic disorder called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and diabetes. My diabetes was controlled until I got the CRPS and related medications to address neuropathic pain. Now my blood sugars are all over the place. I also have numbness and pain in my right foot and calf as well as my left knee and calf and in my hands to some degree. I have been experiencing increased edema in my legs over the past two months. Would be very interested in anything that could help increase blood flow in my extremities (have tried diuretics to reduce edema, but they are impacting my blood sugars). I also tried a tens unit a few years ago and as someone else indicated it didn’t really help me. Would appreciate it if you cold keep me posted. Good luck!!
without using addictive pain medication for active psoriatic arthritis where pain also is in the tendons as well as the tissues and joints how can i get pain relief. cannot use advil as i have kidney problems. (tylenol does NOTHNG) help!
Hello @peach414144, welcome to Mayo Connect. Sorry to hear you are having trouble finding pain relief. Has your doctor given you anything to try to help with the pain? or is that the addictive pain medication you mentioned? Mayo Clinic lists some treatments but maybe you already know about them:
You may also wish to join this discussion group on Connect:
– Psoriatic Arthritis https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/psoriatic-arthritis-257d5c/
the addictive medication contains tylenol so then there is on only the opiod. caught in the middle. am using advil. if not then i will use the brooklyn bridge.
Sounds like an option I may want to try. Also, John, or anyone else, does having Neuropathy in your legs and feet mean that when you do have complete numbness that there isn’t any blood flow? My understanding is that it’s the nerve responses but NOT the blood flow. Because then I’m wanting to know (my fear of course) is does that mean that your feet or legs have to be amputated? I don’t have diabetes (I am prediabetic)but plan to change that with diet and exersize.
Hi Darlia – for a long time I had thought I had poor blood flow and thought it was a cause of the numbness but about 2 or 3 years ago I went to a local check your heart and arteries type clinic where they check to see if your arteries are “plugged” or has signs of blockage. They take your blood pressure on your arms and legs and also used some sort of sonogram(?) device to check how the blood is flowing. They didn’t find anything and it cost me $200 but I guess the knowing helped. I’m pretty sure the numbness from neuropathy is small fiber nerve damage in my case. I’m guessing poor circulation in the legs doesn’t help with neuropathy but I don’t think it’s a cause – but that’s just an opinion and not a medical fact.
My last doctor told me I was prediabetic also but I’m not sure. Yes, I’ve got the indicators and I have diabetes in my family – both sisters and mother had it. The doctor also tried to get me to take statins to lower my cholesterol but I told her that statins make neuropathy worse and I will work on my diet a little harder and exercise more. I do think diet and exercise is the key so that’s a great plan to use to get healthier.
Here is an easy to understand explanation of small fiber peripheral neuropathy by Matthew B. Jensen. Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Wisconsin: https://youtu.be/S1qt-ueIP6
Darlia (@darlia) – my younger sister had diabetes and her doctors thought at one time she may have to have her feet amputated due to poor circulation or the diabetes – I’m not sure. It was always a concern of hers and mine. She passed away of lung cancer a few years ago.
I share your same concern about the feet. One thing I think is really important for people with neuropathy and diabetes is to check their feet every day and protect them. I started wearing socks all the time so that if I do hurt my feet I can see any injuries on the bottoms of the socks – yup! I have to change them stinkers every day. I started wearing socks at night after waking up in the middle of the night for a bathroom trip and seeing blood all over the floor and wondering where is it coming from. Turned out is was from the ankle and caused by a sharp toenail and rubbing my feet together in bed nicked a blood vessel just under the skin. That turned into a 911 call, a trip to the emergency room when I could stop the bleeding. Looking back at it, it was pretty funny but when it happened not so funny.
This is a good example of caring for your feet. Have you ever posted this in the Diabetes discussion group? If not, it might be a good idea.
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