My motivation for writing this blog is to reach out to those taking medications for their nerve pain; to encourage you to pause and consider other options for treating your restless legs or neuropathy. To help illustrate my point, I would like to share with you a story:
A patient I recently saw, I’ll call her Carol, had been to my office years ago and had surgery performed on one of her feet. She returned with a new complaint of chronic nerve pain, having been told she had neuropathy. She was also concerned that her foot was going to need surgery to fuse an arthritic joint. So, she had nerve pain and joint pain.
It had been 10 years since I had seen her, and she had gained some weight since then. The weight gain started when she sought treatment for her neuropathy. A pain specialist she was referred to treated her nerve pain with a heavily marketed drug for treatment of diabetic nerve pain.
She, like many others I see, was taking a lot of this medication. It does reduce some of the pain, but the trade-off is she had now gained 30-40 pounds, which is a common side effect.
Because I am confident that many of these folks can have their nerve pain reversed, it’s personally very frustrating to hear these stories. I’ve seen four patients this year who have gained 60 pounds. Yes, 60! Imagine the strain that puts on the rest of the body. High blood pressure, potential for diabetes, increased cancer risk, not to mention joint pains that will limit activity even more.
Over time, with the added weight, her arthritic feet became more painful. She was now also on a narcotic medication to help manage all this pain, which puts her at risk for addiction.
I reviewed with her the new treatment options we offer. Though there are no guarantees, we do have a very high probability of reversing her severe nerve symptoms using our nerve decompression procedures. She will need to slow down for a few days, but will be walking the next day.
Once her nerves start functioning better, there is a good chance she can get off these drugs, or at the very least, lower the dosage. With her her nerves functioning better she may have more arthritic pain since she will now be able to feel her joints. If that occurs we will consider regenerative treatments using FDA-approved placenta cells to help her arthritic joints. As a last resort, it will be back to surgery to fuse the joints.
I believe most of this could have been avoided. However, stories like Carol’s will continue to motivate our research team at Anderson Podiatry Center for Nerve Pain to bring more research and understanding to you, and those in the medical profession.
Please consider this: we believe many of you don’t need to go down the medication pathway, as it can be very destructive. Next time you or someone you know has been told to consider a drug for a nerve issue, know that there are more advanced treatment options.
Our desire is to address the cause of the problem, explain your treatment options, and ultimately, give you more hope.