Can Peripheral Neuropathy be Treated with Shockwave?

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral (away from the center) neuropathy is a result of damage to nerves that are located outside the brain and spinal cord. It can cause weakness, numbness and pain typically in the hands or feet.

For patients with diabetic neuropathy, AWT (Acoustic Wave Therapy) provides considerable relief. It works so well that it has become the standard treatment.

Q: What are the causes and symptoms of neuropathy?

peripheral neuropathy examinationA: Neuropathy is a common problem primarily for diabetics, but it can also occur due to chemotherapy, alcoholism and exposure to heavy metals. Other times, we can’t find a direct cause for this type of nerve damage. In terms of symptoms, some people experience numbness or tingling. Others have burning or severe pain with super sensitivity when they walk. Pain can be so severe that it keeps people awake at night.

Q: Why is AWT a good treatment option?

A: Oral medications like Neurontin can help control symptoms, but they have side effects like drowsiness so a lot of people can’t take them, particularly during the day.

Q: How long has AWT been used to treat diabetic neuropathy?

A: This shockwave device has been used successfully for decades.

Q: What does a typical treatment protocol look like?

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A: Typically AWT treatment is done weekly or every other week. 1,500 to 2,000 pulses per foot are given, which takes just a few minutes. If there is a response after three or four treatments, we continue, usually every two weeks, until maximum benefit is reached. Then maintenance treatments can be done every 4-6 weeks.

Q: How do you know that treatment is working?

A: Pain level can be measured on a Visual Pain Scale. 90% of people report a significant improvement with AWT treatment. Equally important, there are no reports of worsening of symptoms with AWT.

Q: Do you we use any other treatment options instead of or in conjunction with AWT?

A: In addition to AWT, we recommend regular lymphatic drainage with the BallancerPro, as the BallancerPro is also effective in treating peripheral neuropathy.

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Q: How do patients respond? 

A: While the treatment itself may be slightly uncomfortable, clients love the benefits. It lessens their symptoms tremendously which helps them function better and have a higher quality of life. Some clients are able to come off of medications and most look forward to coming in, because when the leave, their feet feel great. 

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