Even though it is not officially summer, the heat says otherwise. Individuals with neuropathy can experience flare-ups when out in the heat for extended periods. Avoiding discomfort and having fun with family and friends can be stressful. This could be graduations, park festivals, family gatherings, weddings, etc. Here are some neuropathy summer tips/recommendations to maintain a healthy, fun, and pain-free season.
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Neuropathy results from damaged or destroyed nerve cells and is often a side effect associated with diabetes, autoimmune diseases, infections, tumors, and/or hereditary conditions. Also known as peripheral neuropathy, symptoms range from tingling sensations, burning pain, muscle spasms, difficulty moving the arms or legs, feelings of light headiness, and sometimes atrophy. The symptoms depend on the damaged nerves, ranging from autonomic, motor, and sensory nerves. As neuropathy progresses, individuals may begin to feel a loss of balance.
Neuropathy Summer Tips
Research and Prepare
Preparation and planning are highly recommended to prevent a flare-up. For long outdoor ceremonies:
- Wear sunscreen
- Stay fully hydrated
- Dress in cool clothes
- Make sure footwear has proper arch/sole support and breathing room.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses
- Stand periodically to ensure proper circulation if sitting for a while.
- Shift weight back and forth during the event to pump circulation throughout the body.
- Bring snacks like fruits, veggies, or gluten-free bars.
- Know where cool resting areas are located.
Listen to the body
- Listen to the body when engaged in activities, don’t try to push through where you don’t feel comfortable.
- Take breaks
- The goal is to ensure comfort during the activity, as being uncomfortable can exacerbate symptoms.
The body needs thorough rest after a long day in the sun. It is recommended to ice any areas where pain presents to decrease inflammation and neuroplasticity and help with any symptoms of itching, pressure, numbness, or pins and needles.
- Start with icing for three minutes, take the ice off and see how it feels.
- If the area feels better, continue icing for a full ten minutes.
- Remove the ice if irritation occurs or do not feel a difference.
Watching what you eat can be difficult at summer events. Specific foods like bread, gluten, and high-sugar products can cause symptoms.
- If it causes an upset stomach or swelling, it is recommended to avoid it.
- Go with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- A little planning can ensure you eat the food that’s best for you.
- Call ahead to let friends/family know of any food sensitivities.
- Gluten apps allow the ability to scan an item to see if it contains gluten.
- Consult a nutritionist to set up an enjoyable diet.
Chiropractic Care and Prevention
Chiropractic care for neuropathy focuses on the underlying conditions causing nerve pain and inflammation.
- Treating the inflammation alleviates the pain in the joints and extremities.
- Each treatment plan is personalized to meet the needs of every patient.
- Treatment will focus on massage, adjustments, decompression, exercises, therapies, and nutrition that expedite healing throughout the body.
Spinal Decompression Non-Surgical
Campbell, James N, and Richard A Meyer. “Mechanisms of neuropathic pain.” Neuron vol. 52,1 (2006): 77-92. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2006.09.021
Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/patient-caregiver-education/fact-sheets/peripheral-neuropathy-fact-sheet
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