Insight Pain Management – Neuropathy is a painful condition that involves damage and dysfunction of the nerves. More than 20 million people in the United States are estimated to have some form of neuropathy, which is caused by a wide variety of factors, including diabetes, infections, traumatic injuries, and autoimmune diseases. The most common forms of neuropathy affect the feet and hands, resulting in symptoms such as tingling or burning sensations, numbness, and stabbing or shooting pain. Although neuropathic pain is complex and varies from person to person, there are a number of simple steps you can take to address symptoms and keep pain from impacting your quality of life. Here are just a few dos (and don’ts) if you have neuropathy pain.

Do: See a Healthcare Professional

If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or other symptoms associated with neuropathy, it is important to see a healthcare professional. Neuropathic pain often results from underlying conditions, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders, so it is essential to get an accurate diagnosis. A doctor will then be able to provide an appropriate treatment plan, monitor your progress, and refer you to specialists like a physical therapist if necessary.

Don’t: Ignore Symptoms

Even if your symptoms are mild, ignoring them can lead to serious consequences because neuropathy often indicates an underlying condition is affecting the nerves. Delaying diagnosis and treatment will only allow the symptoms to progress and cause further damage. Ignoring symptoms can also result in missed opportunities to explore effective non-medicinal or non-surgical treatment options like lifestyle modifications, which can alleviate pain and improve function.

Do: Manage Underlying Conditions

Managing your underlying conditions is one of the best ways to prevent further nerve damage, slow the progression of neuropathy, and reduce symptoms that are impacting your quality of life. Some underlying conditions can even impair the body’s ability to repair and regenerate nerves, so it is essential to stay on top of your healthcare. Regular monitoring of the underlying condition will also allow your doctor to adjust your treatment plan as needed to adapt to changes in your health.

Don’t: Participate in High-Impact Activities

People with neuropathy should avoid high-impact activities like running for several reasons. Neuropathy in the feet and legs can lead to reduced sensation and greater risk for impaired balance or injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures. Those with diabetic neuropathy are also prone to ulcers and sores which can be worsened with high-impact exercise. Instead of high-impact activities, patients with neuropathy should consider exercises that reduce the risk of injury, such as walking or swimming, balance/stability training, and low-resistance strength training.

Do: Think About Foot Care

Neuropathy, especially in people with conditions such as diabetes, can result in serious symptoms like reduced sensation, poor blood circulation, and risk of infection from unnoticed cuts or blisters. Patients experiencing neuropathy should always take foot care seriously by choosing appropriate footwear, performing daily foot inspections and proper hygiene, and following guidance from healthcare professionals who can identify potential problems before they become serious.

Don’t: Smoke or Consume Alcohol

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is detrimental to your overall health, but it is particularly harmful in people with neuropathy. Smoking is known to reduce blood flow, which is essential for nerve health. It also impairs the body’s ability to heal, increases pain sensations, and weakens the immune system. Likewise, drinking also impacts the nervous system and can lead to nerve damage, worsens balance and coordination, prevents healing, and can interact negatively with medications prescribed for neuropathy.

Do: Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight when you have neuropathy is important for several reasons. Many cases of neuropathy are caused by diabetes and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for keeping blood sugar levels under control. Being overweight can also lead to poor circulation, pressure on nerves, cardiovascular disease, and limited mobility – all of which contribute to neuropathy.

Don’t: Overuse Pain Medication

Patients with neuropathy should be mindful of medication overuse and work with their healthcare providers to develop a holistic treatment plan that includes both appropriate medication use and lifestyle changes. Over time, the body can develop a tolerance to certain medications used to manage neuropathy symptoms. This can lead to diminished effectiveness and higher doses (which may not be safe), dependency, and withdrawal symptoms.

Seeking the right care for neuropathy is essential for maintaining your overall health and quality of life. Although this condition can be painful and even debilitating, diagnosing underlying causes, following an appropriate treatment plan, and avoiding certain activities can all make a difference in the long-term outcomes for patients with neuropathy. If you are experiencing complications from Neuropathy, Insight Pain Management can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment.


Q: Can neuropathy be reversible?

A: In some cases, neuropathy can be reversible. However, this depends on a number of factors, including the underlying causes, early intervention, and proper management. If neuropathy cannot be reversed, it is still possible to manage symptoms and prevent further progression.

Q: What treatments are available for neuropathy?

A: Treatment options for neuropathy typically include a combination of medications, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications (e.g. diet and exercise), and other techniques to address underlying conditions.

Q: Which parts of the body are affected by neuropathy?

A: Neuropathy most commonly affects the hands and feet with numbness, tingling, and burning sensations. However, this can also extend to the legs or arms and cause weakness and issues with coordination.