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Neuromodulation could be the answer to alleviating severe nerve pain
What is diabetic neuropathy?
Neuropathy develops when our nerves become damaged, resulting in pain, tingling, and numbness. It can be the result of an injury, from taking certain medications, or from diseases such as diabetes. This is known as diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetic neuropathy is the most common form of neuropathy and usually affects the nerves of the hands and feet. It is thought to affect as many as 70% of all diabetics in the UAE. Sometimes the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are present even before a diabetes diagnosis has been made, but often the patient isn’t aware of the condition. Neuropathy can be extremely painful and have a major impact on quality of life.
Diagnosing neuropathy early is very important. By treating the condition, doctors aim to prevent further deterioration of the nerves and permanent nerve damage, which could result in serious diabetic complications.
What are the treatment options?
Treatment for diabetic neuropathy usually begins with addressing the underlying cause. This may include lifestyle changes and reviewing medications to ensure the diabetes is being properly managed. If the underlying cause isn’t treatable, then medication may be required to manage the pain. The effectiveness varies from patient to patient, but often medication is associated with a range of side effects.
Currently, clinics like the Interventional Pain Management Center at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi are able to offer cutting-edge therapies that offer significant relief to sufferers. A treatment known as neuromodulation is available, that uses the centuries-old technique of applying a stimulus – in this case an electrical impulse – to the nerves that aren’t working properly. Whilst researchers still don’t know exactly how it works, it is an effective treatment for chronic pain.
And now, thanks to sophisticated advances in medicine, a range of options are available to specifically target the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.
How does neuromodulation work?
Doctors first began using spinal cord stimulation procedures to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Also known as neuromodulation or neurostimulation, the procedures involve implanting a small device in the spine which sends electrical signals along the spinal cord.
Now, using the latest, minimally invasive techniques, patients report as much as a 70% reduction in pain levels – a real breakthrough for those suffering severe pain caused by nerve damage.
Living with the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy can be challenging – but life-changing options are available, which can offer significant relief and improve the lives of those who are suffering.
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