When suffering from Neuropathic Pain biofeedback may be a possible option. Patients who are considering opiates, which can turn out to be more of a problem than the disease – should read Andy Griffiths’ story (of TV fame) who notes the success of Biofeedback in his story (page 96ff) in the book by Dr. Norman Latov of Columbia University “Peripheral Neuropathy: When the Numbness, Weakness and Pain Won’t Stop”. You can find the book on amazon.com for under $20. (Books on Peripheral Neuropathy)
The sad part of Andy’s story is that these doctors NEVER realized that to give him IVIg immediately for GBS would have limited his symptoms and resulting disabilities – We are still learning.
While only your doctor can determine if opiates are appropriate for you due to other medical conditions, all other options should be tried before the use of an opiate according to many medical authorities.
Maybe there is some simple ideas that may help, such as a topical cream that the doctor can order to help with burning pains at night (Dr. Hunter mentioned the ingredients physicians use in these compounds includes Lidocaine, ketamine, gabapentin, and amitriptyline, mixed by a compounding pharmacy in percentages as prescribed by the physician) or the idea of resting your burning skin in cool tap water (not FREEZING) for 15 minutes before bed to calm the damaged nerves. Other patients find that warm water, (NOT hot) helps rather than the cold water. These ideas come from Dr. Latov’s (MD, PhD) book and the one by Mims Cushing. Mention the formula to your doctor.
Another insight is that physical therapists understand the impact of exercise and therapy on damaged nerves and the importance of using appropriate therapy for neuropathy patients as noted by Dr. Mathew David Hansen, DPT who practices in Washington State. View the article on Exercise for Neuropathy.
Consider ordering a copy of the 2014 DVD from Matt Hansen the expert, as his perspective on exercise for neuropathy is perfect and understands what we can and cannot do, yet his knowledge makes it possible for us to exercise WITHOUT the problems of increased pain or symptoms while keeping muscles as strong and flexible as possible. If you use the special code NSN10 then Matt will give10% of your purchase price to support the work of the NSN! View the article on the Exercise DVD:
Many physical therapists use Anodyne Therapy which appears to be very effective in reducing neuropathic pain in patients with diabetic neuropathy. It helps others but the success rate for reducing pain in diabetic neuropathy is higher.
See the book by my friend and PN’er Mims Cushing on patient ideas listed in Books on Peripheral Neuropathy. This book is under $15 from amazon.com and endorsed by Dr. Norman Latov.