Peripheral neuropathy can cause a host of symptoms, including numbness, sensitivity, and pain. At times, neuropathy pain can become so bad that even simple daily tasks like walking or sleeping feel excruciating.
While damaged nerves usually can’t be fixed, there are many different things you can do to help manage neuropathy pain. From medications and lifestyle changes to therapies and walking aids, there are plenty of treatment options available. But what about that age-old medical practice, acupuncture? Does acupuncture help peripheral neuropathy?
If you’re searching for an alternative treatment to help manage neuropathy pain, acupuncture may be the right option for you as showcased in this 2017 study. . Keep reading to learn about the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for neuropathy pain and whether or not it is right for you.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that uses small needles inserted at strategic points in the body to help alleviate pain associated with certain conditions and diseases.
Traditional acupuncture practitioners believed that the process would help balance a person’s energy or qi. Western practitioners believe that acupuncture works by stimulating certain nerves to help enhance pain management, healing, and blood circulation.
Does acupuncture work for peripheral neuropathy pain relief?
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition caused by diabetes. If not treated effectively and early on, neuropathy can lead to nerve degeneration and, eventually, nerve death. While patients in the early stages of diabetic neuropathy may only experience mild symptoms such as occasional numbness, more advanced cases will often leave a patient dealing with chronic pain.
Stimulating nerve fibers and increasing blood flow to certain parts of the body may be just what you need to help manage neuropathy symptoms — and acupuncture is one way you can do that. Studies have shown that acupuncture offers distinct benefits when it comes to pain management, especially in patients diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy.
However, acupuncture is not the quickest way to treat peripheral neuropathy — it often takes several weeks for its effects to become noticeable. It’s also important to note that acupuncture is best used as a supplemental treatment and should augment, not replace, other treatment options your doctor prescribes, such as medications, therapies, or certain lifestyle changes.
Risks and complications of acupuncture treatments
While acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional, it is still not the right treatment option for everyone. Most women and men with diabetes are able to safely participate in acupuncture treatments. However, patients who are taking certain medications or who have bleeding disorders should avoid acupuncture treatment, as these patients may experience increased bleeding and prolonged healing.
If you wear a pacemaker or have heart issues, be sure to speak to your doctor before beginning acupuncture treatments. Some acupuncture techniques involve passing electrical pulses through the body, which may be dangerous if you have a pacemaker. Pregnant mothers should also speak to a doctor before starting acupuncture treatments or seek alternative treatments until after they have given birth.
Acupuncture has few risks associated with it. However, some potential side effects may include:
- Pain at the insertion site
- Bruising during or after treatments
- Infection if the acupuncture equipment is not sterilized
- Injury from improperly performed treatments
Should you decide to invest in acupuncture treatment to help with neuropathy pain, be sure to consult with your doctor before starting treatment and only work with licensed acupuncturists.
Is acupuncture right for you?
Acupuncture can be an effective way to help manage pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, but it’s important to keep in mind that it is not a necessary treatment. If you are wary of needles or seeking alternative treatment options, there are plenty of things you can do to help keep neuropathy pain at bay.
From participating in regular physical activity to investing in a pair of quality diabetic socks, there are many ways to help soothe the pain that occurs with diabetic neuropathy. Anything that you can do to increase blood circulation throughout your body can help stimulate your nerves and reduce neuropathy pain.
Viasox: an alternative pain management option for those with diabetic neuropathy
Our team at Viasox knows that effective pain management can change your life for the better. If you are experiencing pain in your feet or legs, then a pair of non-binding diabetic socks is a must-have for your treatment plan.
Designed to help increase blood flow and support healthy feet, our diabetic socks and compression socks are available in a wide range of colors, lengths, and styles. They’re extra stretchy to accommodate almost any calf size and are incredibly soft and comfortable, making them perfect for everyday wear.
Whether you’re living with diabetic neuropathy or just seeking some incredibly comfortable and protective socks, we can help. Shop our collection online today or get in touch with our friendly team, who can assist you in finding your new favorite pair of socks.