Conventional vs. Alternative Neuropathy Treatment

When it comes to dealing with neuropathy, there are a few types of treatment available. This condition can be caused by a variety of issues, including various illnesses, autoimmune disorders, injury, and other diseases.

However, in most cases, neuropathy is a symptom rather than the condition itself. This means you really have to treat the underlying condition to make it go away completely.

Fortunately, there are various neuropathy treatments that can help control the pain. Some of these are conventional, while others fall into the category of alternative medicine. Which is better, and which is right for you?

Conventional Neuropathy Treatment

Conventional neuropathy treatment is the term used for treatment options doctors have prescribed for quite some time. These treatment methods have scientific backing and a history of getting results.

This approach includes things such as over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or aspirin. These medications help with the pain, but they may not completely cover it. This is why stronger medication such as antidepressants or anticonvulsants may be prescribed and are often more effective.

In fact, studies back up the use of older medications used to treat depression for neuropathy. In most cases, newer medications are more effective. However, this research has actually shown that medications such as Clomipramine and Amitriptyline work better for neuropathy than the newer Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). While SSRIs are more effective at controlling depression, they simply don’t impact neuropathy as much.

Anticonvulsants are also effective for dealing with neuropathy pain, but studies don’t fully back them up. Patients taking these medications, which include Gabapentin and Tiagabine, have reported a decrease in pain, though. This means that while research may not make it clear why they work, apparently, they do.

Alternative Treatments

Many people are intrigued by the promises alternative medicine makes. It sounds so good to simply add a supplement to your meals or drink a special tea in order to have all the pain taken away.

While there is some truth to some of these supplements, many herbal medications do not have any scientific backing, and many don’t work. Instead, you may experience a placebo effect.

Because you believe the tea or supplement will help, you trick yourself into thinking you don’t feel as much pain. This is especially easy with something like neuropathy where the pain isn’t always at a steady level.

Of course, taking vitamins and supplements is beneficial for your body as a whole. However, if you’re not getting enough of these substances in your diet, taking extra supplements isn’t likely to treat your neuropathy. That’s because the body will flush out anything it doesn’t need to function. There’s also the risk of taking too much. You can actually damage your body if you take large amounts of specific vitamins.

Other alternative treatments such as massage and acupuncture can help you relax, and that may help you feel better. However, there’s nothing to back up the claim that these forms of treatment actually work. It’s often another case of the placebo effect—if you believe it helps, you may actually experience some benefits. Scientifically and medically, though, they’re not solid treatment options.

Getting Professional Medical Help for Neuropathy

If you’re suffering from neuropathy, you can work with a medical professional to reduce or even eliminate the pain you’re feeling on a daily basis. While these alternative treatments may help to mask the pain, they often don’t treat what’s really going on, or may actually hurt your overall health.

That’s why you need to work with an expert who understands neuropathy. Dr. Fox and his team at Fox Integrated Healthcare have years of experience working with neuropathy patients and are ready to help. Contact us today to arrange an appointment.