TENS 7000 for Treatment of Painful Neuropathy
Pain control units like the TENS 7000 are usually associated with conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis. Seldom are they thought to be useful for disorders like, say, diabetes, but they may actually more helpful than given credit for, even in an indirect manner. That may be the case with peripheral neuropathy, which is actually an umbrella term for a series of neuropathies such as those linked to diabetes mellitus. In turn, diabetic neuropathies are commonly related to other conditions, including third nerve palsy, mononeuropathy, mononeuroptahy multiplex, diabetic amyotrophy, painful polyneuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, and thoracoabdominal neuropathy.
No organ or system is exempted from neuropathy, since it can affect all peripheral nerves, pain fibers, motor nerves (which control muscle movement), and autonomic nerves (which control blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder function). Specific symptoms include numbness and tingling of extremities, dysesthesia, diarrhea, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, facial drooping, vision changes, dizziness, muscle weakness, trouble swallowing, speech impairment, fasciculation, anorgasmia, sensitivity to touch and light, lack of coordination, intolerance to heat, skin, hair or nail changes, and burring or electric pain. These symptoms do not appear all at once, but may manifest progressively over several years.
Peripheral neuropathy is not caused only by diabetes, though. Other causes may be lifestyle choices (alcoholism, poor diet), autoimmune diseases (Sjogren´s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, chronic, inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, necrotizing vasculitis), poison exposure, medications, infections (Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, leprosy, diphtheria, HIV), inherited conditions (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), nerve trauma (car accidents, sports injuries), tumors (malignant and benign), vitamin deficiency, and other diseases (kidney disease, liver disease, connective tissue disorders, underactive thyroid, amyloidosis). Further risk factors are toxin exposure and repetitive physical stress; for example doing the same movements over and over for long periods.
Doctors prescribe drugs for peripheral neuropathy, such as pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, immunodepressive medications, capsaicin, lidocain patches, and anti-depressants. A different kind of therapy would be a plasma exchange. However, the best alternative is probably TENS stimulation, usually 30 minutes a day for approximately a month, or as prescribed by a doctor. Treating peripheral neuropathy in a timely manner can avoid complications like reduced feeling (numbness might make you insensitive to temperature changes or pain, thus increasing the risk of burns or skin trauma) and infection (patients may overlook minor injuries in areas without sensation).