Nerve-related foot pain: is there a magic formula?
Numb, tingling, hypersensitive, stabbing and burning are words commonly used to describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy. Initially presenting in the feet, this pain syndrome is a source of disability and decreased quality of life in those suffering from its effects. Many patients with neuropathy report they cannot tolerate the touch of shoes, socks, or even the bedsheets on their feet at night.
Neuropathy results from damage to small nerve fibres and can arise from many causes including; metabolic dysfunction, autoimmune diseases, toxins, vitamin deficiency, excessive alcohol consumption, and cancer chemotherapy , among others.
The most common cause is diabetes, with one in five Australians suffering from diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy (DPN). If untreated Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy creates a vicious downward cycle for the patient; pain limits activity and exercise, thus complicating diabetic management, which leads to worsening DPN. Effective pain management is the key to reversing this cycle.
Metro Pain Group (MPG) is extensively experienced in treating all types of neuropathy. Dr Dan Bates further established MPG’s world leadership with his recent and seminal publication “A Comprehensive Algorithm for Management of Neuropathic Pain“ in the highly respected Pain Medicine journal.
The Metro Pain Group’s Neuropathic Foot Pain Algorithm provides a consistent and comprehensive framework for treating patients with the full range of potentially effective therapies, moving from least to more complex.
Treatment starts with evaluating the whole patient by reviewing past treatments and current needs. In some cases, proper medication management, and psychological support where needed can give the first relief the patient has ever experienced. In other cases, interventional care is required. This involves straight-forward procedures performed in an operating theatre, using X-ray guidance and sedation (if requested), which can confirm the diagnosis and may provide durable relief for a patient. These treatments include; numbing different points in the ‘pain-pathway’ to guide further therapy, administering radiofrequency energy through specialized devices to block or decrease the pain travelling along a particular pain pathway, and ultimately, the delivery of stimulation to the spine or spinal nerves (dorsal root ganglion) for long-term pain control.
The goal of any pain management program is to return the suffering patient to a life they enjoy living; participating in work or sport, and family as they once were able. Untreated neuropathy is a devastating disease, and that is precisely why the team at Metro Pain Group has put together a state-of-the-art Neuropathic Foot Pain Treatment program; we have the tools to partner with you working towards a successful outcome!
 Brown, T.J., Sedhom, R. and Gupta, A., 2019. Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy. JAMA oncology, 5(5), pp.750-750.
 Bates, D., Schultheis, B.C., Hanes, M.C., Jolly, S.M., Chakravarthy, K.V., Deer, T.R., Levy, R.M. and Hunter, C.W., 2019. A Comprehensive Algorithm for Management of Neuropathic Pain. Pain Medicine, 20(Supplement_1), pp.S2-S12.
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