Neuropathy Pain Treatment in Golden Valley, Minnesota
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) refers to the conditions that result when there are changes in normal nerve sensation in “peripheral nerves” in the upper or lower extremities including increased, decreased, absent or abnormal sensation.
Symptoms that are often felt in the hands and feet may include pain, numbness, burning, tingling, electric shocks, abnormal sensations, restless legs and/or weakness and balance problems.
Why should I have my peripheral neuropathy treated?
PN can lead to an impaired quality of life, including loss of sleep, chronic pain, reduced
mobility, lack of energy and decline in social activity. PN is slowly progressive and often starts
with tingling sensations at night or mild decrease in sensation and balance. This can progress
to burning, shooting and/or stabbing pains often with a significant increase in sensitivity.
Some people slowly develop numbness in their feet and/or hands, leading to injuries you don’t
feel. This can lead to complications including foot deformity, ulceration, infections and
Currently, the most common treatment for neuropathy is with oral medications such as the
anti-seizure medication Gabapentin, antidepressants or narcotics which help to settle down or
deaden nerve sensation. Unfortunately, these medications are not a cure and often have
undesirable side effects.
Our neuropathy treatment can help improve sensation, help reduce or eliminate your need
for oral medications and help prevent complications of neuropathy while improving your
quality of life.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
One of the most common causes of PN is diabetes. Many people have idiopathic neuropathy,
in which the exact cause cannot be determined. Other causes include poor circulation,
vitamin/nutritional deficiencies, nerve compression, injuries, back problems, after-effects of
surgery, infections such as shingles, certain diseases such as MS and autoimmune diseases,
chemotherapy and excess alcohol use.
What can I expect at my initial evaluation?
If you are a new patient at the Westwood Foot Clinic, your initial evaluation should take about
an hour and about 30-45 minutes if you are currently a patient at our clinic. We’ll explore the
history of your condition, i.e. when it started, how often it bothers you, how it affects your life
and other pertinent details. The doctor will then examine your feet and ankles for pain,
numbness and tingling, as well as strength and range of motion. A nerve biopsy may be
performed to check the density of nerves in your feet. Lab tests may also be performed to
look for any nutritional deficiencies or other underlying causes of your neuropathy. If
necessary, you may be referred to a neurologist for a full neurological evaluation before any
treatment is started. We will then discuss your options, including whether you would be an
ideal candidate for our treatment program.
What are the treatments like?
Treatments take place in the comfort of our office while reclined in a treatment chair. Each
treatment consists of electrical nerve stimulation delivered to your extremities by our FDA
approved Neurogenx nerve stimulator. At every other treatment, the doctor will perform
nerve blocks with a special anesthetic solution designed to work in conjunction with the nerve
stimulator to enhance therapeutic effects. At each treatment, you will progress to a higher
and deeper level of nerve stimulation. Also included with treatment is a specific nutritional
supplement, if the doctor feels that it would be beneficial for you.
Are the treatments painful?
You may feel some mild irritation and muscle contractions during treatments but this is
typically not painful and quite tolerable. A member of our medical team will be monitoring
you the entire treatment time to make sure you are comfortable. Overall, the treatments are
safe and effective with most patients reporting significant improvement in their symptoms.
How many treatments are required?
Most people will require 8 treatment visits, typically of 40 minutes of nerve stimulation,
usually twice a week for 4 weeks. The doctor will be regularly evaluating how you are
responding to treatment and will perform a full re-evaluation after you have completed a
series of 8 nerve treatments. Some patients or more severe conditions may continue to
improve with 4-8 additional treatments to reach maximum improvement.
How long do the effects of treatment last?
The positive effects that you experience will continue after treatment has ended. Additional
“booster” treatments (typically 4 treatments) are often necessary every 6 to 12 months to
maintain your level of improvement.
Will my insurance pay for this treatment?
Your initial evaluation by the doctor is a standard office visit and is covered by your insurance
as a normal visit (exclusive of co-pays and deductibles). Although these nerve stimulation
treatments are FDA approved, insurance plans- including Medicare, state policies and private
insurance currently do not cover the cost for treatment. Therefore, to receive treatment,
the cost will be your responsibility. Please refer to our “Neuropathy Treatment Program-Cost
Information” sheet regarding treatment cost.