10 Tips from the Austin Patient Conference
On September 14, 2019, the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy and the Neuropathy Alliance of Texas teamed up to present a patient conference on Living Your Best Life with Peripheral Neuropathy. Here are some tips that came out of that conference.
- Neuropathy can affect a person’s ability to drive. In addition to reaction time,flexibility and pedal perception, neuropathy can increase fatigue. Have a Plan B if you feel too tired or uncomfortable driving.
- Be sure to know how your medications may affect you and your driving. RoadwiseRx.com is a resource to check the effects of the medications you are taking.
- If you’re still driving and may need adaptations, work with an occupational therapist specialized in driving and driving adaptions. You can find one through www.aded.net.
- Have a discussion with loved ones about ‘driving retirement’. Like with any other activity, having a plan is important. You can find good publications here and here related to this subject.
- Chronic pain can lead to anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues. There are ways to build up your resilience. Recognize that resilience is the ability to cope in the face of difficulty.
- When faced with chronic pain, it helps to recognize the limitations, adjust for these limitations, and do not be afraid to ask for help.
- Exercise is important to keep muscles strong, blood flowing, and slow the progression of peripheral neuropathy. Tai Chi helps build strength and balance. Water exercises allow you to build strength, often with less pain and a greater range of motion.
- Exercise should not cause pain. It might cause discomfort, but if there is true pain, and the pain lasts more than 30 minutes, you have done too much.
- The best way to improve function is repetition of the functional task. If you are having trouble going up stairs, go up one stair repetitively until you have built up strength to do more. If you are having trouble reaching, practice reaching. If you are having trouble walking, walk a few steps to build up strength to walk more.
- If you choose to see a physical therapist, choose one the specializes in neuropathy, pain management, or adaptive therapies. Physical therapists specialize just as medical doctors do; find a PT who is familiar with your needs and works best with you.
P.S. If you’d like to watch the Austin Patient Conference in its entirety, the event recording is now posted on our website.
We thank our speakers and the Neuropathy Alliance of Texas for their contributions to the conference. We also thank our sponsors (Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Regenesis Biomedical and Periphex) for their support of our program.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this living well tips is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider. You are strongly encouraged to consult a neurologist with any questions or comments you may have regarding your condition. The best care can only be given by a qualified provider who knows you personally.