About 20 million people in the United States, including more than half of all diabetics, suffer from neuropathy.
It can cause weakness, numbness and pain in hands and feet.
Now a new therapy is helping people get back on their feet.
For some it's like electricity or pins and needles.
Others feel like their feet are on fire!
For Eddie Jeffcoat, just walking across the street was impossible.
Eddie has neuropathy.
Damaged nerves in his feet have left him homebound for the last three years.
Eddie Jeffcoat says, "It came to where I couldn't stand. I couldn't walk."
But now he's walkig his dog, Bear, even enjoying his treadmill time and he's done it all in 90 days!
Dr. Marc Ott says, "It's incredible, most people start seeing results literally with the first treatment."
Doctor Marc Ott says the new treatment for feet and hands centers around an electric stimulator called the rebuilder. It measures how a person's nerves are abnormally firing, then sends electrical frequency to get the nerve back into a normal firing pattern.
Dr. Ott says, "So for each patient the way the unit actually fires is different. It builds a pattern that's specific to you."
The therapy includes exercises on a vibrating platform to help restore balance and neurological control.
Dr. Ott: "It's pretty astonishing to watch the results these patients experience and the lifestyle changes that it makes for them."
While Eddie's still not up to full speed, he's lost 40 pounds and his pain level's been cut in half.
Jeffcoat: "90 days ago the pain was a ten. It hurt real bad. I'm at a five."
The home unit could reduce the pain even more. In the meantime Eddie says the rebuilder has made life a lot more bearable.
Doctor Ott says almost all of his patients see a change with the therapy.
He tells us the degree of improvement depends on the individual.
The rebuilder treatment is available across the country.
It is covered by medicare and most insurance plans.
BACKGROUND: Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves, the sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves that connect the spinal cord to skin, muscles, and internal organs. It usually affects the feet and hands. Peripheral neuropathy can come and go, progress slowly over the years, or it can become severe. If it is caught early enough then, it can often be controlled. It is a common condition. An estimated 20 million Americans have it and it can occur at any age, but is most common among the elderly. (Source: www.neuropathy.org)
CAUSES: There are more than 100 known types of peripheral neuropathy, each with their own symptoms, pattern of development, and prognosis. However, the most common symptoms are tingling, numbness, abnormal sensations, and pain in the feet. Over time it can spread to the legs and hands. There are many different causes of neuropathy. However, about 30 percent are "idiopathic," or of an unknown cause. In another 30 percent of cases, the cause is diabetes. Other causes can include tumors, autoimmune disorders, infections, toxins, or nutritional imbalances. (Source: www.neuropathy.org)
TREATMENT: The main goal of treatment is to manage the condition that is causing your neuropathy. If it is corrected, then the neuropathy can improve on its own. Pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, capsaicin, lidocaine patch, and antidepressants are all used to help relieve the pain of peripheral neuropathy. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may help to relieve symptoms. Adhesive electrodes are placed on the skin and an electric current is delivered through the electrodes at various frequencies, but it has to be applied regularly. (Source: www.mayoclinic.com)
NEW TECHNOLOGY: An alternative to drugs for pain relief and numbness is an electric stimulator called "the ReBuilder." It works by stopping the nerve signals from getting to the brain. It can treat the pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, idiopathic neuropathy, polyneuropathy, and chemo induced neuropathy. It can also treat pain from conditions like MS, restless leg syndrome, MD, Charcot Marie-Tooth, and piriformis entrapment syndrome. The ReBuilder was proven 96 percent effective in a study with over 3,000 doctors each treating one of their own patients that did not respond to any of their previous treatments. It is the primary system used in cancer hospitals like The Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the Rockefeller Cancer Center, the Cleveland Clinic, John Hopkins, and Sloan Kettering for their patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy. The ReBuilder combined with lifestyle changes, like a personalized nutrition plan and exercises is a promising new treatment option for patients. (Source: www.rebuildermedical.com)
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Dr. Marc Ott, DC
Integrative Physical Medicine