Several epidemiological studies assessed diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) among patients with diabetes and reported prevalence rates of 26 to 47 percent. No estimates of non-diabetic peripheral neuropathy prevalence were reported, although one study (N = 2,405) reported that 27 percent of participants with diabetes experienced either pain or tingling.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is the disorder in the functioning of the peripheral nerves due to destruction or damage. The damage in the peripheral systems causes a person to suffer from weakness, numbness, and pain in hands and feet mostly. However, there is no restriction of the pain pertaining to the motor skill organs, the pain can occur in other parts as well.
Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy
The treatment of peripheral neuropathy depends upon the underlying cause that has led to the nerve damage. The treatment may be simple in some instances, and if it has been caused by severe factors, the treatment will include heavy medications.
As the nerve damage cannot be reversed, medications only impact to stop the progression. In cases where the nerve damage has risen from injury or nerve entrapment, surgery has to be conducted.
Though the disorder seems displeasing and painful at times, there are topical treatments that have been devised to ease the pain of peripheral neuropathy. Success has been experienced in the disease cases with the passage of time, especially with the ones who get the disorder due to a symptom which is curable.
Using topical agents can help you treat your disease with the revival of the sensational and muscular movements. While the treatment of PN will entirely depend upon what has been the cause of the nerve damage, it is important to cure the root of the disease, because if left untreated, severe outcomes may result.
Commonly used Compounded Pain Medications
• Ketamine – This acts peripherally to antagonize certain peripheral nerve receptors and give a local anesthetic effect.
• Flurbiprofen – This anti-inflammatory medication is used to relieve swelling and tenderness that is associated with peripheral discomfort.
• Gabapentin – This medication is used to treat neuropathic hyperexcitabiity at the site of the peripheral pain.
• Baclofen – This is a muscle relaxer that is applied topically to relieve pain of the muscle tissue.
• Cyclobenzaprine – Another muscle relaxer, this substance allows for effective dosing with very slight systemic absorption, so that the patient does not suffer side effects, such as dry mouth and drowsiness.
Why Topical Medications
Topical medications are the external medicines that are applied and absorbed through the skin. These agents focus on attaining instant pain relief and contain active ingredients, such as anesthetics and analgesics.
Local anesthetics, as the name suggests, cure the localized pain by making the pain area numb and relieving the pain where they are applied. Lidocaine is a cream that is directly applied to the affected area on the skin to relieve pain.
Analgesics are topical pain relievers which work by reducing the cells’ ability to send messages to the brain, so you do not feel pain. Capzasin-P is one of the analgesics.
Topical medicines work better on the affected areas and help to relieve the pain that may otherwise need high dose oral medications. The best topical pain medications for peripheral neuropathy come in compounded form with a doctor’s prescription.
According to researchers, patients who participated in clinical trials were given various medications by mouth for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain. Several participants also used topical lidocaine and capsaicin in addition to the systemic therapies.
It was noted that these topically applied medications were especially beneficial and appropriate as an add-on therapy for treatment of peripheral neuropathy and the pain associated with this condition.
Baron, R. & Mahn, F. (2010). Types of topical treatment for peripheral neuropathic pain: Mechanism of action and indications.
Barrett, A.M., Lucero, M.A., Lee, T. et al. (2007). Epidemiology, public health burden, and treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain: a review. Pain Medicine, Sept 8, Supplement 2, 50 – 62. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17714116