Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How does my father get relief from pain caused by peripheral neuropathy?"
My father is 73 years old. He is not diabetic but suffers from hypertension which he keeps under control by taking regular medicines. He enjoys walking and the outdoors but about 10 ten months back he started getting a tingling sensation and pain on the soles of his feet. His feet hurt when he walks for a little while. He has no pain in his palms. This is affecting his quality of life and increasingly he is unable to venture outdoors. The doctors we have consulted do not seem to be overly concerned about this because tests have revealed that everything else is ok. They have said that this kind of nerve pain is common in old age. What do we do? Is this a reversible process? Are there any cures for this or medicines that might alleviate his pain. Will acupuncture help?
This is a great question and one that is best answered by your primary care doctor or another doctor who specializes in neuropathies such as a neurologist. This is very unlikely to be normal aging that is causing your father to have these severe pains in his feet but more likely neuropathy although the underlying cause is unclear. There are several very good medications that can be used to quiet the nerves and decrease the pain that is sensed from peripheral neuropathy but it is important that you father is evaluated by a neurologist to decide whether further testing would help elucidate the cause of your father's symptoms and then based upon that, further treatment options such as medications will likely be considered. Since this is affecting his quality of life quite significantly, it is suggested that you urge your father to find a specialist soon who can help him with this as will likely only become worse over time if not treated and it will also affect your father in other ways as he may gain weight from becoming sedentary and his mood may become affected by the pain he is experiencing. For these reasons, it is best that he is evaluated as soon as possible.
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