Neuropathy is a condition that’s bothering millions of people across the globe. Unfortunately, there’s no ultimate solution for the nerve damage – in order to reduce the pain, you need to deal with the root cause of it. But, the problem is that the cause of the neuropathy can be anything from a simple injury to complex diseases like cancer. Furthermore, some medicines that are effective in treating cancer have disastrous effects on nerve endings.
This is why the scientists have decided to take on a new road in dealing with neuropathy. Instead of focusing on the disease that is causing the nerve pain, they’ve decided to treat the pain itself. The research is ongoing, but the doctors are putting a lot of hope in the neuropathy treatment called cryoneurolysis.
The whole point of the procedure is to treat the damaged nerve by freezing it. This is achieved with the use of a hollow probe that’s filled with coolant. The probe is then used to puncture the skin in order to come as close as possible to the affected nerve. What happens then is that the cold temperature kills the damaged nerve, which eventually regrows as a healthy one.
If a damaged nerve is causing the patient a lot of pain, imagine the level of pain that a dying nerve would produce! That is why the whole procedure needs to be done with the use of anesthetics, in a surgical room.
Cryoneurolysis, as a procedure of freezing the painful part of the body, has been around for a while. In fact, there is some evidence that even the ancient Egyptians used a similar principle in order to relieve the pain. However, it wasn’t until recently that it was proven as an effective way of treating neuropathy.
A research done by Dr. William Moore, a chief of radiology at the Stony Brook gave the evidence that the procedure can help relieve the pain caused by nerve damage. The trial was done on 20 patients diagnosed with neuropathy, who were asked to keep a diary of how they felt for the whole 6 months. Each day, they had to answer a questionnaire regarding the level of pain, which would later serve as an evidence of the treatment’s success.
The cryoneurolysis treatment proved to be very successful from the very beginning. After only a week of undergoing the treatment, some of the patients reported a significant improvement in their conditions. By the end of the 6-month trial, all 20 had experienced a decrease in the intensity of the pain.
Unfortunately, the trial also showed that cryoneurolysis is not a perfect solution, as the symptoms of neuropathy started coming back after a while. Although at the moment this practice might not be a long-term solution, it doesn’t mean that its future isn’t bright. Actually, it just means that there’s still plenty of research needed to be done on the subject.
Although it might not be the ideal cure for neuropathy, a great thing about cryoneurolysis is that it’s fairly safe. At least, compared to alternative procedures… The biggest risk that this procedure carries is that an infection might occur. The reason is simple – inserting a medical instrument in the body opens a door for a number of microbes. The good news is that the infections are usually easy to deal with.
Another risk is that cryoneurolysis might affect healthy neurons as well. This happens mostly due to the human error. Basically, the coolant is not supposed to leave the probe, because if it happens, it might damage the healthy nerves, not only those affected by neuropathy.
A great thing about cryoneurolysis is that it does not necessarily exclude other neuropathy treatments. Actually, it’s suggested that cryoneurolysis provides best results when combined with other treatments, such as using pain relievers and supplements that boost nerve regrowth.
On top of that, it is recommended for the patients to change their dieting habits, most importantly, to introduce the foods that are rich in certain vitamins. For example, vitamin B is known for the nerve-boosting properties, which is why neuropathy patients are advised to eat more fish, eggs, dairy, soy, etc.
Apart from being used for dealing with neuropathy, cryoneurolysis is known to have a positive effect on treating other conditions as well. Certain studies have shown that this procedure provides impressive results in treating chronic migraine and other types of a headache.
Cryoneurolysis has also been used for helping patients with knee arthroplasty. It’s used as a part of the knee treatment, which can take away the need for a surgery. Furthermore, some doctors suggest that cryoneurolysis could be beneficial for treating a number of other diseases, although more research is needed to justify these claims.
If the nerve pain is affecting your life and make you feel as if you’re slowly sinking into depression, you are probably interested in finding a way to deal with it. Cryoneurolysis seems as a good way to go. There’s a lot of evidence that it brings results, so it’s definitely worth a try. On top of that, this procedure carries low to none risk. What this means is that you got nothing to lose, while you can get a lot in return!