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Peripheral Neuropathy Interviews An Interview on Living with Peripheral Neuropathy

Updated: May 23, 2019

This week we are focusing on one of my client’s experience with peripheral neuropathy (PN).


They began experiencing PN after the patient had surgery on their foot from a nasty case of gout. Pain continued long after the surgery, which is why my client sought out my help. We began working together regularly to resolve the burning sensation in her foot. PN can be experienced in various ways, read about one of my client’s road to treatment below.

Q: How has pain, numbness and hypersensitivity areas in your body affected you at work?

A: I need to wear steel toed safety shoes for factory visits. I tend to walk without flexing all of the bones in the foot as much when I wear regular shoes. So, everything in my foot is quite stiff and tired at the end of the day. The PN in my second toe my right foot is constantly aggravated. It seems to help if I consciously flex my toes within the shoe. Z-Health flexion movements help relieve the burning even more!


Q: How has pain, numbness and hypersensitivity areas in your body affected you at home?

A: The burning isn’t constant but can pop up at any random time. Stimulating the foot overall as well as the second toe helps relieve the burning. I also like to take off my shoes and rub my feet.

Q: How has pain, numbness and hypersensitivity areas in your body affected you at rest and relaxation?

A: I don’t let it stop rest and relaxation, I just push thru it and do the flexion movements.

Your ability to socialize?


Q: What was happening in your life and movement before these symptoms started happening?

A: Well, I led a happy, normal life! Still do, I think. I just get distracted by this peripheral neuropathy (PN) from time to time.


Q: Describe what happened and how you first noticed the pain, numbness and hypersensitive areas? Did you have an injury or did these symptoms show up slowly?

A: I’ve had very sporadic gout attacks in my right foot, mostly in the big toe. Over a period of years, I had a large buildup of gout deposits in my second toe. So large that it put a big ‘dent’ into the toe. My Podiatrist surgically removed it and it took forever to heal and a white substance continued to drain out of the wound. Skin healed over this build up, resembling the original, but not quite as large yet. The spot for PN is right where my first and second toes touch. I experience burning sensation and the second toe has developed a callous. That doesn’t stop the burning.


Q: What did you experience right after the surgery?

A: I couldn’t wear shoes as the shoe was too small to accommodate the wound. I had to wear sock and sandals in snowy conditions. Was the subject of many discussions at the office coffee machine. I was not able to do my normal work of visiting construction sites. I had to apply a square gauze pad around the toe in the morning to keep it from leaking thru my sock and into my shoe. I couldn’t take baths or showers easily. I do recall my toes becoming swollen. I elevated them as much/often as possible. Over time, my foot started to become immobile.


Q: What did your doctor advise you to do to treat these symptoms?  

A: The doctor recommended Ibuprofen for pain. Didn’t have much to say about the thing taking so long to heal. I stopped going for follow up after the third post op visit – to expensive. A couple weeks after that, the thing glazed over, and the rest is history. Can’t recall the doc recommending any treatment for the loss of flexion.

Q: How long have you been addressing this problem?

A: About 1.5 years.


Q: What did you try on your own (rest, elevation, walking, medication, etc.)?

A: My Z-Health coach at InnerSparks always has a flexion exercise to try so I do foot flexions, even unconsciously now.  I’ll take credit for doing it on my own. I did continue elevating my foot for a while.


Q: What have you tried that worked as a result of working with InnerSparks?

A: There are a few things that I like, there is a natural oil called Deep Relief – don’t travel without it. Vibration and massage on the foot and toe. I always do my foot and toe flexors exercises. I try to pay attention to when it feels good. Seems to outweigh the bad times.

Q: What do you feel are the advantages about this treatment approach that is different than others you have done?

A: Works much better than alcohol or trying to ignore it, but seriously I like that no medications are involved!

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Andrea Legatt Carvin

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, MOVEMENT TRAINER & LIFE COACH

6649 University Avenue Suite 100

Middleton, WI 53562

Tel: (608) 836-0305

Email: info@innersparks.com

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