If you’ve experienced tingling, weakness, and pain in your hands and feet, you know how debilitating neuropathy can be.
Neuropathy refers to nerve damage or dysfunction of your peripheral nerves, which are responsible for transmitting signals between your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the rest of your body.
This condition affects various body parts, leading to a wide range of symptoms such as numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness.
There are several types of neuropathy, including diabetic neuropathy, which is a common complication of diabetes, as well as peripheral neuropathy, which can result from various causes including:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Exposure to certain medications or toxins
The symptoms and severity of neuropathy can vary depending on the underlying cause and the nerves affected.
Treatment options for neuropathy may include addressing the underlying cause and managing symptoms through medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications — and now transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Our team of experts at US Neuropathy Centers knows the search for effective treatment can be just as frustrating as the pain itself. So we’re excited to offer our patients a safe, medication- and scalpel-free way to experience pain relief.
Here’s everything you should know about TMS and its effect on neuropathy.
Understanding transcranial magnetic stimulation
TMS is a noninvasive treatment that targets and stimulates certain nerve cells in your brain. You may have heard of it first as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression, but it has expanded its purview to include other mental health conditions, chronic pain, and neuropathy.
We place an electromagnetic coil over your scalp (usually around your forehead), but we adjust it depending on your needs, pain, and symptoms.
When we turn it on, the coil delivers magnetic pulses through your skull and into your brain. That may sound unsettling, but rest assured that TMS is safe and low-risk. Based on the location of the coil, we can direct the magnetic pulses to virtually any area of your brain.
TMS and neuropathy
Neuropathy is a pain condition that originates with nerve damage. Due to trauma or an underlying health condition, your damaged nerves fire off pain signals to your brain. Enter TMS.
TMS masks, disrupts, and sometimes completely blocks pain signals sent to your brain. The magnetic pulses travel from the coil to your brain, setting up a field of magnetic current that affects the part of your brain that contains a high concentration of neuropathic pain receptors.
This stimulation prevents pain signals from making their way to the pain receptor, and if the signals fail to reach their destination, you don’t feel pain.
At first, you may need a series of treatments to get the best results. Most patients benefit from five days a week for 4-6 weeks, but we tailor your treatment plan based on your specific situation.
You likely won’t experience immediate pain relief, but over time, you’ll notice a significant improvement as your brain activity changes.
The ideal candidate
TMS may sound too good to be true, but we’re proud to say that this treatment delivers on its promises and is an option for virtually everyone.
One study of patients with diabetic neuropathy (one of the most common types of neuropathy) showed that TMS effectively alleviates pain symptoms by changing the way your brain receives information, namely pain signals.
We perform a comprehensive physical exam and discuss your medical history with you before making a recommendation, but TMS treatments are noninvasive, low-risk, and well-tolerated by almost all of our patients.
The only factor that may count you out is having metal in your head, such as a titanium fixation plate.
Are you curious to learn more about what TMS can do for you? We’d love to talk with you and see if you’re a candidate. Call our friendly staff at 404-228-9892 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our Marietta, Georgia, office today.