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Nerve Flossing for Diabetic Neuropathy Relief
By George W. Kukurin, DC, DACAN

A common complication of elevated blood sugar or diabetes is damage to the nerves throughout the body. This is known as peripheral neuropathy and can produce debilitating pain, numbness and other distressing symptoms in patients. For patients suffering with the symptoms of neuropathy associated with diabetes, current treatment consists of strict blood glucose control and several drugs that may relieve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Regrettably the current state of treatment for most patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy is truly inadequate. While drug treatment of diabetic neuropathy is lacking, there are, in fact, advances in the realm of physical treatment of neuropathy that may potentially benefit diabetic neuropathy patients right now. Let me tell you about the research findings of a team of surgeons from Johns Hopkins and related research findings from the physiotherapy profession in Australia. What these research teams found was that the nerves in diabetic patients in addition to being damaged by high blood glucose were also fixated, compressed and stuck. Although we don't know why, nerves are less mobile in diabetic patients, this finding suggests that in patients with diabetic neuropathy their nerves may also be damaged by physical irritation and microtrauma due to restricted nerve gliding. The surgeons developed a procedure to surgically release the nerves in diabetic patients. The Australian physiotherapists developed non-surgical techniques to restore normal motion to the fixed nerves. This technique called nerve gliding or sometimes called “nerve flossing” may release entrapped nerves in diabetic patients without resorting to surgery. Avoiding foot surgery in diabetic patients is always a good thing. Basically nerve gliding treatment seeks to mobilize fixed and entrapped nerves to restore their normal motion. The technique consists of gentle stretches applied across the fixated nerve. While the foot is stretched the patient simultaneously flexes and extends her head and neck. This produces a "flossing" type motion on either side of the nerve fixation. Eventually this reciprocal nerve mobilization may break down adhesions and decompress the nerves. Our patients suffering with diabetic neuropathy report good pain relief with nerve flossing techniques as part of a comprehensive neuropathy treatment program.

Dr. George W. Kukurin, Kukurin Chiropractic, Acupuncture & Nutrition, can be reached at (412) 381-4453 or visit www.alt-compmed.com.

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