Your lying in bed trying to go to sleep, but the feet won't stop hurting. In fact, this is an every night routine. What is going on? Why are the feet burning? Can't my feet just let me sleep?
Although this presentation is not "normal" for healthy feet, it is very common. Over 21 million individuals in the United States have been diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy. Currently the estimated presentation of this disease process is far higher when you include the undiagnosed individuals in the United States and around the world. This is not, however, a new entity but is instead often under diagnosed, misdiagnosed poorly understood or even just considered a secondary diagnosis of another problem. Peripheral Neuropathy is a very important diagnosis and can lead to many problems.
Dr Brandt R Gibson and Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute has created a proprietary process, The Gibson Method™, to evaluate, diagnose and ultimately manage and treat Peripheral Neuropathy to allow the return to an Extraordinary Life. We feel it is imperative that you return to your life without the limitations that come from the Discomfort, Distraction and Disability of Peripheral Neuropathy.
- Discomfort - The most common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include pain, numbness and various forms of discomfort. This is the most common reason individuals are seen by a physician for the presentation of peripheral neuropathy.
- Distraction - Foot and ankle health should preclude sensations (or lack thereof) that would lead to constant reminder of the feet, ankles or hands. When you are trying to watch a movie, read a book or even sleep, your feet shouldn't prevent that. Many of the medications for peripheral neuropathy are designed to reduce the associated discomfort of peripheral neuropathy so that it is no longer a distraction.
- Disability - Our biggest concern, however, here at Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute is the limitations that come from peripheral neuropathy. That is why The Gibson Method™ was created. Our primary goal is to allow individuals with peripheral neuropathy to live an Extraordinary Life without limitations!
What Is The Gibson Method™?
The Gibson Method™ is a proprietary process designed to evaluate, diagnose and ultimately manage and treat peripheral neuropathy. This is done through two distinct processes:
- The Gibson Method™ Protocol - Consisting of 4 primary office visits and follow-up as needed to provide you with the tools to Understand, Manage, and Control neuropathy so that you can Thrive. This protocol requires visits at Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute and may include peripheral neuropathy treatments there.
- The Gibson Method™ 90-Day Boot Camp - A 90-day process that can be done from anywhere in the world through an online course that provides the tools necessary to Understand, Manage, and Control neuropathy so that you can Thrive.
The key to The Gibson Method™ is managing the nerve health. When it comes to nerve health, it is important that you treat all aspects of nerve health. This is never more important than with nerve damage such as peripheral neuropathy. To simplify this discussion, I have equated each of the 4 Pillars of Nerve Health to the four legs on a stool. If a single pillar, or leg, is missing or broken, the stool is unstable and nerve health continues to suffer. Therefore as you begin to study your nerves and seek to improve their health; it is imperative that you look at each of these pillars individually.
PILLAR 1 – UNDERSTAND Peripheral Neuropathy Personally
Of all the Pillars, if I had to place emphasis on one of the pillars, this would be the most important. If you don’t understand peripheral neuropathy, you will struggle to find ways to manage it. The biggest reason that most individuals suffer with peripheral neuropathy is because most physicians fail to provide the education necessary to truly help you learn to manage this disease process. The problem is exacerbated when a patient tries to scroll through the wide ranging information from personal study or internet searches. How do you know what information is valid or what information is helpful. Often there is even information that is not just inaccurate by completely false. Accurate education is imperative!
One of the major goals of this book and related resources is to ensure you have a more complete personal understanding of peripheral neuropathy and all aspects of managing nerve health. Information I plan to share includes definitions of peripheral neuropathy, understanding of what nerves are involved, understanding of current and past theories of neuropathy causes as well as information on treatable conditions that could be causing nerve damage or symptoms. Through this information you should be able to create a roadmap for management of your disease and know what works and what doesn’t.
PILLAR 2 – MANAGE The Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
Once you gain a basic understanding of peripheral neuropathy and the treatable entities, you will have a better handle on your next steps to manage the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. You will have processes to eliminate or reduce pain, improve numbness or tingling and even improve walking and balance. You will know what symptoms to expect and how to best manage them. Through understanding of Pillar 1 you will have the best options for doing this correctly.
One important misconception with Pillar 2 is the fact that you may already be utilizing a medication or vitamin to “treat” your peripheral neuropathy. This treatment may even be somewhat effective and allow you to sleep at night for example. But without a more complete picture the treatment is limited on its ability to truly manage the symptoms and give you options to improve. Let me give you an example:
Narcotics have been utilized for many years to treat peripheral neuropathy pain. Studies have found, however, that they are ineffective at resolving nerve pain and only reduce pain up to 50%. There are also significant side effects to long-term narcotic use including but not limited to addiction.
This is an important Pillar to managing peripheral neuropathy. To truly manage peripheral neuropathy, you must manage the associated symptoms.
PILLAR 3 – CONTROL Peripheral Nerve Damage
A longer form treatment of peripheral neuropathy is not just symptom related but disease related. Since there are over 125 different causes of peripheral neuropathy, proper management will require control of the damage being caused by any of these causative entities. Once the symptoms are being managed, the damage to the nerves must by controlled and possibly even stopped. Although peripheral neuropathy is typically progressive, careful treatment of the many disease processes associated with peripheral neuropathy can also stop the continued nerve damage. This pillar includes reducing disease processes, understanding the causative entities and treating them or managing them (think improve diabetic blood sugar control, decrease inflammation, improve blood flow to nerves, improve nerve required nutrients, reduce toxic substances or other nerve damaging conditions).
This is one unique aspect of correct management of peripheral neuropathy as it will allow both determination of the cause of your peripheral neuropathy and the treatment of these disease processes to reduce nerve damage and produce long-term improvement.
PILLAR 4 – THRIVE With Peripheral Neuropathy
Although neuropathy can be managed without this Pillar, living a “normal” life with peripheral neuropathy is often very difficult. The primary goal of this Pillar is to be aggressive vigilance to all aspects of nerve health and often improve overall health in the process. Not only do you need to understand peripheral neuropathy, manage the symptoms and control the nerve damage, but you need to seek to modify your lifestyle to give you the best chance of living an extraordinary life without limitations. This is one of the secrets of truly managing your peripheral neuropathy.
As you seek to THRIVE with peripheral neuropathy, you will learn meditation techniques, exercise and nutrition management, and even continued treatment by many aspects of the previous Pillars. Success is only possible through a well-rounded and comprehensive approach to nerve health.