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Is there anything I can do to ease the neuropathy in my fingers and toes caused by chemotherapy?

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Vaibhav Kumar

Credihealth Admin
Member since 12 January 2017 04 December 2017 at 13:26

Various techniques have been tried by patients and recommended by physicians to prevent, lessen the severity or treat chemotherapy side effects such as peripheral neuropathy.  There is no "one-size-fits-all" regimen that works for everyone.  Much of the treatment is based on trial and error and finding what combination of interventions works for the individual. 
  • Report any unusual feeling you may have to your healthcare professional.  Let them know if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, so they can assess.
  • Follow instructions regarding rest and delays in treatment.
  • Be active in decisions regarding treatment versus quality of life.
Protection and Safety against Neuropathy caused by Chemotherapy:
  • Protect areas where sensation is decreased (example: do not walk around without footwear). Wear thick socks and soft soled shoes.
  • Extreme temperature changes may worsen symptoms.  
  • Wear warm clothing in cold weather. Protect feet and hands from the extreme cold.  
  • Use care when washing dishes or taking a bath or shower do not let the water get too hot.
  • Use potholders when cooking.
  • Use gloves when washing dishes, gardening.
  • Inspect skin for cuts, abrasions, burns daily, especially arms, legs, toes and fingers.
  • Simple Comfort Measures:
  • Massage
  • Flexible splints
  • Lotions and creams
Measures to relieve constipation induced by Neuropathy:
  • Eat foods high in fiber like fruits (pears, prunes), cereals, and vegetables.
  • Drink two to three liters of non-alcoholic fluids (water, juices) each day; unless you are told otherwise by your doctor.  
  • Exercise twenty to thirty minutes most days of the week, as tolerated, and if okay with your doctor.  A lot of patients find that walking for exercise is convenient and easy to do.
  • If you have been prescribed a "bowel regimen," make sure you follow it exactly.
Other tips to combat or minimize Chemo-based Neuropathy:
Some patients have found techniques such as deep breathing, relaxation and guided imagery helpful particularly to help with pain associated with neuropathy.