Cold Therapy to Prevent Neuropathy? Tips, Anyone?
Chemos commonly used for breast cancers include taxanes, such as taxol and taxotere. Common side effects of taxanes include peripheral neuropathy, numbness and tingling caused by damage to peripheral nerves. This can cause difficulty with both fine motor skills and larger ones, and can affect balance and mobility if it persists. You can read more about peripheral neuropathy here:
Research shows that cold therapy (cryotherapy) may minimize the side effect of neuropathy.
What tips do you have for cold therapy to prevent neuropathy? Did you buy special socks or mitts? Did you use ice packs or frozen peas? How did you rig a system for managing this side effect?
Please share ideas, tips, reviews, and links in comments. I can compile ideas here in the leader for the topic.
- begin icing at least 15 minutes prior to infusion, and continue at least 15 minutes after infusion is complete. If you have a combined chemo session, such as taxotere and cytoxan, the T part is the important segment for icing.
- keep a thin layer of cotton (thin sock or glove) between your skin and the ice to prevent skin damage.
- whether using purchased mitts or sox or in your own system, you will probably need to switch ice packs during the process to maintain the cold.
- you'll probably need to take your own cooler to the infusion center, as you probably won't be able to use their freezer. You can keep your cooler cold by including solid ice packs or frozen water bottles, rather than loose ice.
- you can make your own ice gel packs using heavy-duty freezer resealable bags, water, and rubbing alcohol. Check this link for more.
- try wrapping the ice packs on with an elastic bandage, followed by a thin cotton towel to conform it to your hand or foot.
If you have questions, share those, too, and perhaps someone with experience can help the rest of us understand better.