Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Anyone try acupuncture for neuropathy?

I’m about at my wits end with this neuropathy. It is throughout my leg; hip to toes. I’ve had scrambler therapy, that worked, just didn’t last. I could do it again but it a bit of a hassle as it is everyday and is not exactly close by where I live.

I’ve read acupuncture helps, but wanted to see what your experience was. I know we are all different and react differently to treatments, but would just like to hear your experience with it. Acupuncture is not covered under my insurance so I’ll be paying out if pocket- another reason why I’d love to hear your experience with it. My neuropathy is not from chemo.

Thanks in advance for your stories!

Comments

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited April 2022

    Is the neuropathy on one side only?

    I used to have severe sciatica with slight neuropathy and tried acupuncture. It didn't work for me.

  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 133
    edited April 2022

    yes, just one side. It’s from my hip to my toes on that side.

    I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. There has to be something out there that can help. Too many of us are suffering. Neuropathy, along with BC, is not for the faint at heart. It’s really sad but I really don’t remember what it’s like to have full feeling in my leg.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
    edited April 2022

    I had sciatica before cancer that got worse after chemo. After radiation I upped my pain meds and worked on postural alignment exercises and nerve flossing . That worked to fix the sciatica, and I have only one small spot of neuropathy between my toes. I don't know if this would work if the neuropathy is from bone mets.

    I hope you can find something that helps.

  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 133
    edited August 2022

    Coming back with an update. It took me a little while to research area acupuncturists to find one that I was comfortable with.

    i started about a week and a half ago, but I have to say, it’s AMAZING the difference I feel. There is still some numbness, but my mobility and endurance have both greatly improved. I receive 3 treatments a week and will continue for another month. Then, we go down to twice a month.

    I’m hopeful that with such a response so far, I will continue to progress. Yes, it was expensive, but I believe with all my heart that it has been worth every single penny.

    Only question remaining is why the heck did I wait so long? We see this advice often on the boards, but it is true. Don’t suffer.. do your research and keep trying things until you find one that works. I’ve never had acupuncture before, but I am a true believer now.

  • finallyoverit
    finallyoverit Member Posts: 133
    edited October 2022

    Coming back with another update with about 30 acupuncture treatments complete.

    I know we all react differently, but this has been a game changer for me. I still have numbness in the leg, but a lot of it has resolved.

    The thing that I’ve noticed the largest change with is my mobility and endurance. I am doing things now that I wasn’t in early July, before I started acupuncture.

    I encourage anyone who is suffering to do the research, find someone you trust, and give it a try. I will continue with treatments about once a month and if I feel anything change from where it is now, my acupuncturist told me we could do twice a month or more to give my body a “refresher”.

  • cure-ious
    cure-ious Member Posts: 2,731
    edited October 2022

    Finally- Thanks for posting this, after years on I-F, I have developed some numbness/neuropathy in my feet, and so will be happy to try this. For those with more significant neuropathy, there is an implantable spinal cord stimulator that seems to be very effective, not a cure but still quite good. Is advertised for diabetic neuropathy but works on chemo neuropathy as well as pain. the stimulator converts pain signals to feel good signals to mask the problem...Used for many years, covered by Medicare.

    https://weillcornell.org/news/spinal-cord-stimulat...


  • Askmissa
    Askmissa Member Posts: 32
    edited October 2022

    I am getting major stabbing pain in the noncancer breast. I am over 3 years post-surgery. Is this neuropathy? Should i make appointment with oncologist or pain management physician? It's killing me

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 848
    edited October 2022

    askmissa: I'm not a doctor but I would start with your PCP. It sounds like neuropathy to me. I have a similar problem with the breast treated by lumpectomy and radiation as well as my face and left hand. Unfortunately, in an accident I also received severe thermal burns over 20% of my body including face, chest, trunk and left arm. Scar tissue (in your case from the surgery) can impinge on nerves and cause this pain. I take gabapentin for this which works pretty well for me.

    I'm a fan of acupuncture which helped with insomnia and brachial plexus nerve pain after surgery, but it did not help the pain caused by the scar tissue. Your PCP can order tests to try to determine the cause of the pain so that you can be referred to the correct specialist for treatment if necessary. Good luck figuring this out!

  • Askmissa
    Askmissa Member Posts: 32
    edited October 2022

    Thank you, Maggie!! My grandmother was in a boat fire and was severly burned. I am so sorry you havd that happen to you

  • nhcat
    nhcat Member Posts: 4
    edited November 2022

    I had a double mastectomy in March and just recently experienced pain in my left side (non-cancer side) that woke me up, was so incredibly scary and painful, like I was being eaten, burning, itching. This happened 3 times in one day. I have been prescribed gabapentin but really don't want to take it as I don't do meds well. I will if this continues, but not a good experience. I also have neuropathy in my feet and hands from the chemo. Would appreciate hearing if this is happening to anyone else. Thanks

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 848
    edited November 2022

    nhcat: Acupuncture helped my radial plexus nerve pain but not the nerve pain caused by scar tissue. I take gabapentin just at night to sleep and put up with the pain during the day. Gabapentin makes you drowsy which is a problem when you want to be alert but is an added bonus at night.

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,263
    edited November 2022

    Re acupuncture, could those who've tried it tell me if you feel the needles at all, and if so how much? I've heard such good things about it, and how it can help various ailments, but I'm a real needle phobe and just the thought of going somewhere to have needles stuck in me is pretty awful.

    Thanks.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 848
    edited November 2022

    threetree: The needles are very thin and while you can usually feel just the pressure of them being inserted, every once and a while you can get a tiny prick. The minor prick pain then disappears almost immediately. It doesn't hurt at all when needles are removed. The feeling doesn't even come close to that of an injection or blood draw. Acupuncture does not cure everything but I have found it very helpful for many things that western medicine didn't fix.

    My RO referred me to the complementary acupuncture program at the hospital while I was undergoing radiation so I got the chance to try it for free before my active treatment ended. I live quite a distance from the hospital so the practitioner there gave me advice on finding an acupuncturist. Make sure they are licensed, check their training (most have a masters degree in oriental medicine,) and try to find someone with oncology patient experience. Many also prescribe Chinese herbs. My MO who is from India and grew up with ayurvedic medicine told me to pass on those. He said that the herbs can be useful but he would be worried about quality control. My acupuncturist has been very helpful, even researching the Japanese method of treating post atomic bomb radiation sickness to help with the inflammation from rads.

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,263
    edited November 2022

    Maggie15 - Thanks so very much for all of that info, not just about the needle pain, but really appreciate the tips about looking up the backgrounds, what to look for, etc.

    I looked on the internet and discovered that Medicare only covers acupuncture for low back pain - not chemo caused neuropathy, so I'll have to look into the cost too. I've thought about giving it a try from to time over the years, but have just never quite been able to bite the bullet.