January #43 : On Your Feet - by Mark Mascolini

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Table of Contents

The Fire This Time

Rainey on Parade

The Mayor of Market Street

The Best, Worst & Weirdest 1998

Numb and Number

Love's Recovery

Back on His Feet

Say What


Two Nations Under Plague

The Black Death

To The Editor

Research for the New Millennium

POZarazzi: Saw You in September

Show & Tell

Partner Racket

POZ Picks

Letter from Manila: The Wages of Sin

Vials of the Dolls

Family Feud

Woman Warrior


Comply or Die

Vaccine Vexations

Bad News Bear

AIDS on the Net

A Crystal Ball For Drug Success

Backing off Bactrim

Vits Against Virus

Reinfection Revisited

Waste No Time

On Your Feet

Sean's Sugar Highs

Black Power

Where to Find It

Checking In: Food For Thought

Aunt Evelyn's Letters

The Price Wars

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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January 1999

On Your Feet

by Mark Mascolini

Ten steps to ease neuropathy pain

While doctors, researchers and PWAs continue testing and debating a wide range of treatments for painful neuropathy (see "Pins and Needles"), this condition's miseries strike ever more people, especially in the feet and hands. Here are some, ahem, steps you can take that may give some relief:

1. Maintain your weight, eat well and take your multivitamins. Studies link   reduced body weight and malnutrition to worsening neuropathy.

2. Wear shoes that fit well. Your doctor can recommend a foot specialist to see if special shoe inserts will help.

3. Throw away the tight socks. Loose cotton socks make the going easier.

4. A little walking can help, even if your feet object. (Getting blood to the feet may relieve some pain.) But don't stand still longer than you have to.

5. Easy-to-do stretching and strengthening exercises can limber up tight muscles. (See booklet listed below, or ask a physical therapist for advice.)

6. Douse your feet in cool water or even ice water: Sit on the edge of a bath tub, submerge your feet in a pan of room-temperature water, then slowly run colder water into the pan.

7. Keep bedclothes raised above your feet. A homemade semicircular hoop—or even a pillow next to your feet—can form a tent to keep sheets off sensitive toes.

8. Use body parts with intact sensation to test water temperature.

9. Massage those throbbing tootsies. Brisk rubdowns improve circulation. One study found that professional plus home massage helped with neuropathy unresponsive to drugs.

10. How about biofeedback? It won't end the pain, but it may help you cope with the mild or moderate variety.

Some of these tips are adapted from Project Inform's Peripheral Neuropathy Quick Sheet (800.822.7422 or www.projinf.org/hh/sneuro.html) and from Exercising with Neuropathy, a booklet by the Neuropathy Association (800.247.6968 or www.neuropathy.org).

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