Neuropathy is a tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands and/or feet. In cancer treatment, it is caused by some of the chemotherapy drugs that damage the nerve endings. It usually starts out in the fingers and toes, but can spread to the feet and up the legs, and through the hands. It is sometimes called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). People with diabetes also frequently develop neuropathy. For CIPN, the damage may be reversed after treatment ends. A gentle massage of the hands or feet often provides temporary relief, greater flexibility in the joints, and reduction in numbness, tingling or pain. It is important to tell your massage therapist if you are experiencing any pain, numbness, or tingling anywhere as it calls for a gentler approach to avoid injury to the area. If you cannot accurately assess the pressure of the massage, a deep massage could cause damage which you would not know about until later. In addition to massage, other non-pharmacological approaches such as Pure Pro’s Pepperment Pedango foot crème or Topricin Foot cream have helped some people with relief from neuropathy. Acupuncture has also helped with neuropathy.
Please let your massage therapist know if you are experiencing neuropathy.