4 Your Health: Woman finally finds relief from neuropathy - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

4 Your Health: Woman finally finds relief from neuropathy

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Tucson- Shooting, burning pain and numbness can often be traced to spinal nerve damage. In many cases surgery can correct the condition.  But in cases where the patient is diagnosed with neuropathy, their treatment options may be very limited

Stephanie Stehling suffers from neuropathy, a condition that is difficult to define and even harder to treat. Simply put, it occurs when nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord are damaged or diseased.

"I was at a 10, out of 1 out of a 10, I was in tremendous pain", said Stehling.

Stehling's nightmare began two and a half years ago after she ruptured her L-5 disc in her lower back.

"What they said is, basically my central nervous system was rebooting and I had nerve damage in my lower leg and foot", said Stehling, "And this was my new normal and there was nothing I could do for it."

Dr. Alan Shih, with Head To Toe Healthcare, said that treating neuropathy starts with discovering exactly what is causing the patient's pain. 

"I think the first step is listening to them, figuring what the problem that they see is", Shih said, "Then ideally it matches what you too see in clinic and then making a plan to solve those problems.

After evaluating Stehling's condition Dr. Shih designed a treatment plan that included cortisone injections. It wasn't long before Stehling felt the impact.  

"I was having burning shooting pain, sharp pains, dull pain, just nerves were on fire", said Stehling, "And he gave me my first injection and immediately I felt relief on the top of my foot."

So far, Stehling has had four injections and says her level of pain has dropped from a 10 to a 4. She says for the first time since the injury she is optimistic about getting well again. 

"I'm a very athletic person, I work out, I run, I'm involved in my family so I am looking forward to having that back and be able to sleep more than 4 hours at night and get off my medications, and I want to have my life back.

For more information on the treatment of neuropathy click here.

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