Western Neuropathy Association

Hope through caring, support, research, education, and empowerment


Physical aids can make living with neuropathy easier or more comfortable.  Here are some things that can be useful.

Bed Cover Support

Peripheral neuropathy is an odd disease … along with the numbness can come intense pain and even heightened sensitivity to some sensations.  Some patients find that pressure or the sensation of things moving over their limbs is painful or unpleasant.  If you are one of these, you may find that bed coverings on your feet when you are trying to sleep are uncomfortable, painful, or just disturbing enough to keep you up.  What you need is a support that lifts and holds the covers off your feet so you can get the rest your body requires.

There are commercial products available to address this, but they have two drawbacks:  they tend to be flimsy, and they are pricey for what you get.  With a little effort, however, you can build an inexpensive, sturdy support from readily available PVC pipe used for plumbing.  This has an additional advantage in that you can build one to fit your exact needs — across part of the mattress or all, sitting on top of it or tucked underneath, glued for permanence or able to be disassembled at will.

Past WNA board member Penni Smith built a support for herself years ago, which she later supplemented with one for travel.  She has written an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to determining what sort of support best meets your needs, calculating the materials it will require, and cutting and assembling the final product.  The article is liberally illustrated with photos.

Driving Assistance

Weakness, poor coordination, lack of feedback due to numbness, and debilitating pain can conspire to make driving difficult if not impossible for those with neuropathy.  Yet the simple addition of hand controls to your vehicle can put you back in the driver’s seat.

Did you know these things?

  • Standard hand controls do not alter your acceleration or braking systems in any way.  Your car can still be used normally.
  • You do not need a special license to use hand controls.
  • You can rent a car with hand controls at no additional cost.
  • Your vehicle manufacturer may pay some or all of the cost of adaptive equipment when you buy a new vehicle.

See our full article on how hand controls work, tips on installation and use, and much more, including photos. Locate professionals who can provide advice and support to keep you driving safely as long as possible at www.eldersafety.org.

Mobility Assistance

We would like to feature information about choosing and using mobility devices, such as mobility scooters, wheelchairs, and more.  If you have experience with such items, please send an e-mail to info@pnhelp.org and explain what you have, how you chose that particular product, how you use it, what benefits you've received, and anything else that might be of help.  You may also call or write.

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