What if there was a simple clue about your Neuropathy that gave you invaluable insight about how to get sustained relief naturally? This article will discuss the implications of where you feel your Neuropathy and how you can leverage that information to get yourself better.
There are two primary causes of Neuropathy, mechanical compression on a nerve (pinched nerve) and metabolic stress to the nerve (ie Diabetes, alcoholism). These two different causes of Neuropathy tend to cause people to feel their Neuropathy in different distributions throughout the body.
When someone has a pinched nerve in their body, they will feel Neuropathy symptoms along the course of the nerve that is being pinched. For example, if someone has Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, they have a pinched Median Nerve in the Carpal Tunnel in their wrist. This will cause symptoms (ie burning, numbness, tingling, pain etc) only along the course of the Median Nerve which is the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger. Someone with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will not have symptoms in their Pinky finger. If a pinched nerve is the cause of your Neuropathy then manual therapies like Physical Therapy and Chiropractic are excellent at helping.
When someone has a metabolic mediated Neuropathy such as Diabetes they will most commonly experience what’s called the ‘Stocking Glove’ distribution of symptoms. This is where the Neuropathy is felt first in the toes, gradually progressing into the feet, working its way up the ankles and legs and then into the fingers and hands (as if someone were putting on stockings and gloves). This distribution doesn’t follow the course of any individual particular nerve, but rather attacks all of the longest nerves in the body. This is why it’s also called a ‘length dependent neuropathy.’ These metabolic Neuropathies are best addressed with diet and exercise.
Differentiating a metabolic vs a compression neuropathy is extremely important to do because it helps you determine the most effective treatment types. The stocking-glove distribution vs any asymmetric non-uniform distribution is an excellent way to help determine the cause. However, it does get a bit more complicated…
There is a Neuropathy referred to as ‘Mononeuritis Multiplex.’ This is where multiple individual nerves are compressed in the body. The compression is a result of an inflammatory condition such as Lupus, Sjogrens, or Sarcoidosis to name a few. The increased inflammation in the body places an extra pressure on nerves that are already close to being pinched on. Hence, this is both a compression and a metabolic condition causing the Neuropathy. This could occur around the spine causing a Neuropathy that wraps around the ribs, or in the elbows causing symptoms down the inside of the forearm and hands or this could occur many other places throughout the body. In the case of Mononeuritis Multiplex, both manual therapies (Physical Therapy / Chiropractic) as well as metabolic therapies (diet /exercise) are both warranted.
The distribution of where you have your Neuropathy does not guarantee a determination of what is causing the Neuropathy, but it is a very strong clue. Leverage this clue along with all the other information available on our website and social media so that you are working as smart as possible in getting yourself better!