Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment
Do you suffer from Peripheral Neuropathy (PN)? Do you feel pain, numbness, tingling, burning or other uncomfortable sensations in your feet, legs, hands and/or arms? If so, understand that you are not alone! PN is an extremely common condition affecting over 20 million people in the USA alone. You should also know that you can probably make significant improvements in your Neuropathy! This article will explain the three keys to doing just that.
- Good nutrition is absolutely essential for the health and proper functioning of your nerves. Diabetes which is the most common cause of neuropathy is primarily driven by our diet. Alcoholism, vitamin deficiencies, and autoimmune conditions are other common causes of neuropathy that can result from what we eat and drink.
Cutting out refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, candy, etc.) and alcohol, consuming a lot of ‘above ground’ vegetables (Spinach, Cauliflower, Kale etc.) and drinking plenty of water is a great start for most people. Also, taking the right supplements that help to lower blood sugar levels and provide optimal amounts of Methylcobalamin (most bio absorbable version of Vitamin B12, B12 is the most common vitamin deficiency causing neuropathy) is a great thing to do. When you combine a healthy diet with the right supplements you will shift your physiology from one that is toxic to your nerves to one that is nourishing and rejuvenating your nerves.
- Exercise! When you do the right types of exercise you will improve your balance, reduce your pain, lose weight, boost your immune system and do so many other wonderful things for your health.
Aerobic exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system and creates more blood vessels throughout your body. This allows for much better circulation to your nerves that are suffering. Strength training helps to reduce pain. Stretching helps to reduce the stiffness in the muscles and joints that perpetuate a neuropathy. Balance training obviously improves balance and rewires the nerves for better coordination and less pain.
- Utilize the right types of therapies for your neuropathy. Infrared heat can improve circulation to your nerves, TENS units and vibration machines can stimulate your nerves so that they hurt less, Chiropractic adjustments can relieve a compressed nerve, Epsom Salt baths can reduce muscular tension, and many other forms of therapy can help in other unique ways. Understanding what’s causing your neuropathy is definitely the first step to identifying what types of therapies are most likely going to help you.
Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy
Every sensation you perceive from your fingers, toes and skin depends on nervous signals — little electrical messages that your brain translates into sensory experiences. They’re responsible for letting you feel texture, temperature, vibrations and pain. This includes what you feel when you touch a cold glass of ice water or when you walk on a sandy beach. PN is a condition where these important nervous signals have trouble reaching the brain.
To understand why this happens, think of the connection between your laptop and the internet. A solid connection delivers information quickly, and you can watch videos or communicate with people around the world. Now imagine that the internet cable was cut or damaged. Suddenly, your computer loses access to all of these experiences. That’s what PN does to nerve cells — it cuts them off from the rest of the nervous system or makes them malfunction.
People who have PN may notice several symptoms:
- Difficulty coordinating muscle movement
- Sharp pain
- Burning sensations
- Heightened sensitivity to temperature or touch
These symptoms can vary significantly from individual to individual. What you experience may be very different from someone else, especially when it comes to pain. Some people have prolonged throbbing, while others feel sudden, sharp jabs of pain. However, before you lose hope, you should know that there are effective ways to alleviate this pain and deal successfully with PN symptoms, including our peripheral neuropathy treatment services at Total Health Systems.
Causes of PN
If you think you may have PN, you’re not alone. There are approximately 20 million people in the U.S. with this condition. What makes it appear?
PN has many potential causes. One of the main causes is a history of diabetes, which can damage nerves in the feet, hands and other parts of the body. Severe high blood pressure and liver problems can also affect the nerves.
Sometimes infections and viruses, such as shingles, can cause damage to nerve endings. When neuropathy is caused by a treatable disease, it’s often possible to reduce or eliminate the symptoms by getting rid of the underlying issue. Some diseases are known as auto-immune disorders. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis make your own immune system attack parts of the body, including nerve cells.
Another cause of PN is suffering some kind of traumatic injury, such as a car accident or severe burn. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of PN that results from repetitive injuries to the nerves in the wrists.
Some people are more likely to develop PN because of genetic factors inherited from family members. Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals at work can also lead to this condition. In simple terms, anything that damages or disrupts the nerve cells in your body can cause PN.
Types of PN
PN is a broad description that encompasses many different symptoms and locations throughout the body. These usually fall into four main categories, but in reality, there are over 100 different types:
- Predominantly sensory neuropathy: This type of PN affects the nerves that deliver sensations to your brain. It interrupts or distorts signals related to temperature, pain and touch.
- Predominantly motor neuropathy: Motor nerves help you to walk, talk, smile pick things up or hold objects in your hand. Motor-related PN can make it more difficult to do these activities.
- Sensory-motor neuropathy: As the name suggests, people with this condition experience both sensory and motor symptoms.
- Autonomic neuropathy: While rare, this type of PN affects muscles that you don’t have control over, such as the digestive system or the heart. It interrupts nerve signals to these important organs.
Understanding the specific type of PN that patients have is important because it makes treatments more effective. There are many effective options for alleviating pain caused by sensory neuropathy and for strengthening muscles weakened by motor neuropathy.
Total Health Systems has Chiropractors who can help with the nutrition and therapies plus Physical Therapists who can help with the proper exercises. If you or someone you know is suffering from PN, things can probably get better, and scheduling an appointment to have it evaluated is the next best step to make that happen. We have offices in Chesterfield, Clinton Township, Saint Claire Shores, Center Line and Washington Michigan. Call us today at 586.772.8560