PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY/ PERIPHERAL NEURITIS
Do you experience burning, tingling, numbness, or sharp nerve pain? These unwelcomed sensations are commonly affiliated with a condition called Peripheral Neuropathy, which concern disorders of the peripheral nerves. Damage to the peripheral nerves accounts for the burdensome sensations, and it is most present in the hands and feet. Other areas of the body can be affected as well. It is estimated that more than 20 million people in the United States suffer from this debilitating condition. However, conventional medicine, namely prescriptions and injections, do not provide effective improvement or relief, but rather only cover up the symptoms temporarily.
What causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) relays messages from the CNS (brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body. The PNS can be compromised by traumatic injuries, infections, genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, autoimmune conditions, and metabolic disorders. Vitamin deficiencies have been linked to be a common cause for peripheral neuropathy as well. Diabetics, however, are 50 percent more likely to develop and suffer from Peripheral Neuropathy, and those taking cholesterol lowering medication is also subject to this disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
Weakness, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet are the earlier signs of nerve damage. The onset of such sensations may be gradual and may proceed to spread to the rest of the arms and legs. More unpleasant symptoms include sharp, stabbing, and burning pain. When motor nerves are affected, muscle weakness and paralysis can set in as well. The combination of damaged sensory and motor nerves creates a dangerous situation where the patient will likely experience lack of coordination and falling.
Because the PNS communicates with the rest of the body, other areas of the body can present with symptoms as well. Severe symptoms can include atrophy and organ and gland dysfunction. When nerves affecting internal organs are damaged, it can result in problems with sexual function, breathing, and urination. Extreme cases can result in organ failure as well.
Recognizing and diagnosing Peripheral Neuropathy early is essential for effective management, but it is even more so vital for preventing further nerve damage. When should you see a doctor? As soon as you notice unfamiliar symptoms and sensations in your hands and feet, and especially if you suffer from diabetes or take medication on a regular basis.
Studies show that one of the leading cause of death in senior citizens are falling incidents. Correspondingly, seniors often suffer from peripheral neuropathy, and the lack of sensation or the over-stimulation of pain, depending on what type of nerve is affected, in their extremities prove detrimental to their balance and coordination.
Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy
Your first step is to identify the contributing factors to your peripheral nerve damage. In order to do so, your physician will ask you to provide extensive information into your medical and lifestyle history, including any infections, toxic exposure, medications, autoimmune disorders. If you’ve had any lab work done, such as blood, urine, and stool, you will be asked to bring those as well. Additional labs may be ordered to further assess your condition. Preventing further nerve damage is just as critical as recovering the ones that have already been affected. In some cases, correcting the underlying cause(s) alone can be sufficient for neuropathy to resolve on its own.
Nerve regeneration is key in the Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Program. Peripheral nerves are capable to regenerate axons, as long as the nerve cell itself is still viable. The treatment program involves multiple factors that all work to promote such nerve regeneration. Our treatments are non-invasive and do not include prescription medication, which are typically no aimed for recovery and regeneration, but simply cover-up your symptoms and discomfort temporarily. Your treatment course will be customized to addressed all the contributing factors for your neuropathy case. You may undergo various manual therapies to address any musculoskeletal problems that are affecting the nerves, as well as nerve rebuilder and stimulation to promote active growth. PEMF therapy may be included as part of your treatment plan to allow optimal cell functioning, which in turn expedites your healing process. The treatment period itself will vary, just as each individual is unique.