Peripheral neuropathy ( PN ) is damage or disease affecting nerves, which may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function, or other aspects of health, depending on the type of nerve affected.
Neuropathy is most commonly seen in several different medical conditions. You might also suffer from neuropathy without any disease playing its role.
What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a short form of the term peripheral neuropathy, which means nerve injuries of the peripheral nervous system. Peripheral neuropathy ( PN ) is damage or disease affecting these nerves, which may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function, or other aspects of health, depending on the type of nerve affected.
Signs and Symptoms of Neuropathy
People suffering from this medical condition often experience tingling or burning sensation in their bodies. Some of them even experience the loss of sensation, which is similar to what is experienced when wearing a thin glove or a sock. Symptoms associated with this condition depend on the kind of neuropathy a person is suffering from. Neuropathy usually begins in the longest nerves – the ones that come to your toes. The types of nerves that can be affected by neuropathy include autonomic, motor and sensory.
Symptoms associated with sensory nerve damage may include:
1. Gradual onset of tingling or numbness in the hands or feet. These sensations can also spread to the extremities of the body like arms and legs.
2. Burning sensation
3. High sensitivity to touch
4. Electric-like, jabbing or sharp pain
5. Loss of coordination in the body
6. Changes in nail, hair and the skin
Symptoms associated with sensory nerve damage may include:
1. Intolerance to heat
2. Digestive problems
3. Lightheadedness or dizziness caused due to changes in blood pressure
In the event your motor nerves are affected due to neuropathy, the symptoms might be as severe as muscle paralysis or weakness.
Tests and Diagnosis
Apart from asking about your medical history and the complaints related to the problems, doctors will conduct several medical examinations to ascertain the root cause of the disease. In some cases, laboratory tests might be needed. Your medical history can reveal many things about you. The doctor might want to have answers to the following questions:
1. What are the exact symptoms experienced?
2. What is your lifestyle?
3. Is there any exposure to toxins?
4. Is there any drinking habit involved?
5. Is there any family history of nervous system diseases?
Physical examinations conducted before more specific tests aim at checking your:
1. Coordination and posture
2. Ability to feel certain sensations done with specialized sensory nerve testing tools.
3. Muscle strengthen and tone to determine motor nerve involvement.
4. Tendon reflexes
What Are the Treatments One Can Undergo?
Prognosis and effective treatment of peripheral neuropathy depends largely on the cause of the nerve damage. For example, a peripheral neuropathy caused due to a vitamin deficiency can be treated or even reversed if the patient undergoes vitamin therapy and improves his nutrition. Similarly, nerve damage caused by alcohol abuse can often be eradicated by stopping the intake of alcohol. Peripheral neuropathy caused due to heavy exposure to toxins can often be corrected in the same manner. When neuropathy is associated with diabetes, careful monitoring of blood glucose can slow down its progression.
Is there any other REAL treatment for my peripheral neuropathy?
The answer is YES! There is a natural alternative. Your treatment depends on the cause, how long you’ve had your symptoms, your current and past diet, your REAL vitamin intake as mentioned, and your water intake, etc. Once this is determined we then use very specialized equipment that gently stimulates nerves to return them to normal function by sending electrical impulses through the nerves, waking up the dormant nerves which have begun a process of trans neural degeneration (TND) with the eventual outcome being nerve cell death and functional loss.
We also utilize a highly specialized system of phototherapy designed to treat peripheral neuropathy along with mechanical stimulation to increase circulation and promote healing of nerves, along with other treatment protocols that we use. If caught early enough we can prevent further nerve cell death.
Early diagnosis and treatment of a disease like peripheral neuropathy is necessary because peripheral nerves can only regenerate up to a certain extent. Proper treatment can not only stop the progress of the disease but reverse some of the nerve damage if caught early enough.
If you have suffered serious damage due to neuropathy, sometimes gentle spinal adjustments using an arthrostim or traction may be required, for those that suffer from nerve compression. Unfortunately, if your nerve damage is too severe, surgical treatment may also be required as long as the damage is operable. For the pain, pain medications may be required. However pain medications only provide partial relief in around 30% of people, the rest get no relief, and no drugs helps with the loss of sensation or numbness.
Effective treatment is a multi-faceted approach because peripheral neuropathy can be a multi-factorial disease. If caught early enough it is possible to prevent further nerve cell death.
If not treated as soon as possible and with further progression and loss of function, mobility aids like a cane, walker and wheel chair can be helpful.
Preventing Back Pain
Back pain can cause severe pain if left unchecked, and it can interfere with your quality of life. People with a history of back pain are at a higher risk if they don’t take measures to ensure the spine and related structures are cared for.
The best posture allows the spine to follow that natural S-shape curve and if learned early enough, prevents the occurrence of common back problems. Poor habits and old injuries have been known to contribute to bad posture, but the good news is you can learn to sit upright, stand straight, and sleep in the right posture.
Examine your standing posture in a mirror or stand against a wall. If the back of your head, your shoulders, rear, and heels touch the wall, and you can slide a hand between your lower back and the wall, then you have good alignment.
To examine your sitting posture, sit in an armless chair with a mirror to your side. Are you hunched over? Learn to straighten your back every time you remember it. If you do it long enough then good posture will be engrained in your mind, and it will become like second nature to you.
Exercise to Protect the Back
Regular workout can help you burn extra weight and improve overall health; not to mention prevention of back problems. Research on the benefits of exercise has continued to reveal a direct connection between working out and reduced back pain, and people who don’t work out continue to experience regular sick days.
Exercises, when used to prevent back pain, involves the strengthening of abdominal and back muscles, stretching them to boost flexibility and improve blood flow. Exercises such as hip tilt, “crunches”, and cat stretch are all crucial to quick recovery and full functionality and are recommended by physical therapists as tools to facilitate quick healing.
Avoiding Activities That Could Put Strain on the Back
Aside from promoting good posture, some people need to take more measures to ensure they don’t injure their back. Lifting heavy items has been known to herniate disks, so next time you want to lift something heavy, use your legs to lift the weight by bending at the knees, and carry the weight close to the body.
When you learn to distribute weight properly so that you are well-aligned, it will minimize chances of you developing back problems later in life, and it will make you appear calm, confident and well put-together.