Peripheral neuropathy is a malfunction of the motor, sensory and autonomic nerves that connect the spinal cord to muscles, skin and internal organs. It most commonly affects the hands and feet, causing weakness, numbness, tingling and pain. The Peripheral neuropathy course is variable; it can come and go, slowly progressing over many years, or it can become severe and debilitating. However, through chiropractic care, it can be controlled or eliminated.
The nervous system is comprised of two main areas: the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (arms, hands, legs, feet and organs). The brain is protected by the skull. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae of the spine. However, misalignment’s of the vertebrae of the spine can cause interference with the spinal cord. This is where spinal correction through chiropractic adjustments plays an important role.
The peripheral nervous system is not protected by bone, leaving it exposed to mechanical injury or interference through pressure or irritation (neuropathy). Peripheral nerves comprise all of the nerves beyond the spinal cord. All peripheral nerves leave the spinal cord through small openings in individual spinal vertebrae called foramen (nerve windows). These nerve roots are exposed and susceptible to interference or neuropathy from the vertebrae themselves as well as the surrounding muscles, ligament, and tissues.
We’ve all heard the expression “hitting a nerve”. In this area of your body, structures of your own body: bone, muscle, ligament, and tissue can literally hit a nerve causing pressure or irritation (neuropathy) that compromises your health in any number of ways, ranging from numbness or pain to organ dysfunction.
If someone has a Peripheral neuropathy, chiropractic care is always the first line of defense for this. Why? Because if you have pain, numbness, pins and needles or burning in your upper extremity-arms and hands, or lower extremity-feet, legs or calf, this means you have a “pinched nerve”. Chiropractic care gets excellent results with pinched nerves by removing the nerve pressure with a specific chiropractic adjustment.
If peripheral neuropathy is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, we can help that also, by adjusting the bones in the wrist and by also adjusting the neck. If the patient has sciatica, or sciatic paresthesias (pins and needles/numbness), this is usually due to a disc problem in the lower back which response favorably to chiropractic adjustments.
Other causes of peripheral neuropathy are:
- *Diabetes, which we can treat through diet, weight loss and nutritional supplementation-vanadium (natural insulin) and chromium (glucose tolerance factor). At least half of all people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy. Hence the need to get the sugar under control through diet, exercise, and nutrition. Stay away from artificial sweeteners as this can and does cause diabetic neuropathy.
- Poor nutrition which leads to metabolic imbalances.
- Decreased immune system- which can be raised through high-tech nutritional supplementation.
- Auto-immune diseases- such as lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis in which the immune system attacks your own tissues.
- Cervical or lumbar spine disc problems.
- Drug side-effects such as statin drugs, which increases the risk for diabetes-14-16 times!
- Repetitive Stress-Cumulative damage can result from repetitive, forceful. awkward activities that require flexing of any group of muscles for prolonged periods. The resulting irritation may cause ligaments, tendons, and muscles to become inflamed and swollen, constricting the narrow passageways through which some nerves pass.
- B-Vitamin deficiencies, which can affect the nervous system.
- Kidney, liver or thyroid disorders.
Some of the most common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are:
- Loss of sensation/Numbness
- Decreased sensitivity to temperature in hands and feet.
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness or paralysis if motor nerves are affected.
- Bowel or bladder problems if autonomic nerves are affected.
Even someone who has restless legs syndrome, this is now considered a part of small fiber neuropathy.
In our office, we do chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, electric muscle stimulation, acupuncture, thermal modalities, vibration therapy, and diet and nutrition and weight loss. We have found these modalities to be very effective for the correction and elimination of a patient’s suffering due to peripheral neuropathy. give Wellness Associates a call at 412-367-3778, to see if you are a candidate for the management and treatment of peripheral neuropathy.