Peripheral Neuropathy: Signs, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Tingling hands and feet are not typical. Most people experience this kind of sensation from time to time, but it typically comes and goes. If a person experiences these feelings regularly for more than a few weeks, they may have peripheral neuropathy.

Neuropathy is a condition in which nerves are damaged, usually due to diabetes or chemotherapy treatments. Nerve damage can be induced by a variety of factors, including diabetes and chemotherapy therapies. Neuropathy has various symptoms, ranging from tingling or numbness in hands or feet to pain and muscle weakness. Chiropractic treatment has been found to reduce these symptoms in most individuals with neuropathy, though surgery may be required in some situations.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a term that refers to a variety of nerve disorders characterized by damage to the peripheral nervous system. It is the system through which sensory information from the central nervous system is conveyed throughout the body.

More than 20 million individuals in the United States are affected by peripheral neuropathy. In general, abnormal or wrong signals may occur as a result of the condition. And because the disease affects many nerves, it may have various effects at various locations. In addition, it may affect one or more nerves simultaneously.

What are the Signs of Peripheral Neuropathy?

Nerve damage can manifest in a variety of ways, depending on the type of nerves affected. Nerves are classified into three groups: sensory, motor, and cranial nerve.

The following symptoms can recognize peripheral neuropathy:

  • Numbness, tingling or pricking sensation in your feet or hands, which may spread to your legs and arms over time
  • Sharp, throbbing, or burning intense pain
  • Touch is extremely sensitive
  • Pain when you shouldn't be feeling it, such as when putting weight on your feet or under a blanket.
  • Muscle weakness, falling, and lack of coordination
  • Feeling as if you're wearing gloves or socks when you aren't
  • If motor nerves are damaged, the muscles become immobile.

Signs and symptoms of an autonomic nervous system deficit include:

  • Excessive sweating and heat sensitivity
  • Excessive sweating or not being able to sweat
  • Issues in your bladder, bowel or digestion
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness due to a rapid drop in blood pressure

Peripheral neuropathy may affect one (mononeuropathy), two or more nerves in different locations (multiple mononeuropathies), or several nerves (polyneuropathy). Polyneuropathy is the most frequent peripheral nerve disease.

What are the Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy?

The peripheral nervous system is a vast network of nerves that send information from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body.

There are many potential causes of peripheral neuropathy, including:

Diabetes mellitus - a condition in which blood sugar is on a very high level, leading to nerve damage. 

Infection - Lyme disease, syphilis, and shingles may all lead to peripheral neuropathy if left untreated.

Nutrient deficiencies - a lack of specific vitamins and minerals can contribute to the development of neuropathy.

Injury or trauma - Injuries to the spine can lead to compression of nerves in the neck. In some cases, performing the wrong movement or putting pressure on a specific area can cause nerve damage.

Chemotherapy - certain chemotherapy medications have been linked to peripheral neuropathy.

How is Peripheral Neuropathy diagnosed?

A medical professional can diagnose peripheral neuropathy, who will conduct an exam and ask about the signs and symptoms. Patient history is often used to diagnose neuropathies, so you must tell your doctor if you are experiencing tingling or numbness in your arms or legs.

Your doctor may also order lab tests to diagnose and rule out other conditions. For example, if you're experiencing pain, they may also request an imaging study such as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography).

There is no cure for neuropathy; however, symptoms can sometimes be treated, and the condition monitored. Treatment will depend on your symptoms and diagnosis.

If you feel that you're experiencing neuropathy symptoms, such as numbness or pain in your feet and legs, see your doctor immediately.

What are the treatment options available for Peripheral Neuropathy?

The first step in treating peripheral neuropathy is identifying and treating any underlying medical condition, such as infections, diabetes, or nutritional deficiencies.

Neuropathy isn't a chronic disease that necessitates long-term therapy. Neuropathy can be quickly treated and even cured in certain situations. However, some types cannot be healed. In such cases, the goal of nerve treatment is to alleviate symptoms and avoid additional damage. The following are the treatment options:

Medication - Pain can be managed with medicines. For example, many different pills contain chemicals that help manage pain by changing pain signaling pathways in the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Physical therapy - Physical therapy benefits patients by promoting enhanced strength, balance, and range of motion through a mix of focused training, massage, and other treatments.

Mechanical aids are custom-made shoes, casts, and splints that may help decrease discomfort by providing support or keeping the injured nerves in proper alignment.

Surgery -Compression neuropathy caused by a herniated disc in the back or neck, tumors, infections, or nerve entrapment disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with this procedure.

Nutrition - Patients will be advised to develop healthier eating habits and opt for nutritious foods to help them heal.

Counseling - Patients may also need counseling or therapy to cope with what's happening and how they feel about it. Stress only adds to their discomfort so that emotional support can be an essential component of recovery.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle - Exercising to improve muscle strength, quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, and limit alcohol intake are some of the ways to minimize the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

There is no cure for neuropathy, but treatment options that minimize symptoms and enable you to live everyday life are available. After diagnosis, your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment plan for reversing or combating neuropathy in a way that works for you.

Can Chiropractic Care Help Treat Peripheral Neuropathy?

Chiropractic therapy for peripheral neuropathy alleviates the underlying problems that produce nerve discomfort and the inflammation your body is having as a result of your condition.

Remedies for joint and limb pain are available to assist you in achieving some relief from discomfort. The inflammation can be reduced using various methods, which will help to alleviate your suffering in the joints and extremities. Many individuals are searching for more than just pain relief when it comes to their health.

Here at Infinity Healthy, we personalize each chiropractic treatment plan to fit the demands of each patient. For example, if a client has nerve pain in their lower extremities, our therapy would focus on exercises and treatments that help the leg muscles and joints heal, such as the hips, knees, and ankles. So, schedule an appointment and start your journey to wellness!

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Fishers, IN 46037

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