What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves. Because the nerve pathways transmit messages between the brain and body, the effects of neuropathy can be widespread.
Any issue with the nerves can have an impact on the perception of pain since the nerves are responsible for transmitting sensory and motor impulses to and from the brain and body. Additionally, nerve problems can have an impact on the body’s ability to move and react to its surroundings.
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Most people only consider the physical consequences of nerve function. Nevertheless, the nerves are also responsible for a host of other functions that are not immediately apparent but are critical for survival. Some of these include circulation, breathing, and digestion. Nerve function can be improved with chiropractic care for neuropathy, which can also address symptoms and promote better health.
Common Causes of Neuropathy
There are more than seven trillion nerves throughout the human body, which means that neuropathy can occur anywhere in the body. There are many physical causes of neuropathy, but some medications can also cause this condition. Chemotherapy is an example of this. Some of the more common causes of this disorder are as follows.
The most frequent cause of neuropathy is diabetes. The rise in cases of type 2 diabetes, which results in diabetic neuropathy in more than 60% of patients, has led to an increase in neuropathy that affects over 20 million Americans.
This type of neuropathy develops when the nerves are harmed by elevated blood sugar levels. Increased triglyceride levels related to diabetes can result in further impairment of the nerves. Diabetic neuropathy can affect the entire body, and its cause distinguishes it from other forms of neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy impacts the extremities of the body, which includes the hands, arms, feet, and legs. The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes; however, it can also be caused by infections, injuries, and other medical problems.
Peripheral neuropathy can be accompanied by pain, numbness, and weakness. Walking can become difficult when the feet are affected, and patients may also experience coordination and balance problems resulting from deviations in the way they move.
Nerve damage that is limited to one nerve is known as focal neuropathy. This type of neuropathy is commonly caused by nerve compression and usually affects the head, hand, leg, or torso. This nerve compression can be caused by increased swelling due to infections, trauma, or repetitive stress injuries. A good example of focal neuropathy is carpal tunnel syndrome.
The autonomic nervous system regulates the internal organs, such as the heart and lungs. As a result, this type of neuropathy can cause a variety of symptoms in the body. Infections and injuries are common causes of this form of neuropathy.
Autonomic neuropathy can be especially harmful. Diabetic patients can develop hypoglycemia unawareness, which diminishes the symptoms of low blood sugar. Consequently, they may not receive treatment for dangerously low blood sugar until complications arise. Additionally, damage to the heart nerves can result in changes of heart rate, problems with blood pressure, or light-headedness.
Common Symptoms of Neuropathy
Neuropathy symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and loss of function and sensation. Low blood pressure, weak muscles, and a feeling of “pins-and-needles” are the most common symptoms of neuropathy. As neuropathy worsens, patients may have difficulty walking, which increases the likelihood of an accidental fall.
Stages of Neuropathy
Although the severity of damage and location of the affected nerves have an influence on symptoms, neuropathy-related nerve damage does follow a typical pattern. There are normally four different stages of neuropathy. These include numbness and pain, chronic pain, intensified pain, and loss of sensation. The following provides a summary of each of the four stages:
Stage 1: Numbness and Pain
Many patients in the early stages of neuropathy experience some pain as well as “pins-and-needles” or loss of feeling in the hands and feet. Additionally, there may be minor balance and motor reflex impairments. Most patients do not seek treatment at this stage since their symptoms are typically minor and do not interfere with their everyday lives.
Stage 2: Chronic Pain
As neuropathy enters the second stage, pain increases, becomes more severe, and is a frequent problem. This is when many Life Source Chiropractic patients seek care from our chiropractor for neuropathy. Because some of the neurological damage caused by this disorder can still be minimized, prevented, or even reversed, stage two is a good time to begin therapy.
Stage 3: Intensified Pain
Neuropathy in stage three is accompanied by excruciating pain that is persistent, hard to tolerate, and interferes with daily routines. During this stage, many patients consider having invasive surgeries out of desperation to relieve their agony without considering other options. This is especially true for patients considering median nerve decompression surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. We strongly advise patients to consult with Life Source Chiropractic before undergoing surgery that will significantly alter their bodies. Even if they choose to have a surgical procedure, our chiropractor can help them improve their overall health so they can quickly recover after surgery.
Stage 4: Loss of Sensation
Patients in stage four neuropathy experience loss of sensation and feel only numbness in the impacted areas. Because nerves regulate the arteries and veins that carry blood, nerve dysfunction impairs the body’s ability to transport oxygen and nutrients. This is the reason why those who suffer from diabetic neuropathy are far more prone to painful, slow-to-heal foot ulcers.
Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor for Neuropathy
In spite of the somewhat bleak clinical picture of this disorder, our neuropathy chiropractor has assisted many individuals. The primary objective of chiropractic care for neuropathy is to address any problems that may be causing impairment of the nerves.
Every patient is given a thorough evaluation at Life Source Chiropractic. The initial visit always involves a thorough discussion pertaining to the patient’s present lifestyle choices and goals for wellness along with a physical examination. If necessary, we may also refer patients to other healthcare professionals for scans or x-rays. Our chiropractor analyzes patients as they walk, sit, and perform other activities because we like to get a good idea of what limitations they are dealing with.
Spinal Manipulation to Promote Nerve Health
The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS), which is the body’s primary method of communication. Since the spinal cord is located within the spine, proper spinal alignment is necessary for the brain and body to communicate effectively with each other.
Subluxation is the term many chiropractors use to refer to a misalignment of the spine. The spine may compress or exert pressure on the nerves as a result of a subluxation. Even normal movement can slightly alter spinal alignment.
The nerves cannot easily transmit information when they are compressed. This may lead to the delivery of inaccurate, partial, or no transmission at all. It can also result in pain and issues with organ function, mobility, and other bodily functions.
This type of chiropractic care for neuropathy primarily involves shifting the spine into correct alignment. Correcting these subluxations of the spine restores appropriate nerve function, allowing the brain to communicate with the rest of the body in an accurate and efficient manner. As nerve health is restored, the rest of the body can properly heal. Once circulation, respiration, and digestion are functioning properly, nerves can continue to improve.
Lifestyle Interventions for Optimal Nerve Function
Life Source Chiropractic is pleased with the benefits our patients receive from our in-office interventions; however, these improvements can be enhanced when coupled with a healthy lifestyle. Supplying the body with proper nutrients is not only essential for nerve health, it is necessary for overall well-being because it provides the body with the building blocks needed for excellent health.
Exercise may seem challenging for a person with nerve issues, but it is essential for achieving good health. We carefully assess our patients’ abilities, such as strength, balance and flexibility, before we develop an exercise program for them.