Peripheral neuropathy, often shortened to neuropathy, is a general term describing disease affecting the peripheral nerves, meaning nerves beyond the brain and spinal cord. Damage to peripheral nerves may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function depending on which nerves are affected; in other words, neuropathy affecting motor, sensory, or autonomic nerves result in different symptoms. More than one type of nerve may be affected simultaneously.
SOME COMMON CAUSES OF PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY:
- Physical Trauma – Sudden trauma or injury to one or more body parts caused by a sports-related activity, fall, accident, or surgical procedure can cause damage to the nervous system that was stretched, compress, crushed, or completely severed, leading to nerve damage. Additionally, dislocated or broken bones can exert enough pressure to damage surrounding nerves.
- Repetitive Stress – Compression injuries can lead to neuropathy. Usually, it is the cumulative damage to the nerve by repetition for prolonged periods that injure one or more groups of nerves. This type of peripheral neuropathy is usually caused by a forceful, awkward, or repetitive activity, leaving muscles, ligaments and tendons swollen and inflamed. This can constrict the narrow passageway where the nerve passes through, producing neuropathy.
- Disorders and Diseases – Independent metabolic disorders can cause nerve damage either by a hormonal imbalance or fluid retention that exerts pressure on the body's peripheral nervous system. Kidneys disorders can also cause neuropathy when the nerves are exposed to high levels of toxic substances in the bloodstream.
- Infection – Many individuals with an infection will also suffer from neuropathy when bacteria and viruses attack nerve tissue. These can include Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus, shingles virus, and others.
- Heavy Alcohol Use – Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption that could lead to permanent damage of the affected peripheral nerves.
Chiropractic treatment focuses on utilizing spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), or more commonly known as the chiropractic adjustment, to reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine and other joints in the body in an effort to reduce inflammation and improve function of both the affected joint and nervous system. Our doctors may also utilize physical therapy, therapeutic modalities, taping and strapping, nutrition, joint supports, exercises and home therapy regimens to quicken recovery. Treatment is safe, non-invasive, and a non-addictive alternative to prescription medications or over-the-counter pain medications. By increasing joint mobility and improving your nervous system function and spinal health, your body has the ability to better manage symptoms caused by peripheral neuropathy.
To see if chiropractic care is right for your condition, the highly trained doctors at Chiropractic Orthopedic Associates will perform a consultation, examination and if necessary, refer you out for diagnostic imaging such as x-ray or MRI. Based on the findings of our chiropractic exam and consultation, your doctor of chiropractic may elect to co-treat your low back pain with other healthcare professionals. We work with a network of healthcare providers that specialize in pain management, orthopedics, neurology, internal medicine, physiatry, neurosurgery and more.