Neuropathy is an organic neurological condition that refers to the dysfunction of nerve signals between the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The most common symptoms of neuropathy include tingling, numbness and a burning sensation in the affected areas. The hands and the feet are most often affected, although other areas of the body may also experience neuropathic symptoms.
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy refers to any disease that affects the peripheral nervous system, including disorders that affect the cell body of the neurons. Neuropathy may be passed down genetically from parent to offspring or acquired due to environmental circumstances, including other related medical conditions and lifestyle factors.
There are several main types of neuropathy, including:
Sensory neuropathy — This type of neuropathy alters sensation and may cause symptoms of numbness, tingling, weakness or pain in the affected areas, typically the extremities.
Motor neuropathy — Motor neuropathy affects strength and movement and may cause weakness, immobility or limited range of motion.
Autonomic neuropathy — This type of neuropathy affects the control of smooth muscles in the body, including the bladder, the gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovascular system and may result in incontinence, digestion problems and heart problems.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
There are many potential causes of neuropathy, including:
– Physical injury (trauma)
– Vascular and blood problems
– Systemic (body-wide) autoimmune diseases
– Hormonal imbalances
– Kidney and liver disorders
– Nutritional or vitamin imbalances
– Exposure to toxins
– Chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer
How is peripheral neuropathy diagnosed?
Peripheral neuropathy can be diagnosed in the following ways:
Neurological Examination — Neurological evaluations typically consist of a physical exam and a number of tests that evaluate nerve function. The purpose of these tests is to assess neurological function, including muscle strength and the ability to feel different sensations.
Diagnostic Testing — A number of different diagnostic tests can be performed to diagnose neuropathy, depending on the patient’s symptoms, medical history and physical examination.
Blood Tests — If neuropathy is caused by a nutritional deficiency, a blood test can determine what is causing symptoms.
How is neuropathy treated?
There are many different treatment options for neuropathy. The type of treatment used will depend on the cause and severity of symptoms. Some patients may respond better to certain therapies than others and the best treatment will be chosen based on the individual situation. Treatments for neuropathy include:
Chiropractic Care — Chiropractic care is proven to be an effective solution for many people who are afflicted with neuropathy as it alleviates pain and minimizes symptoms without the use of prescription medication or surgery.
Therapeutic Massage — Many cases of neuropathy respond well to massage therapy. When used in a therapeutic setting, symptoms of neuropathy can greatly improve, allowing those affected to live a better quality of life.
Physical Rehabilitation — Neuropathy can impede on mobility and balance. When this occurs, physical rehabilitation is an effective treatment to help patients relearn important functions.
If you or someone you love is exhibiting symptoms of neuropathy, come to Total Health Elevated for a professional medical evaluation. We can help you determine the cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that will best work for your individual situation. We work closely with each and every patient to ensure the highest level of care is always delivered. Call us today to book an appointment. We serve patients from Northridge CA, Santa Clarita CA, Kagel Canyon CA, San Fernando CA, Burbank CA, Pico CA, and Stevenson Ranch CA. Look forward to serve you!