If you have tingling, numbness, or pain in your extremities (hands and feet), then you may be experiencing the onset of peripheral neuropathy. The pain, numbness, burning, or tingling can range from constant to intermittently throughout the day or week. Left untreated, peripheral neuropathy can become more severe, significantly limiting a person’s mobility and/or performance of everyday tasks.
Consider the last time you only had one bar for reception on your cell phone. The static you experience is similar to the nervous system’s inability to communicate properly with the rest of the body. This is what leads to neuropathy. As the signals from the brain to the nerves in the spinal cord are interrupted, the “static in the system” is translated into the physical sensations described above.
There are several causes of peripheral neuropathy including diabetes, alcoholism, kidney disease, arthritis, lupus, AIDS, and cancer. Peripheral neuropathy can also be caused by physical trauma or pressure on the nerve or a B12 vitamin deficiency.
Aging is also a major contributor to neuropathy. As people age, the spinal column and vertebral joints begin to break down, leading to increased compression on spinal nerves, which leads to nerve damage and neuropathy. Trapped or compressed nerves can be released by chiropractic manipulation, which adjusts the spinal column into the proper alignment, freeing the nerves to function normally. Chiropractic treatment is non-invasive and, unlike medication, does not mask the pain. Some patients who see us for neuropathy can also benefit from physical therapy to improve muscle strength and function to help reduce pain.
According to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, neuropathy is the second most common condition treated by chiropractors. A 2008 study in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine concluded that nearly 85% of patients experienced a reduction of symptoms after an average of 9 visits.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, proper evaluation and diagnosis along with appropriate treatment, can help decrease symptoms and improve functioning. Here at Quince Orchard Medical Center our team of clinicians will work with patients to alleviate the symptoms of possible nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy. Please call us to schedule an appointment today.