Peripheral neuropathy is a result of damage to the nerves often causing weakness, pain, numbness, tingling, and the most debilitating balance problems. This damage is commonly caused by a lack of blood flow to the nerves in the hands and feet which causes the nerves to begin to degenerate due to lack of nutrient flow. Additionally, it is not uncommon for individuals with diabetes to develop diabetic nerve pain or diabetic neuropathy, which is a result of prolonged levels of elevated blood glucose.
As you can see in the figure, as the blood vessels that surround the nerves become diseased they shrivel up which causes the nerves to not get the nutrients to continue to survive. When these nerves begin to “die” they cause you to have balance problems, pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and many additional symptoms.
The most common method your doctor will recommend to treat your neuropathic pain is with prescription drugs that may temporarily reduce your symptoms. These drugs have names such as Gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Neurontin, and are primarily antidepressant or anti-seizure drugs. These drugs may cause you to feel uncomfortable and have a variety of harmful side effects.
The main problem is that your doctor has told you to just live with the problem or try the drugs which you don’t like taking because they make you feel uncomfortable.
Effectively Treating Your Neuropathy
In order to effectively treat your neuropathic pain, three factors must be determined.
1) What is the underlying cause?
2) How much nerve damage has been sustained?
NOTE: Once you have sustained 85% nerve loss, there is likely nothing that we can do for you.
3) How much treatment will your condition require?
The treatment that is provided at North Arkansas Chiropractic has three main goals:
1) Increase blood flow
2) Stimulate small fiber nerves
3) Decrease brain-based pain The treatment to increase blood
The treatment to increase blood flow utilizes a specialized infrared light therapy using light emitting diode technology. This technology was originally developed by NASA to assist in increasing blood flow.
The low-level light therapy is like watering a plant. The light therapy will allow the blood vessels to grow back around the peripheral nerves and provide them with the proper nutrients to heal and repair. It’s like adding water to a plant and seeing the roots grow deeper and deeper.
The amount of treatment needed to allow the nerves to fully recover varies from person to person and can only be determined after a detailed neurological and vascular evaluation. As long as you have not sustained at least 85% nerve damage there is hope!
Call (479) 751‐0190 to make an appointment with Dr. Freeman to determine if your peripheral neuropathy can be treated.