All nerves that lie outside of the Central Nervous System (CNS) are referred to as Peripheral Nerves. The term Peripheral Neuropathy refers to damage to one or more peripheral nerves. These nerves not only receive messages from the brain, but send messages back to the brain indicating such things as pressure, pain, and cold or hot temperatures. When neuropathy occurs, the messages become distorted or are interrupted.
Because there are a number of different types of nerves in the body, patient’s symptoms can vary greatly based on which nerves are affected. Some people with peripheral neuropathy will experience numbness, some sharp pain, some tingling, and other burning. Motor nerve fibers can also be affected which can cause weakness and muscle wasting (atrophy). Organ function can even be affected by this problem.
For many, the problem starts insidiously in their feet and can then move up their legs. It often is then found to involve the hands and can likewise move up the arms. This type of presentation is often associated with diabetes and other metabolic diseases, but can also be related to alcohol use, medications, chemotherapy or other unknown (Idiopathic) causes. We often see this type of neuropathy associated with nutritional deficiencies and imbalances.
Peripheral nerves can also be damaged by trauma or repetitive stress and strain. Sudden traumas like seen in sports or car accidents can cause nerves to be stretched, crushed, or severed. Repetitive stresses and biomechanical imbalances can cause bones to shift, muscles to tighten, joints and soft tissues to become inflamed, and discs to bulge or herniate. All of these factors can cause irritation and damage to nerves, which can cause tingling, numbness, and pain. These are referred to more specifically as Entrapment Neuropathies. A common example of this is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Symptoms of Nerve Pain
Numbness and tingling
Difficulty with balance and coordination of the hands/feet
Sharp stabbing pains (like walking on pins/needles)
Powerful lightening or shocking sensation
- Internal Organs
Burning and/or freezing pain
Loss of sleep due to increased pain at night
Hypersensitivity to touch
Loss of motivational drive due to consistent pain
Solution to Nerve Pain
At PPM, we believe in a comprehensive approach to treating Peripheral Neuropathy. Although our cutting edge approach utilizing a combination of nerve blocks and electrical stimulation is very effective for many of our patients, many of them also have spinal misalignments, muscle imbalances, and underlying nutritional deficiencies. Some have other related issues like uncontrolled blood sugar and problems with balance. Because of the complex nature of some of our patient’s conditions, we may recommend a multidisciplinary approach to treatment.
Our in depth analysis involves analyzing the spine, muscles, and nerves to determine if trauma or repetitive stresses have caused the damage to the structures of the body. When the neuropathy is due to injury or repetitive stress, our patients do well with Physical Medicine. This can involve physical rehabilitation, spinal adjustments, muscle release techniques, trigger point injections, nutritional counseling, and postural re-education.
We will also check your blood work for certain markers. If you have recent blood work, we will be happy to review it. If you have not had recent blood work, we will be glad to do the appropriate lab work for you. We will review your medical history and get to know you as a person. It is very important that we understand your body and address any significant issues.
After gathering all pertinent information, we may employ our cutting edge procedure combining nerve blocks with electrical stimulation. This process involves shutting down the irritated and confused nerve impulses being sent, while helping to generate corrected and healthy nerve impulses. Lifestyle Medicine is also commonly employed to correct nutritional deficiencies and spinal manipulation can help to reduce pressure on the spinal nerves.
Call Palmetto Physical Medicine today at 864-437-8930 to schedule an appointment.