Peripheral Neuropathy: Diagnosis and Care
Peripheral neuropathy is defined as a health issue characterized by damage to the nerves outside of the spinal cord and brain. It is often associated with weakness, pain, and numbness, usually in the feet and hands. However, it may also affect other parts of the body. Peripheral neuropathy can result from trauma, inherited causes, infections, metabolic issues, and exposure to toxins. Diabetes is among the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy.
Since every nerve in the peripheral system is different and has its own specific function, symptoms depend on the type of nerve affected. Here is the classification of the nerves:
- Sensory nerves. They receive sensation, such as pain, temperature, touch, or vibration from the skin.
- Motor nerves controlling muscle movement.
- Autonomic nerves that are responsible for controlling such functions as heart rate, digestion, bladder, and blood pressure.
The most common neuropathy symptoms may include:
- Sharp, throbbing, or burning pain
- Pain during activities that normally do not cause pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Numbness, tingling or prickling in your hands or feet, spreading upwards into your arms and legs.
- Feeling as if you are wearing socks or gloves when you are not.
You can also have some other symptoms if autonomic nerves are affected:
- Excessive sweating or being unable to sweat at all
- Digestive and bladder problems
- Heat intolerance
- Changes in blood pressure that can result in lightheadedness and dizziness
Diagnosis of Peripheral Neuropathy
In order to confirm a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy, your doctor may order the following tests:
- Imaging tests, including an MRI and CT scan
- Nerve function tests, including Electromyography that allows to detect nerve damage.
- Other nerve function tests. These might include a sweat test (measuring the ability of your body to sweat), an autonomic reflex screen (recording the work of autonomic nerve fibers)
Possible Treatment Options
The purpose of neuropathy care is to manage the health condition causing neuropathy and relieve the symptoms. By controlling the root cause of a person’s neuropathy in this way, the body can heal itself in time. Serval palliative treatments also exist, such as physical therapy, hot and cold therapy, and nutritional counseling.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help?
Chiropractic care is an effective treatment method for peripheral neuropathy because it is not simply used for pain reduction, but it also targets the root cause for the pain symptoms. Even though chiropractic treatment is not a cure for neuropathy, it is an important component of an effective long-term treatment program.
Hamilton Holistic Healthcare Services - Your Chiropractor in Cahokia, IL
If you are suffering from any above-mentioned symptoms and you think you may have peripheral neuropathy, it is recommended to see a specialist as soon as possible. Dr. Derrick Hamilton is an experienced and committed chiropractor who is ready to help you. Dr. Derrick Hamilton will find chiropractic solutions for your individual needs, including managing symptoms of neuropathy and pain reduction. Do not hesitate to contact our clinic today to schedule your first appointment with our doctor.