For us to understand why certain treatments are used for peripheral neuropathy, we should first try to understand this condition. Peripheral neuropathy is an umbrella term used to describe the condition of damaged nerves that result in poor communication from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. There are over 3 million cases of peripheral neuropathy in the US every year making this condition fairly common. Some people can have no symptoms, however, those who do show symptoms may feel pain, numbness, the feeling of pins and needles, and weakness. It is also common for people to suffer from poor balance, slow reflexes, and tingling in the hands and feet.
Today we’re going to go over the common causes and what treatment options are available for peripheral neuropathy.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by many different events. Traumatic injuries such as car accidents, falls, sports injuries or medical procedures may damage the nerve by stretching, compressing, or severing the nerve from the spinal cord. Bacterial and viral infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, Lyme disease, shingles or leprosy can also damage nerves.
Being exposed to toxins like cigarette smoke which can affect your blood circulation may raise your risk of developing peripheral neuropathy. Alcohol makes it more difficult for the body to absorb necessary nutrients like B12 and protein, forcing the body to prioritize important organs over nerves to the arms and legs.
Diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease or hypothyroidism. Swelling caused by these diseases likely causes swelling, putting pressure on peripheral nerves most commonly happening in the hands and wrists.
What Treatment Options are There?
Much like the causes of peripheral neuropathy, there are varied treatment options based on the severity of the condition. Pain relievers, lifestyle changes, topical treatment, physical therapy PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy, HCT/P (human cellular tissue product) injections, acupuncture or surgery.
Making healthier lifestyle choices and habits is the simplest way to prevent peripheral neuropathy and support healthy nerves. Eating healthy foods, regularly exercising and avoiding common causes of nerve damage. Fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and lean protein promote healthy nerves. Lean meats, fish, eggs and low-fat dairy are high in vitamin B12 which can protect against B12 deficiency. For vegans or vegetarians, look for foods fortified with vitamin B12 or talk to your primary care provider about B12 supplements. If able to exercise, attempt to commit an hour and a half to 3 hours of exercise about 3 times a week. You are also welcome to join our Tai Chi classes for beginners on Sundays from 9:30am to 10:30am at Heartwell Park in Long Beach CA, we’re by the duck lake. Avoid habits like drinking alcohol or smoking as these toxins can cause damaged nerves.
At SOHMA we offer HCT/P injections which may be covered by medicare. HCT/P injections work by encouraging your body to heal damaged tissue. HCT/p rejuvenates, repairs or replaces damaged cells. Days following treatment new cells can grow and divide forming new tissue to aid in healing the damaged or injured area. Healing you from within the body.
PRP is a concentrate of platelet-rich plasma protein that is derived from the patient’s own blood. It can be used in the affected area to trigger the body to begin repairing the damage in the nerves. Platelets promote regeneration in the tissue and can shorten the amount of time needed to repair nerve damage.
Feel free to ask the helpful staff at SOHMA any questions about how we can help you heal from peripheral neuropathy.
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