What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition in which the nerves that are outside of the central nervous system have become injured or damaged. This affects nerves in the legs, feet, arms, hands and shoulders. Between 10 and 20 million people in the US suffer from peripheral neuropathy.
The condition usually begins with numbness, prickling, or tingling in the toes or fingers, and may spread up to the feet or hands and cause burning, freezing, throbbing, and/or shooting pain. The pain is often worse at night.
The most common symptoms or signs of Peripheral Neuropathy are:
- Muscle Weakness
- Muscle Spasms
- Numbness in hands and/or feet
- Tingling in hands and/or feet
- Shooting or electric like sensations in legs and/or arms
- Sensation of wearing an invisible, tight glove or sock
- Shock like sensations
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
There are many different conditions that can lead to neuropathy. The key aspect in treating peripheral neuropathy is in the diagnoses of the injured or compressed nerve and in finding the true cause of the injury. Common sources of neuropathy include direct trauma to the extremity, the side effects of a system illness, or a chemical injury. Often, peripheral neuropathy will manifest as a result of diabetic nerve damage or nerve damage caused by chemotherapy treatments.
How can I treat my neuropathy?
One of the treatments we offer at SpinalCare Physical Medicine for the treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy is the use of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) or Light Therapy. This is a non-invasive, drug-free option that may offer tremendous relief and allow you to be able to function normally once again.
Research shows that patients using this low level light therapy have experienced decreases in local swelling, inflammation, muscle spasms, tightness and tension. They also have increased range of motion, lymphatic drainage, and vasodialation and blood flow.
Diabetic patients may typically experience an increase in sensation to pressure and hot and cold as well as less pain.
This therapy is a useful tool in:
• Increasing circulation by increasing the formation of new capillaries
• Increasing the energy level in the cell
• Stimulating the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the major carrier of energy to all cells
• Increasing lymphatic system activity thus reducing the swelling or natural splinting process of the body
• Reducing the excitability of nervous tissue.
A study of 784 patients published in the Journal of Neurological & Orthopedic Surgeons demonstrated that 88.8% of those treated with Light Therapy had excellent to total pain relief after 12 treatments.
LED therapy has proven to be a useful pain management technique. It is a simple technology to use with no down time, pain, drugs or side effects. It is a technology that gently relieves pain and makes your life more enjoyable.
At SpinalCare Physical Medicine our doctors are dedicated to diagnosing the cause of your peripheral neuropathy and alleviating your symptoms. Call us at (317) 272-4100 for a consultation.