Chiropractic Works with Dr. Birk

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Posted: May 19, 2016
By: Dr. Ruminder Birk

Your nervous system has two parts, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord and their functions. The peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves that come away from the center of the spine, the nerves that lead to your arms and legs and your internal organs.

Peripheral neuropathy is a degenerative disease that can affect every part of your life such as walking, eating and sleeping. The peripheral nerves carry information to and from your brain and central nervous system to all parts of your body. When they are damaged or diseased, these nerves do not function properly and your brain doesn’t receive proper communication with the parts of your body that are affected.

When you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy you can encounter:

  • Pain and numbness
  • Loss of sensation
  • Tingling
  • Burning pain sensation
  • Sharp shooting pain
  • Lessened sensitivity in arms or legs
  • Muscle problems such as weakness 
  • Difficulty moving a part of the body
  • Muscles twitching or cramping
  • Bloated or full feelings
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting undigested foods
  • Loose or hard stools
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lightheadedness or faint feelings
  • Bladder problems
  • Lack of coordination

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy depend upon the nerves that are damaged, and how many of the nerves are damaged. An early sign of nerve damage is tingling or burning in the arms and legs. Often this will start in your toes and feet.  You can experience deep pain as well in the legs and feet.

The most common causes of pheripheral neuropathy are listed here:

  • Diabetes or erratic blood sugar
  • Trauma
  • Herniated discs
  • Inflammation
  • Heavy alcohol usage
  • Poor Nutrition/Vitamin deficiency which lead to metabolic imbalance
  • Anemia
  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Thyroid, kidney or liver diseases
  • Chemotherapy or exposure to toxins
  • Side effects to medications

When treating peripheral neuropathy, the goal is to reawaken the nerves, or remove any blockage so that the nerves once again function properly and send the appropriate signals to the brain.

Rebuilder therapy uses electrical signals to stimulate nerves. These signals are generated by a machine to send impulses to wake up the nerves. When the nerves are stimulated, they begin to function again and this helps to reverse the neuropathy symptoms.

Cold laser therapy can also reawaken damaged nerves. The cold laser uses light therapy to stimulate the nerve fibers in order to increase blood flow to the nerves. This painless process has decreased neuropathy as well as inflammation.

Whole body vibration stimulates circulation throughout the body. People who have been inactive can benefit greatly by this technique. Whole body vibration uses a vibration plate that the patient can stand on or sit in a chair and rest their feet on. The vibration plate transmits energy to various parts of the body, causing muscles to contract and relax several times per second. In addition to stimulating circulations, this type of therapy can provide benefits including improved bone density, muscle tone and enhanced blood flow and oxygenation.

Last but certainly not least, traditional chiropractic care will adjust misaligned vertebrae allowing the proper communication to flow between the brain, spinal cord and nerves.