Neuropathy: Causes and Comprehensive Treatment Plan
Causes of Neuropathy
DiabetesThe most common cause of neuropathy, by far, is diabetes because of the havoc it wreaks on blood vessels. The nerves rely on tiny blood vessels to bring them highly oxygenated blood. All cells in our body, including nerves, need oxygen to stay healthy and stay alive. Without oxygen, our nerves die. Diabetes damages the blood vessels, with the smallest ones being affected first. This damage results in a lack of blood supply, known as ischemia. The majority of people with diabetes have, or will develop, neuropathy.
ChemotherapyChemotherapy is often needed by patients battling cancer, as it is necessary to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy is also toxic to healthy cells. As a result, nerves are often damaged by the chemotherapy. Sometimes the neuropathy caused by chemotherapy is self-limiting and the nerve can heal on its own over time. But, all too often, the neuropathy caused by chemotherapy lingers and causes continued agony for the patient.
Nerve CompressionNerve cells are long and very thin, with some cells stretching up to four feet. Nerves are made up of many of these cells wound together like strands in a rope. These tiny nerve cells are essentially hollow tubes in which nutrients are moved through to keep each cell healthy. If there is some type of mechanical pressure placed on the nerve long term, it will restrict the flow of nutrients throughout the length of the nerve. Similar to a kink in a garden hose, nothing is able to get through the tube. As a result, the nerve will become damaged and may eventually die. Bulged or herniated discs and direct trauma are common causes of mechanical compression.
Additional causes of neuropathy are a vitamin B12 deficiency, some autoimmune diseases, neurological diseases and genetic disorders.
Bernards Spinal Wellness Unique Treatment ApproachThe first step in developing an effective treatment plan for neuropathy is identifying the type of neuropathy you have. After obtaining your personal and family health history, we get many details from you about your current neuropathy symptoms. Next, a physical examination will be performed. Additional tests may be required, including lab testing, an evaluation of your blood vessels, and possibly an MRI. After the information is collected and assessed, we will assemble a treatment plan specifically for you.
Unfortunately, many patients suffering from neuropathy may have several different sources of nerve damage. The key to treating these more complicated situations is proper evaluation to identify all sources and then focusing treatment on each problem.
This may bring up a concern for those people who have been told they have idiopathic neuropathy. Idiopathic neuropathy basically means the nerve damage is unidentifiable. Luckily, even if we don’t know why you have nerve damage, we are still most likely able to figure out where the nerve is damaged and focus our treatment on the appropriate area.
The most recent thoughts from experts on neuropathy are that most cases of neuropathy involve ischemia, which is a lack of blood supply. Blood flow is required for any of the organs and tissues of our body to heal. Your nerves are no different. Blood flow brings in oxygen and nutrients necessary for healing an injured nerve and for normal everyday function. Because of this, much of our treatment is focused on improving blood flow to the area of nerve damage.
We have evaluated the benefits of countless treatments available for neuropathy, including laser, medications, lotions, creams, vitamins, acupuncture and many others.
Based on our research, our experience, and more importantly, the improvement we have seen in our patients, we believe we have assembled the absolute best treatment program available to those suffering from neuropathy. For those seeking a practical peripheral neuropathy treatment, Bernards Spinal Wellness provides powerful healing therapies as part of an integrated approach to health.
Location: Bernards Spinal Wellness, 40 Morristown Road, Bernardsville. For more information, call 908-367-7366 or visit BernardsSpinalWellness.com.