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Understanding Neuropathy: Causes, Symptoms, and Types

Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a condition that affects the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. It can cause a range of symptoms, from mild discomfort to severe pain and impairment of motor function.

At Boos Chiropractic, we specialize in holistic approaches to managing neuropathy and improving overall nerve health.

Here are the causes, symptoms, and types of neuropathy to help you better understand this complex condition.

Causes of Neuropathy

Neuropathy can have numerous causes.

Common causes include:

  • Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can damage nerves over time, leading to diabetic neuropathy.
  • Trauma or Injury: Physical injury, such as from accidents or sports injuries, can damage nerves directly.
  • Autoimmune Diseases: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus can cause inflammation that affects nerves.
  • Infections: Viral or bacterial infections, such as Lyme disease or shingles, can damage peripheral nerves.
  • Toxins: Exposure to toxins, including chemotherapy drugs or heavy metals, can lead to neuropathy.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Lack of essential nutrients like vitamins B1, B6, B12, and E can contribute to nerve damage.
  • Heredity: Some forms of neuropathy are genetically inherited.
  • Other Health Conditions: Kidney disease, liver disease, and hypothyroidism can all contribute to nerve damage.

Symptoms of Neuropathy

The symptoms of neuropathy vary depending on the type of nerve affected and the underlying cause.

Common symptoms include:

  • Numbness or Tingling: Often in the hands or feet, but can occur in other parts of the body.
  • Burning or Sharp Pain: Persistent pain that may worsen at night.
  • Sensitivity to Touch: Even light touch or pressure can cause discomfort.
  • Muscle Weakness: Difficulty moving or controlling muscles.
  • Loss of Coordination: Difficulty walking or performing fine motor tasks.
  • Changes in Temperature Sensation: Feeling excessively hot or cold in affected areas.
  • Digestive Issues: Nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea in cases of autonomic neuropathy.
  • Urinary Problems: Difficulty emptying the bladder completely or urinary incontinence.

Types of Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be categorized into several types based on the nerves affected or the specific symptoms:

  • Peripheral Neuropathy: Affects the peripheral nerves, usually in the hands and feet.
  • Autonomic Neuropathy: Involves damage to nerves that control involuntary bodily functions such as digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure.
  • Focal Neuropathy: Occurs when a single nerve or group of nerves is damaged, leading to weakness or pain in a specific area.
  • Proximal Neuropathy: Affects nerves in the thighs, hips, or buttocks, causing weakness or pain.
  • Diabetic Neuropathy: Specifically caused by diabetes, affecting nerves throughout the body.
Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing neuropathy involves a thorough medical history, physical examination, and possibly nerve conduction studies or imaging tests. Treatment aims to manage symptoms, address the underlying cause, and prevent further nerve damage.

At Boos Chiropractic, our approach to managing neuropathy includes:

  • Chiropractic Care: Spinal adjustments can help improve nerve function and alleviate pressure on affected nerves.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises and stretches to strengthen muscles and improve balance.
  • Nutritional Counseling: Guidance on a diet rich in nerve-supporting nutrients and supplements.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Recommendations to manage symptoms, such as avoiding alcohol and quitting smoking.

Neuropathy is a complex condition that can significantly impact quality of life, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, many individuals can manage their symptoms effectively.

At Boos Chiropractic, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive care and personalized treatment plans for neuropathy and other neurological conditions.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of neuropathy, contact us today at Ma href=”tel:9187492992″>918-749-2992 to schedule a consultation.