John K Maltby II, D.C.
In a previous blog I had described Carpal Tunnel syndrome and the issue of regularly dropping things. Sometimes Carpal Tunnel syndrome is not the issue and something else might be going on. Peripheral Neuropathy is a general term for a series of disorders that result from damage to the body's peripheral nervous system. Problems with sensory nerves cause frequent pain, tingling and numbness while motor nerves my cause difficulty walking or difficulty picking up items, and moving the arms. Loss of sensation in the feet and legs can lead to not taking full steps (shuffling along) or tripping over small items a lot. More than 20 million people in the United States have been estimated to have some form of peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetes is the leading cause of neuropathy, with over 70% of diabetics developing peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Other causes include chemotherapy, traumatic injury, alcoholism, and exposure to toxins.
Vascular and blood problems that decrease oxygen supply to the peripheral nerves can also lead to peripheral neuropathy. Smoking, narrowing of the arteries from high blood pressure, or atherosclerosis are some of the things that can decrease oxygen supply to the peripheral nerves and cause peripheral neuropathy.
Genetically caused peripheral neuropathy is rare. Just because your Grandpa had it does not mean that is why you have it too. Bad habits are more likely to cause similar family issues than genetics.
Another important aspect of peripheral neuropathy to think about is tripping and falling. According to the CDC over 300,000 people over the age of 65 are hospitalized for hip fractures. Of those hip fractures over 95% of them are caused by falling. What makes these numbers even more disturbing is the fact that 1 in 3 people who have a hip fracture over the age of 50 will die within 12 months due to complications that arise because of the hip fracture.
The most common solution the medical community offers are over the counter medications like Tylenol or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications), prescription pain killers, and other types of prescription drugs. These drugs all have harmful side effects and only mask the problem. Surgery is another option that is suggested when the drugs are no longer working. So what does that leave you with?
Class IV Laser Therapy.
Laser treatments with a Class IV Laser shines safe laser light over your damaged nerves and helps them recover and repair. Laser therapy treatments are non-invasive and safe with practically no side effects. During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscles spasms, stiffness and pain.
Patients who have received the recommended course of laser therapy treatments report reduced numbness and tingling, improved muscle function, normal sensations in their hands and feet, and more.
Here at White Pine Chiropractic we have helped may people suffering from peripheral neuropathy of many different types with Class IV Laser therapy. For more information on how the laser works head over to our laser page by click the link here.
Do not hesitate to schedule for a laser treatment as soon as possible.