Neuropathy Effects Over 30 Million People in the U.S... But There is Help Locally
Peripheral neuropathy refers to the many conditions that involve damage to the peripheral nervous system, the vast communication network that sends signals between the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and all other parts of the body.
Many people suffer from peripheral neuropathy. About 30 million people in the United States are reported to have the disorder, and peripheral neuropathy is particularly common among individuals suffering from certain diseases.
Although some people with neuropathy may not have symptoms, certain symptoms are common. The degree to which an individual is affected by a particular neuropathy varies. Damage to the sensory nerves is common in peripheral neuropathy. Many neuropathies are idiopathic, meaning that no known cause can be found.
When an individual has a peripheral neuropathy, nerves of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) have been damaged. Nerve damage can arise from a number of causes, such as disease, physical injury, to name a few.
A typical pattern of diabetes associated neuropathic symptoms includes sensory effects that first begin in the feet. The associated pain or pins-and-needles, burning, crawling, or prickling sensations form a typical "stocking" distribution in the feet and lower legs. Pain associated with neuropathy can be quite intense and may be described as cutting, stabbing, crushing, or burning. In some cases, a non-painful stimulus may be perceived as excruciating or pain may be felt even in the absence of a stimulus. Damage to a motor nerve is usually indicated by weakness in the affected area. If the problem with the motor nerve has continued over a length of time, muscle shrinkage (atrophy) or lack of muscle tone may be noticeable.
The outcome for peripheral neuropathy depends heavily on the cause. In the best cases, a damaged nerve regenerates. Nerve cells cannot be replaced if they are killed, but they are capable of recovering from damage. The extent of recovery is tied to the extent of the damage and a person's age and general health status. Recovery can take weeks to years, because neurons grow very slowly.
Locally, Regen America in Brookhaven, PA has developed a precise and effective system treating peripheral Neuropathy. The integrated medical facilities treatment incorporates interventions and technology designed to address the multiple factors that can contribute to the development of Neuropathy, and provide ongoing relief for patients.
“Given that peripheral Neuropathy almost always has a vascular component, the first group of therapies we utilize are designed to improve nitric oxide production, nerve re-education, angiogenesis, and increase circulation to the extremities.” Explains Dr. Anthony Odell, DC at Regen America.
“When we can improve the underlying blood supply to the peripheral nerves as well as address the centrally mediated pain, patients experience substantial decreases in pain, increased balance, and diminished numbness/tingling that is all too common with Neuropathy.” Dr. Odell adds.
At the forefront of the Regen's treatment regimen is the use of an infrared diode device, also known as low-level light therapy, photon therapy or photo therapy. This therapy outputs infrared light ranging in wavelength from 430-890 nm. When used appropriately on the affected area, these lights promote the release of nitric oxide from the endothelial cells, increasing local blood flow, and stimulating angio-genesis.
“It's crucial that once we get new blood to the nerves and creating new blood vessels, to re-educate the nerve back to normal function. By using an infrared diode device, we are able to repair the damaged nerves, and start to make them durable once again.” according to Dr. Odell.
The most common mistakes neuropathy suffers make are to take the "it will go away on its own" or "the medications will get me better" mentality.
Doing this for long periods can cause you to reach a point of no return, he explains.
Among those with diabetes, peripheral neuropathy affects 60-70% of the group “My feet used to get very cold at night and have poor feeling. now I can sleep better at night. I would recommend anyone with neuropathy to do the program at Discover Optimal Healthcare.” - Susan B.
Typical symptoms include burning, crawling, or pins-and-needles pain