Nearly 20 million people suffer from neuropathy pain. Patients who are suffering from neuropathy know the classic symptoms: constant or irregular pain, tingling, and numbness in the extremities. Worst of all, it seems like no drugs have an effect on the symptoms or make it any better. It is estimated that around 5% of the United States population suffers from some form of neuropathy, a disease characterized by interrupted signals between the peripheral and the central nervous systems. These interruptions cause the symptoms described above. With age, the condition becomes more and more common. It is also extremely common in patients suffering from diabetes.
The most common causes of neuropathy of any kind are systemic or autoimmune diseases (such as diabetes, leprosy, etc.), medications, radiation therapy, excessive drug or alcohol use, diseases of the immune system, or vitamin deficiencies. The disease itself can manifest in either a chronic form or an acute form. In chronic neuropathy, the symptoms will begin to show themselves slowly and will build up over time. Acute neuropathy pain is characterized by a rapid onset of symptoms and a very quick progression.
The key to repairing the damaged nerves that are present in patients with neuropathy is ensuring that nutrients and oxygen can get to the affected areas. A good diet can help with this, as can regular exercise to improve circulation. Among medical treatments, there are two which are much more common than any others:
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Since neuropathy often leads to thickened or swollen nerves, one common method of alleviating pain and other symptoms is through decompression surgery, which works to enlarge the tunnels through which the nerves pass, removing the impedance which has led to the loss of sensation and pain. Surgery is a less common option when compared to medications.
There are a wide variety of medications which treat neuropathy. Among those are topical creams, anti-seizure medications, pain relievers (including NSAIDs or opioids), and antidepressants. Medications typically treat the symptoms and, in most cases, do not resolve the underlying cause of the illness. Likewise, they bring a number of unwanted and negative side effects right along with them.
Fortunately, there are options other than surgery and drugs which can be used in the treatment of neuropathy pain. In fact, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners states that the second most common treatment performed by chiropractors is for neuropathy of the arms and legs. A 2004 study from the British Medical Journal found that chiropractic adjustments were able to significantly improve symptoms better than standard medical treatment in periods of 3 or 12 months.
If you or someone you know is suffering from neuropathy, be it circulatory diabetic peripheral neuropathy, sciatic neuropathy, or any other form of neuropathy pain, seek out the advice of a chiropractor and an acupuncturist. Both are able to successfully treat neuropathy without the use of drugs or surgery. For those in the Miami area, Dr. Michael Newman specializes in chiropractic care and acupuncture. Call him today to set up an appointment.