Chiropractor Chandler AZ
Peripheral neuropathy treatment goals are to decrease the pain, numbness, tingling, and burning sensations in the feet. The intensity, frequency, and duration of symptoms can become overwhelming in people's lives and limit their day-to-day and work activities. Neuropathy can affect patients for years and slowly becomes more intense and disruptive to their lives. Many of these patients have tried a variety of treatments for their peripheral neuropathy with limited success.
Peripheral neuropathy diagnosis involves a combination of factors of past history to identify any specific causes such as metabolic reactions, medications, toxic exposure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or inherited genetic diseases that can affect the peripheral nerves. Specific tests may be performed including in NCV test which measures a nerves function, by looking at how quickly it sends a signal down the nerve and its quality of signal to the hands or feet. Damaged nerves often show slower nerve signals and signals are transmitted with less quality.
The first line of treatment involves addressing any lifestyle, home, or work activities that may be aggravating the symptoms. Next is medication treatments that try to limit the amount of bad signals being sent to the brain and spinal cord. Some patients show significant improvement with home changes and medications.
Many patients still show significant neuropathy symptoms even with lifestyle changes and medications. Conservative treatment for peripheral neuropathy involves enhancing and increasing cellular processes within the nerve. A neuron affected by peripheral neuropathy often shows decreased signal transmission down the nerve because it is operating in an injured state. The nerve is unable to fully repair and heal itself. Nerves are very fragile compared to other tissue and have difficulty healing themselves, which is why carpal tunnel syndrome is very difficult to treat. A chronically damaged and injured nerve slowly deteriorates over time, and this nerve sends bad signals down its axon. For example, a sensory neuron sends a signal from its receptors in the toes all the way up to the spinal cord. A motor neuron sends a signal from the spinal cord down to the muscles in the feet and ankles. Neuropathy causes the sensory nerves to send pain signals up to the body even though there is not any actual source of pain. Oftentimes the muscle neurons are unable to properly contract or send the appropriate signals from spinal cord to the feet. This is one of the reasons why balance becomes altered in people diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy.
Conservative treatment enhances the cooperation of the sensory and motor neurons. Stimulus to sensory neuron travels up the spinal cord and the body sends a signal down the motor neuron to the toes to maintain balance and stability. Balance and proprioceptive exercises increase the amount of nerve transmissions from the feet up the spine and back down to the feet. Vibration therapy further enhances this treatment by sending a massive amount of signals from the feet up to the spinal cord, requiring the body to send many muscle contraction stimulus down the axon nerves to maintain foot strength and balance. Vibration therapy by itself does improve people's neuropathy symptoms. Many find a decrease of intensity, frequency, and duration of symptoms.
Cold laser therapy or low-level laser therapy is one of the best treatments for enhancing nerve repair and regeneration. Specific wavelengths and frequencies stimulate metabolic reactions within the nerve to enhance the normal repair processes. Specific wavelengths increase energy production within the neuron, giving it more energy to heal and repair with. Other wavelengths stimulate blood flow to the neuron, bringing more nutrients to the entire neuron. Other wavelengths also decrease the inflammation and irritants around the nerve that cause painful stimuli to be sent from the sensory nerves up to the spinal cord.
Overall cold laser therapy has been shown to increase regeneration and repair an injured neuron. Studies have shown the increased rate of axon growth and myelination of neurons that are exposed to cold laser.. Specific wavelengths and energy are required to trigger these reactions within a neuron, and not all lasers are powerful enough to cause these reactions. The studies show a class IV cold laser or low-level laser is required to produce enough joules of energy to promotes nerve healing and repair.
The combination of vibration therapy with low level-laser therapy is an excellent treatment for decreasing painful neuropathy symptoms. Patients who experience frequent pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or temperature changes show improvement within three weeks of treatment.
There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy, but they all involve a nerve that is damaged and unable to fully repair and heal itself. Any treatment that increases healing, repair, and regeneration, and promotes blood flow will increase the nerves’ overall health and diminish symptoms. Overall class IV cold laser is a safe and very effective treatment for eliminating or decreasing neuropathy symptoms.