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What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

peripheral neuropathyPeripheral Neuropathy is a condition in which there is damage to the nerves in the arms and legs to the point in which there is now tingling, numbness, pain and weakness. Often this problem is associated with Diabetes, but there are multiple other causes as well.

In order to understand Peripheral Neuropathy and how to best help ease the symptoms, it’s important to understand the effect that is being had on the overall nervous system. What I mean by this, is that in most cases(take Peripheral Neuropathy in the case of a Diabetic person for instance) is that Peripheral Neuropathy is a symptom itself of the overall issue.

In the body, you have 2 primary nervous systems structurally speaking. The Central Nervous System(CNS), is made up of the brain and spinal cord. The Peripheral Nervous System(PNS) is made up of the nerves that extend from the spinal cord and out through the body. This is where the term Peripheral Neuropathy gets it’s name.

Now, just as importantly and maybe even perhaps more importantly to know is that you also have 2 nervous systems physiologically speaking as well. This is what is referred to as the Autonomic Nervous System which breaks further down into the Sympathetic(Fight or Flight) and Parasympathetic(Heal and Grow) nervous systems.

When we are dealing with something like Peripheral Neuropathy it’s crucial to keep in mind that while we definitely want to address the symptoms, it’s more important in the long run to deal with the cause of the problem.

Again, let’s look at the case of Diabetes. For the most part, Diabetes has to be going on for a while and/or the blood sugar has to be pretty high to get to the point where Peripheral Neuropathy symptoms start to show up.

If we wanted to help ease these symptoms, there is a protocol that helps and will actually work wonders for many people without having to add any medications.

Still though, if the blood sugar is allowed to remain high, or if we are artificially maintaining a more normal blood sugar via medication then we are ignoring the overall cause and the body will manage for as long as it can, but eventually these other symptoms start to show up.

Ok, that’s probably enough of me trying to hit that point home. Let’s talk about what can actually be done to help Peripheral Neuropathy itself.

There are a couple of things that are absolute musts to start to alleviate these symptoms. First, we need to improve blood flow to the area, and second we have to give the body the chance to heal the nerves that have been damaged.

So, here are a couple of places to get started:

Exercise: Obviously one of the best things that can be done to “get the blood going” is to step up exercise. This doesn’t have to be any sort of intense exercise like crossfit or powerlifting, but it does mean that the body needs to move. You could start off simply by taking a walk, or if the symptoms are too bad that walking isn’t an option, perhaps ride a stationary bike. If even that’s not doable, there some simple leg and arm exercises you could do right there in your chair. The point is that the body requires movement and the blood flow improves in the part of the body that is moving. So, if you have neuropathy symptoms in the legs and arms, they have to move. Another effect of increasing your exercise is that the nervous system is stimulated to help aid movement in whatever particular area is being exercised, so, over time, this can lead to the nerves healing.

Diet: Again, Peripheral Neuropathy can come from a variety of problems, but most of the big ones can be traced back to diet and nutrition(and gut health). For instance, besides Diabetes, other common causes are Alcoholism, Autoimmune Disorders, and Vitamin Deficiencies. With any of these, nutritional solutions can help. An obvious first step is to eliminate inflammatory foods in the diet. This would include things like processed foods, sugar, grains(for some people), etc. The next step would be to increase nutrients that help with the blood flow and cardiovascular system. This may include Fish Oil, CoQ10, Magnesium, B-Vitamins, etc. The same dietary changes are effective for healing the nerves in the area as well.

Chiropractic: Most people don’t realize this but Chiropractic, while extremely effective for pain, isn’t focused on healing pain at all. Chiropractic is aimed at the idea that the body works best when the nervous system is allowed to function optimally. In the case of Peripheral Neuropathy, the goal would be to take pressure off of the nerves at the spine, but also into the arms and legs as needed. Also, Chiropractic adjustments act to stimulate the nervous system which aids in healing as well.

Copyright 2016

Matt Parsons Chiropractic Associates, Inc.

1009 Chestnut

Bastrop,  TX 78602


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