What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a nerve disorder that involves damage to the peripheral nervous system, the nerve network that transmits information back and forth to the brain to other parts of the body such as your hands and feet. BackFit aims to aid patients with this condition with peripheral nervous system treatment. Peripheral nerves are critical to letting the brain know about issues like pain, heat, and cold. PN, may involve a wide array of symptoms due to the fact that each nerve in our bodies has a very specialized function. It also depends on the extent of the damage to the nerve. Neuropathy can come in acute and chronic forms. In acute neuropathies, symptoms appear suddenly and rapidly get worse.

In chronic neuropathies, symptoms get worse slowly over time. There may be periods of remission where the condition plateaus and stays the same for months or even years. During frequently occurring types of PN such as diabetic neuropathy, the nerves of the parts of the body farthest from the brain – such as the feet – are affected first. Over time, the fingers, hands, and arms may become affected. Symptoms are often symmetrical; they may affect feets & legs on both sides, and progress upwards from there.

Symptoms:

  • Burning-like pain
  • Pain/numbness in your feet or hands
  • Leg cramping
  • Sharp electrical-like pain
  • Pain when you walk
  • Difficulty sleeping with leg & foot discomfort
  • Prickling or tingling feelings of the feet or hands
  • Poor Balance
  • Muscle weakness

Symptoms can be classified into three broad categories according to the type of nerve that is damaged:

Sensory – these nerves transmit sensations such as pain or touch. Sensory nerve damage can cause a wide range of symptoms as these nerves have a broad array of functions.

There are two main types of nerves affected in this category:

  • Large sensory nerve damage involves the ability to perceive touch or vibration and positional awareness. This type of damage often manifests itself through numbness in the hands and feet. It can also lead to difficulty with coordination in terms of balance, walking or other movement.
  • Smaller sensory nerve damage involves the ability to feel pain or changes in temperature. The ability to feel pain comes in two opposite categories – the inability to register pain and extreme sensitivity to pain.

Motor nerves – nerves that control muscles used for walking.

  • Muscle weakness and cramps are two of the most common symptoms of motor nerve damage.

Autonomic- nerves that control unconscious activities such as breathing, digesting food, or heart operation.

Diagnosis of Peripheral Neuropathy requires a comprehensive diagnostic protocol as the symptoms are multi-faceted. A board-certified BackFit Health + Spine medical provider will review a patient’s current symptoms, family medical history, and other factors to determine if a patient is a candidate for treatment for peripheral neuropathy. The doctor will also perform a number of tests to determine the cause and the severity of the patient’s nerve damage. All results are worked into an overall diagnostic profile that you and your medical provider will carefully review before moving into the treatment phase.

BackFit Health + Spine uses an innovative protocol to treat neuropathy pain called the Combined Electro-Chemical Treatment or CET. Unlike other treatments, which focus on oral medications or surgery, the CET focuses on the underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy by stimulating nerve regrowth to reduce and – in some cases -eliminate pain and inflammation entirely.

The CET incorporates two well-established procedures that have been combined into a protocol that is an effective treatment solution for diabetic and idiopathic neuropathies:

  • A nerve block is performed with a local anesthetic. The nerve block relieves the immediate pain and limits nerve activity during the treatment that follows. It also works to improve blood flow to the affected areas.
  • Electronic Signal Therapy (EST) , as delivered by a state of the art wave generator that has been specifically developed for the treatment of neuropathy and severe neuro-muscular pain.

If you feel you may benefit from CET, please contact us today for a consult with one of our medical providers.

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