Neuropathy — also called peripheral neuropathy — is nerve pain that occurs when one or more peripheral nerves are damaged or injured. The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves outside the brain and spinal cord (the brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system). Peripheral nerves carry signals from the brain and transmit them to other areas of the body — the hands, feet, arms, legs, face and internal organs. Damaged or dysfunctional peripheral nerves can cause you to feel pain, weakness, numbness, tingling and loss of motor skills in different areas of the body.
There are three types of peripheral nerves that could be affected by neuropathy:
- Sensory nerves responsible for receiving and processing touch, temperature, pain, and texture sensations from the skin
- Motor nerves that control movement and muscle function
- Autonomic nerves that are responsible for internal organ functions like breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, digestion and bladder control
The symptoms of neuropathy depend on which type(s) of nerves are damaged.
Causes and Risk Factors
There are multiple things that may cause neuropathy, including health conditions, traumatic accidents, medications, or vitamin deficiencies. And some cases of neuropathy have no known cause. The following is a non-exhaustive list of conditions or events that could lead to nerve damage:
- Diabetes (one of the most common causes of neuropathy)
- Hereditary neuropathies
- Autoimmune diseases and infections
- Bone marrow disorders
- Vascular disorders
- Kidney, liver or thyroid diseases
- Certain medications
- Chemotherapy and radiation
- Exposure to poisons or toxic substances
- Direct trauma (car accident, fall, fracture, sports accident)
- Vitamin deficiencies
10 Early Signs of Peripheral Neuropathy
- Numbness and tingling that starts in the hands and feet. Neuropathy may cause numbness, tingling, prickling or a “pins and needles” feeling that begins in the hands and feet and travels to the arms and legs.
- Sharp, stabbing or burning pain. Neuropathy can cause intense and severe pain that feels burning, shooting or electric in the affected areas. Neuropathic pain might be worse at night and can disrupt normal sleep.
- Pain during non-painful activities. Some people with neuropathy experience an outsized pain reaction to a stimulus that wouldn’t normally cause pain — like feeling severe pain from a light touch or from putting a blanket over your feet.
- Abnormal sensations. Neuropathy can cause abnormal sensory reactions to touch and temperature. Some people experience extreme sensitivity to touch, light pressure, or clothing touching the skin. Some people also experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
- Loss of sensation. Neuropathy can cause a loss of sensation in the hands and feet. You may not feel touch, pain, temperatures or objects in your hand. Or you may feel like you’re wearing socks or gloves, even when you’re not.
- Poor balance and coordination. Some people experience a loss of motor skills and have difficulty walking, standing up, buttoning clothes or grasping objects. This can be very dangerous because it increases your risk of falling.
- Muscle weakness. Neuropathy can cause muscle weakness and fatigue that makes it hard to walk or move your arms and legs.
- Muscle cramps or spasms. Some people experience painful cramps, spasms or twitching that can’t be controlled.
- Paralysis or loss of muscle control. In some cases, neuropathy causes paralysis and an inability to move your arms or legs.
- Abnormal internal symptoms. Neuropathy that affects the autonomic nerves can lead to an abnormal heart rate, blood pressure fluctuations, dizziness, shortness of breath, excessive sweating or not sweating at all. It can also cause bladder, bowel, digestion and gastrointestinal issues.
What Should I Do If I’m Experiencing Symptoms?
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please call your doctor. Peripheral neuropathy has many potential causes, and determining the correct underlying cause of nerve damage will help your doctor find the right treatment to ease your symptoms. If your neuropathy is caused by an underlying condition, managing your condition will be the primary goal of treatment.
In some cases, treating or correcting the underlying cause allows the damaged nerves to recover and heal. In other cases, neuropathy can’t be cured, in which case the primary goals of treatment are reducing symptoms and slowing or stopping the progression of nerve damage. Traditional treatment options may include:
- Physical and occupational therapies
- Mechanical support aids (braces, casts, splints)
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
Many people also find relief by living a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, healthy eating, quitting smoking and limiting intake of alcohol. Additional therapies that can help improve day-to-day life include massages, acupuncture, chiropractic care, yoga and meditation.
What If Treatment Isn’t Effective?
Unfortunately, chronic pain can be incredibly challenging to treat, and often involves trial-and-error treatments, a multidisciplinary approach and constant management. All chronic pain is different and some people don’t respond to the standard treatments listed above. If that’s the case for you, and you can’t find any relief from moderate to severe neuropathic pain, scrambler therapy may be an option.
In the past several years, scrambler therapy has been used to treat several types of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain. The procedure is non-invasive, safe and incredibly low risk. Scrambler therapy uses electrical impulses to send “non-pain” messages across the same nerve fibers that are sending “pain” messages to the brain. It “scrambles” the pain information and replaces it with non-pain information. The human brain is neuroplastic, which means it has the ability to adapt, form new connections and rewire itself. After several scrambler therapy sessions, the brain will accept and seek out the non-pain information as the correct message from the nerve fibers.
Radiant Pain Relief Centres Treats Chronic Pain
If you’re living with chronic pain that isn’t relieved with standard treatments, contact Radiant Pain Relief Centres to learn more about scrambler therapy. Radiant Pain Relief Centres exclusively uses scrambler therapy treatments for the treatment of chronic pain. Our professionals have undergone specialized training and education to safely and effectively administer this therapy. On average, our patients experience an 84% reduction in pain, and more than 90% of our patients conclude therapy with a pain score of zero or near zero.
We have a start-to-finish comprehensive care model and payment plans that make scrambler therapy accessible and affordable for everyone with chronic pain. We offer a free evaluation and free treatment session so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not this treatment is right for you before you invest.
It’s time to take the leap and find lasting relief for your chronic pain. Call us today or submit a contact form for more information.