Some neuropathies come on suddenly, others gradually over many years. The symptoms depend on the types of nerves affected and their location, but the problem usually starts with weakness, numbness or pain. Here are some of the telltale signs people describe. Numbness, tingling, and pain: the sensory nerves, when damaged, can cause many different symptoms. Early on, you may have spontaneous sensations, called paresthesias which include numbness, tingling, pins and needles, prickling, burning, cold, pinching, sharp, deep stabs, electric shocks, or buzzing. They are usually worse at night, often painful and severe. Weakness in the arms or legs is usually caused by damage to the motor nerves, leg symptoms include difficulty walking or running, “heaviness” – it takes most of your strength just to climb the stairs. Absence of position sense: When you have this symptom, you’re probably not sure just where your feet are and may thus be uncoordinated and unsteady when you walk. Or you may realize that the way you walk has changed, but not be sure exactly how or why. Symptoms of Autonomic Damage: Damage to the autonomic nerves can cause dizziness when standing up, constipation, diarrhea, sexual dysfunction, and thinning of the skin, with easy bruisability and poor healing.
A. THE ACQUIRED NEUROPATHY
Diabetic Neuropathies Diabetes is the most common known cause of neuropathy. In most cases, the neuropathy is predominantly sensory, with pain and sensory loss in the hands and feet. Immune-Mediated NeuropathiesSometimes, for unknown reasons, the immune system mistakenly attacks parts of the body such as the peripheral nerves. This is “autoimmune” Peripheral Neuropathy. There are several different types, depending on the part of the peripheral nerve which is attacked and the type of the immune reaction.
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME TYPES OF IMMUNE MEDIATED NEUROPATHY:
-Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). -Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)-Neuropathies Associated with Vasculitis or Inflammation of the Blood Vessels in Peripheral Nerve -Chronic Polyneuropathy with antibodies to Peripheral Nerves -Neuropathies associated with Monoclonal Gammopathies Neuropathies Associated with Tumors or Neoplasms
Neuropathy Associated with Amyloidosis Amyloid is a substance which is deposited in the peripheral nerves and interferes with their operation: the disorder is Amyloidosis.
Neuropathies caused by Infections Peripheral Neuropathies can be caused by infection of the peripheral nerves. Viruses that cause Peripheral Neuropathy include the AIDS virus HIV-I, which causes slowly progressive sensory neuropathy, Herpes Zoster which causes Shingles, and Poliovirus which causes a motor neuropathy. Hepatitis B or C infections are sometimes associated with vasculitic neuropathy. Neuropathy in Kidney DiseasesSuch as kidney failure.
Neuropathies caused by Nutritional Imbalance Deficiencies of Vitamins B12, B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine), or E can produce Polyneuropathy with degeneration of peripheral nerve axons.
Neuropathy caused by Alcohol and Toxins Certain toxins can cause Peripheral Neuropathy. Lead toxicity is associated with a motor neuropathy; arsenic or mercury cause a sensory neuropathy, Thalium can cause a sensory and autonomic neuropathy.
Neuropathies caused by Drugs
Neuropathies caused by trauma or compression Localized neuropathies can result from compression of nerves by external pressure or overlying tendons and other tissues. The best known of these are the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which results from compression at the wrist, and cervical or lumbar radiculopathy (Sciatica) which result from compression of nerve roots as they exit the spine.
B. HEREDITARY NEUROPATHIES
-Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease (CMT) -Familial Amyloidotic Neuropathy and other Hereditary Neuropathies Solution
Monochromatic Infrared Energy (MIRE) is fitted into flexible pads that are directly applied to the skin on the feet, legs, hands, or any part of the body where it is needed. When the energy device is applied infrared (light) energy penetrates up to two inches deep to release Nitric Oxide from hemoglobin, which then dilates blood vessels, helps the nerves function, and reduces pain.
Published clinical studies have shown that infrared therapy is extremely successful in treating the pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and lack of sensation that are common with neuropathy. This therapy has been used on thousands of patients and has been tested by NASA.MIRE; infrared light can be captured with a digital camera.
Treatment results could be maximized by the use ofLASER Therapy and special kinds of Electrical Stimula. Special circulatory exercises are used as-well-as strengthening exercises to enforce the program of treatment.
When the laser is applied to tissue, it is absorbed in the mito chondria and cell membrane. It then will be converted into energy called ATP that accelerates tissue repair, promotes nerves functions, reduce pain and accelerate resolution of inflammation.
C. CHEMOTHERAPY NEUROPATHY
What is Chemotherapy- Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)?
Chemo (chemotherapy drugs) travels through the whole body, and certain types of chemo can damage several nerves. Symptoms tend to start farthest away from the head, but move in closer over time.
Symptoms of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy (CIPN)
In most cases, people will notice chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms in the feet, then later on in the hands. Symptoms may start in the toes, but move on to the ankles and legs. Likewise, symptoms can move up from the fingers to the hands and arms.
Some people with this type of neuropathy (nerve damage) first notice a “pins and needles” tingling, numbness, burning, pain, and/or sharp shooting pain. CIPN may cause difficulty standing, walking, driving, and balance problems that may lead to falls.
Balance problems are caused by a combination of increased weakening of the muscles and the person’s inability to feel the ground beneath their feet.
CIPN can begin any time after treatment starts. It often gets worse as treatments go on. Damage to the nervous system in chemotherapy patients can develop months or years after treatment.
Our goal at Premier Physical Therapy is not only to prevent the progression of neuropathy, but also to alleviate the symptoms in order to improve the patients’ quality of life.
To treat neuropathy we employ safe, painless, and non-invasive Infrared Therapy, or Monochromatic Infrared Energy (MIRE). Light-emitting diodes are applied to the skin on the feet, legs, hands or any other affected part of the body. When the MIRE is applied, the light energy helps to release small molecules of Nitric Oxide from hemoglobin, which then dialates the blood vessels, aids in nerve funtion and reduces pain, numbness, tingling and burning while restoring sensation.
What should you expect from our program?
Most patients say that MIRE Threapy feels warm and soothing. Others say they feel some tingling and pulsing. This is normal as blood flow returns to the area. Some patients respond very quickly in our comprehensive program, while others take longer based on their degree of impairment. Therapy will continue to show improvement. Improvement sometimes is slower in certain cases than others.
The procedure is safe, non-invasive, painless, and drug-free. There are no known side effects or negative drug interactions. Only pregnant women and patients with active malignancies should not use the therapy.
Published clinical studies have shown that this therapy is extremely successful in treating the pain, numbness and non-healing wounds that are common with neuropathy.
The cost of a visit will vary from person to person because each person’s treatment is different. During the initial visit, the Physical Therapist will establish the treatment program for your NEUROPATHY based on the thorough evaluation.
We accept Medicare / Blue Cross-Blue Shield / PPO’s, and most other insurances. You can call your physician to get a prescription, or you need to visit your doctor in order to obtain one if you haven’t seen him in a long time.
Call today to schedule an appointment or submit a request on our website!