How to Reverse Peripheral Neuropathy
The Peripheral Nervous System
The peripheral nervous system is a complex web of nerves that connect your arms, legs and trunk to the spinal cord. It transmits motor signals to your arms and legs, allowing for you to walk, swing a golf club, ride a bike, exercise and feed yourself. Peripheral nerves transmit sensory messages allowing you to feel pain, vibration, hot and cold, light touch, tickle, sharp and dull and pressure. It controls the diameter of your blood vessels, ensuring you are getting an adequate blood supply so you can get plenty of oxygen through your tissues. And lastly, the peripheral nerves aid in maintaining your balance (so your brain knows where your body is when you walk, ride a bicycle or jump up and down on a trampoline).
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral Neuropathy is damage or disease that affects the peripheral nerves. Some of the symptoms associated with neuropathy include numbness, tingling, pain, cramping, balance problems, weakness, restless leg syndrome and feelings that your feet (or hands) are too hot or too cold. The damage is commonly caused by hypoxia (a lack of oxygen) to the nerves in the hands and feet which causes the nerves to shrivel up and die.
It is a progressive, degenerative disease (meaning it does not get better on its own, but rather can and will get worse as time goes on). For most people who suffer with neuropathy, five years ago, they probably weren’t as bad as they are now. Five years from now, if left untreated, it will be worse.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
There are over 100 different causes of peripheral neuropathy. Many doctor’s will inquire whether you are a diabetic. But while 75% of all diabetics develop neuropathy, you don’t have to have diabetes to develop peripheral neuropathy.
Some of the causes are relatively common (diabetes, chemotherapy drugs, spinal stenosis). Other causes are less known (statin drugs, surgery, Lyme’s disease, etc..).
“I’ve been suffering with peripheral neuropathy for over 8 years. I have numbness, tingling and burning pain in my feet. Also, my balance has been getting worse. My doctors gave me medicine (Neurontin and Lyrica). They weren’t helping and had terrible side effects. Finally I went to see Dr. Smith and got relief. His methods work and I’m very happy I went.”
Harold L., Pittsburgh, PA
The Medical Standard of Care
The medical standard of care doctor’s use to treat neuropathy is with prescription drugs that may temporarily reduce symptoms. These drugs have names such as Gabapentin, Neurontin, Lyrica, and Cymbalta. They are primarily anti-seizure or anti-depressant drugs. The way they work is to slow down the brain so you can’t feel your feet. If you have diabetic neuropathy, and you had intense pain in your feet, the drugs may reduce the symptoms. However they aren’t going to do anything for numbness, tingling, balance problems, weakness, cramping, restless leg syndrome, etc. They also do not slow down or stop the progress of the disease whatsoever. That is why as your nerves continue to die, the doctor’s have to constantly increase your dosage. Typically, you’ll start off with 100 mg; then 100 mg twice a day, then three times a day; then 200 mg, then 300 mg…. This will occur until you are at the maximum safe dose. And then the doctor will tell you “I’m sorry, that’s all I can do for you. You’re just going to have to learn to live with it.”
“I had burning, numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. My medical doctor prescribed Gabapentin and Cymbalta and I got NO relief! I went to see Dr. Smith and he got better results than any other specialist I went to. I’m delighted with the results.”
Rachel W., West Mifflin, PA
What We Need To Determine:
In order to effectively treat neuropathy three questions have to be answered:
- What is the underlying cause?
- How much nerve damage has been sustained?
- How much treatment will be required?
The treatment we provide has three main goals:
- Repair the peripheral nerves
- Improve circulation
- Correct metabolic imbalances
NOTE: Once 85% or more of nerve damage has been sustained, there is likely nothing that we can do.
There are a variety of therapies we utilize for reversing peripheral neuropathy damage. Some of these approaches include LED infrared light therapy, spinal decompression, cold laser, vibration, detoxification and more.
Recovery is possible. Many have even spoken with their doctors and either reduced or completely eliminated their medications. The amount of treatment needed to allow the nerves to fully recover varies from person to person and can only be determined after a detailed neurological and vascular evaluation.
As long as there is less than 85% nerve damage, there is hope!