Peripheral Neuropathy (PN), according to the Foundation of Peripheral Neuropathy, “is a general term for a series of disorders that result from damage to the body’s peripheral nervous system.” Peripheral Neuropathy, believe or not, is extremely common, and often bothers and plagues many prior to them thinking about going to get it checked out by a physician. Unfortunately for most, by that time it has been such a problem for so long, that they have irreversible and irreparable damage to the extremities (arms and legs). The numbness, tingling, pins and needles, and pain symptoms experienced by most, generally reflect the sensory changes that are occurring as a result of nerve fibers.
Peripheral neuropathy can be categorized as mononeuropathy (as it relates to a single nerve or nerve group) or polyneuropathy (as it relates to multiple nerves), affecting either the sensory, motor or autonomic nerves. Most people think of this disorder only in the scope of diabetes, but many other diagnoses involve these same symptoms and this same disorder. Did you know that people affected by MS, chemo-treatments, alcoholism, some hereditary disorders, vitamin B12 deficiencies, and PD, can also suffer with PN? More than likely, you did not know. Don’t feel badly about that statistic, however, because in my line of work, I realize often that this lack of knowledge is shared by many. Hence, this became another reason as to my why behind becoming a neurological PT.
Another important thing that I have discovered through my line of work is that not many people know that neurological PTs can oftentimes help with PN. One of the best ways to improve PN is to improve the circulation to the legs. One treatment that has been successful for me has been treating the area of affect with infrared light therapy. I don’t want to endorse any one in particular here for legal purposes, but it is important to note that many other factors are considered when treating these types of patients; too many to include in this blog. This is the reason why I extensively evaluate my patients, on their first visit, and I see them as a whole person, and not just in parts. I consider, nutrition, blood work, medications being taken, treatments received and so many other important things that can help the therapy treatment, or hinder it for that matter.
I recommend you see a good neurologist, get connected with a good neuro PT, and don’t wait too late to address this issue. Time is of the essence when it comes to peripheral neuropathy!