By Dr. Jeremiah Joseph, Chiropractic Neurologist
Renowned Author of “Recover Your Health”
There is a condition that 10 – 20 million Americans are living with. A condition that is frequently misdiagnosed or many times not diagnosed at all. It is called Peripheral Neuropathy. Peripheral Neuropathy is a disease that affects the outlying, or “peripheral”, nerves that run throughout the body. This includes the hands and feet, not the brain or spinal cord. Neuropathy can create an abnormal or decreased feeling in the fingers or toes, and can affect both sides of the body simultaneously. When this happens, it is called Polyneuropathy or Symmetrical Polyneuropathy. Neuropathy can be frightening and detrimental to ones health. Understanding the facts about the disease is the first step of treatment.
Whenever diagnosing a medical disorder, first we have to look for the symptoms. Most symptoms of Neuropathy are felt in the arms, hands, legs and feet. Neuropathy can cause low to heavy levels of pain. It generally starts out with numbness, but can progress to a sharp or “electrical” feeling. It can hurt to walk or even grasp items. Tingling and shooting pains that may result in leg cramping can also be commonplace. It is an unusual feeling and many people have said it feels like they have a sock on their foot when they do not.
One of the main causes of Peripheral Neuropathy is Diabetes. Neuropathy affects over 60% of people who have the disease. Though the majority of people with diabetes will be affected by it, only 30% of all people with Neuropathy have Diabetes. Chemotherapy drugs have been shown to induce Neuropathy, as well. When this occurs it can last weeks, months, even years. One of the most stated reasons for people leaving Chemotherapy treatment early is because of this debilitating side effect.
The list of causes of Peripheral Neuropathy can also include alcoholism, arthritis, injuries, and family history. Long term drinking creates back problems, thyroid issues, vitamin deficiencies and nutritional problems that eventually cause nerve damage. There is a chance Rheumatoid Arthritis can induce mild forms of Peripheral Neuropathy, like carpal tunnel syndrome. Certain traumatic injuries and certain infections to the nerves can result in Neuropathy. People with a family history of Neuropathy and who are over age 40 are more at risk for the disorder.
The most common cause of neuropathy that we see in our clinic relays itself from the spine. If the neuropathy is in the hands, it often times is coming from the neck. If it is in the legs or feet, then it may be coming from the lumbar (low back) region. The way we treat neuropathy in our office is first to determine what the cause is. Once we determine what the cause is, we formulate a treatment plan that may consist of a combination of things like; whole body vibration, infra-red laser, Sarapin medical injections (natural medication), medical bracing and even chiropractic. The combination of the above has had a proven track record of success with neuropathy in thousands of patients.
Dr. Joseph speaks on a wide range of topics from losing weight, to thyroid, diabetes and neuropathy. To find out Dr. Joseph’s speaking schedule or to have Dr. Joseph speak at one of your venues, please call 941-697-3001 and ask for Kerri. You may also listen to Dr. Joseph host his radio show on 1580 AM WCCF every other Tuesday at 11:00 AM.
You may reach him at 697-3001 or www.PivotalHealth4You.com