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  • Writer's pictureDr. Andrew Wright

Peripheral Neuropathy Treatments

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

What is Peripheral Neuropathy and How Do We Treat It?

Peripheral Neuropathy affects more than 20 million Americans. If you're interested in learning more about Peripheral Neuropathy, you can read the Mayo Clinic's information sheet or you can click here to visit our neuropathy page.

Atlanta Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment

Evolve Wellness Center offers free neuropathy screenings to see if you are a candidate for care in our office. Call us at (404) 985-6209 or email to schedule.

Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

Peripheral Neuropathy, or neuropathy of the extremities, can affect both the upper and lower extremities, meaning it can happen in both your feet and your hands. If you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy symptoms, you may be experiencing:

  • Numbness

  • Tingling

  • Burning

  • Pain at night

  • Restlessness, especially at night

  • Electric Shocks

  • Stabbing

Neuropathy is a progressive disease, which means that it gets worse over time. As the nerves in your hands and feet degenerate, your symptoms may prevent you from walking or living your normal life.

What causes Neuropathy?

Neuropathy can be brought on by a variety of conditions. There are hundreds of different causes of peripheral neuropathy. these can broadly be divided into three main causes:

Physiological Dysfunction:

Although type 2 Diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy, other physiological dysfunctions can cause peripheral neuropathy as well. Conditions like heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and stroke can all contribute to developing peripheral neuropathy. Most of these conditions affect the strength of the blood vessels around the nerves and can diminish blood flow in some way.

Chemical Causes:

Whether by prescription or by accident, chemical exposure can affect the strength of the blood flow to your nerves, which can negatively impact the health of the nerves in your hands and feet. Anti-inflammatories, statins for cholesterol, chemotherapy, radiation, or Agent Orange exposure can all disrupt blood flow in our arms and legs. Many of these chemicals can impact the blood flow to your nerves and the nerves themselves directly. Lifestyle choices like excessive alcohol or tobacco use and even excessive sugar consumption can contribute to peripheral neuropathy.

Physical/Traumatic Causes:

Physical or traumatic causes of neuropathy typically cause large fiber mono-neuropathies, like sciatica pain. Traumas and accidents can be contributing factors to peripheral neuropathy and cause peripheral neuropathy on their own. Depending on the severity of the trauma, it can impact the health and strength of the nerves and the blood flow to the nerves, which can lead to nerve degeneration and loss of function. Because traumas and injuries can cause peripheral neuropathy, neuropathy is not solely an age-related issue. Neuropathy can affect people of all ages depending on the cause.

Peripheral Neuropathy is a dysfunction of the peripheral nerves in the hands and feet, but it's main cause is actually a lack of blood flow. Whether caused by chemical exposure, physiological dysfunction, or surgery, the problem is typically the same. The most important component is a loss of blood flow to the extremities. In diabetic neuropathy, for example, the high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can damage the blood vessels themselves and eventually lead to them degenerating. Once this disease process reaches a certain point of degeneration, the blood supply is inadequate for the nerves' nutrient and oxygen requirements and the nerves themselves begin to degenerate as well.

Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Atlanta

Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment in Our Atlanta Clinic

No matter what chemical or disease is creating the neuropathy symptoms, the mechanism leading to the dysfunction is typically the same. Whether it is blood glucose spikes caused by diabetes or agent orange exposure, the blood vessels become weakened and eventually lead to less blood flow to the hands and feet. The nerves in these parts of the body are fed by these small blood vessels. With less blood available because to the degeneration of the vessels themselves, the nerves don't receive enough oxygen and nutrients causing them to degenerate as well. The process of nerve degeneration can cause a pins and needles, burning, or tingling feeling and will eventually lead to numbness.

Given that lack of blood flow is the primary cause of Peripheral Neuropathy, the obvious treatment is to help the body grow blood vessels in the affected parts of the body.

The treatment we offer at Evolve Wellness Center is a four-pronged approach to increasing blood flow and stimulating, and thereby strengthening, the nerves.

  1. Infrared Light Therapy: Infrared light has been shown to increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels and promoting a process called angiogenesis: angio meaning vessel and genesis meaning creation. When the blood vessels degenerate, there is a lack of blood vessels in the tissue. The most important piece of healing peripheral neuropathy is reversing this process and regrowing blood vessels. Infrared therapy, specifically the therapy we use at Evolve Wellness Center, has been clinically proven to improve nerve function in 97% of patients. Here is a study showing that infrared therapy improves nerve regeneration.

  2. Nerve Stimulation: Many patients who come in for a neuropathy screening tell us that they have used or at least heard of using a TENS unit before and that they didn't get results. A typical TENS unit uses a square waveform. Square waveforms are great for strengthening or rehabbing muscles or injuries. When a person with degenerating nerves uses a TENS unit with a square waveform, it actually causes further damage to the nerves. The TENS unit that we use at Evolve Wellness Center is specifically designed to provide proper stimulation to the nerves helping them regrow and strengthen. The unit that we use with our patients responds to and communicates with the nervous system to retrain the nerves to function more effectively.

  3. Nutritional Support: Unfortunately, most people today do not have the healthiest diet. For most people, they eat some form of the Standard American Diet (SAD). This diet does not supply the body with enough nutrients to support the regrowth of nerves. Eating the SAD leaves people with acidity and inflammation in their body. Our supplementation plan uses proprietary blends of superfoods, vitamins, and minerals to alkalize the body, provide enough nutritional support to regrow nerves, and increase Nitric Oxide (NO) in the blood. NO is a vasodilator and will help to increase blood flow allowing more nutrient-rich blood to feed the growing nerves.

  4. Chiropractic Care: Bone misalignments can affect how the nervous system functions. This concept is the foundation of chiropractic. If there is a misalignment in your spine your nervous system will not be able to communicate as effectively and healing the nerves will take longer. Misalignments in the spine also cause abnormal tension in the body and nervous system, which can cause physiological dysfunctions and also contribute to longer healing times.

Neuropathy Treatment Atlanta

Peripheral Neuropathy: The Unfortunate Future

Unfortunately, for most people suffering with peripheral neuropathy, it is a condition that only progresses in one direction: it continues to get worse. Whatever the cause of the lack of blood flow to the nerves in the hands and feet, it is only a matter of time before the nerve damage increases. The current medical approach to treating neuropathy focuses on getting rid of the pain but does nothing to address the underlying cause or reverse the damage.

Eventually, when the nerve damage becomes severe enough, the patient will be unable to feel their feet or hands at all. This is a potentially dangerous situation because of the increased risk of falling caused by not being able to feel your feet. People at this stage of the disease will be much safer using a wheelchair or other walking aid.

Additionally, one of the dangers of getting to this stage of degeneration is injury. If a patient can't feel the bottoms of their feet, it is likely that they will cut themselves accidently while walking and be completely unaware of it. The wound will have difficulty healing because of the lack of blood supply to the feet. If the wound doesn't heal properly, the infection could get deep enough to affect the bone. A bone infection can be life threatening and the only treatment at that point is amputation. The sad truth of peripheral neuropathy is that it is only a matter of time before the patient either is confined to wheelchair or loses their toes or feet to infection.

The current treatment plan obviously falls short. It is my personal belief that patients deserve better. It is because of my frustration with this shortcoming of the current treatment plan that I am excited to help patients with this debilitating condition.

Evolve Wellness Center offers free neuropathy screenings to see if you are a candidate for care in our office. Call us at (404) 985-6209 or email to schedule.

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