Before explaining how chiropractic can help with neuropathy it is best to explain the meaning of neuropathy. Neuropathy refers to the disorders of the nerves, in particularly the nerves of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nerves carry information to and from the brain and when there is a disorder such as neuropathy; pain is produced as well as loss and the inability to control muscles.
If we break the word neuropathy down it can be explained further. Peripheral refers to the nerves that go out from the center of the body and are distant from the brain and spinal cord, neuro means nerves and pathy means abnormal. The symptoms related to peripheral neuropathy vary and usually depend on which type of nerve is affected. The three main nerve types are the following: sensory (carry sensations), motor (control the muscles) and autonomic (carry information to the organs and glands). Since neuropathy can affect any one of these nerves or a combination the symptoms can be limited to one nerve or it can affect the whole body.
Some peripheral neuropathy can affect the limbs, torso and/or the face, including:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Muscle Spasms
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Inability to move a part of the body
There are several causes or conditions that can lead to peripheral neuropathy and some may result from unknown reasons. Some of the peripheral neuropathy causes that are known include:
- Hereditary diseases
- Liver or Kidney failure
- Autoimmune disorders
- Metabolic disorders
- Nerve Compression
If the neuropathy is caused by nerve compression or impingement, chiropractic has been shown to help with the symptoms. Chiropractors will perform thorough neurological examinations to discover the cause and the area of possible nerve impingement. Chiropractors use specific manipulations called adjustments to remove the nerve impingement called a subluxation. When the bones are moved through the specific chiropractic adjustments the nerve is released and the messages are allowed to move freely through the respective nerves. Relief of pain and spasms is experienced after the procedure. The chiropractor will also recommend specific exercises to reduce spasms and continue the flow to the respect nerves that were previously impinged. The individual may also have to alter his/her posture or routine in order to relieve the stress placed on those nerves.
Other treatments may also include physical therapy to increase muscle strength and control. Most importantly it is found that all people can reduce the risk of neuropathy by following a balanced diet, reducing the intake of alcoholic drinks and if history of diabetes is evident, the control of such disease.