What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Our bodies have a complex network of nerves that connect our brain with every aspect of our body. The nerves that originate in the spine and extend out into the body are known as peripheral nerves. Peripheral Neuropathy occurs when these nerves are damaged or diseased and is marked by burning or shooting pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness or atrophy. It typically originates in the hands and feet, but can also affect other body parts, as well as body functions.
Who Can Benefit
As Physical Therapists, we are trained to provide and administer interventions for the treatment of conditions including Peripheral Neuropathy.
There are many causes of Peripheral Neuropathy that include chronic diabetes or unregulated blood glucose levels. Additionally, medication-induced damage from chemotherapy drugs or mechanical nerve entrapment, which results in pressure on the nerve and corresponding damage, can also cause neuropathy. Physical therapy can be helpful regardless of the underlying cause through maintaining strength, mobility, and function. Patients that suffer from diabetic neuropathy can also benefit, but must also be diligent in controlling blood sugar levels.
How It Works
We utilize a combination of multiple treatments to improve the symptoms caused by Peripheral Neuropathy.
With physical therapy consisting of exercise and manual therapies, including balance and strength training, we work to help you regain mobility and range of motion in the feet and lower legs, improve circulation, restore stability to help prevent falls, and improve aerobic health. Sensory stimulation can also assist in sensitizing or desensitizing affected areas.
Additional treatments including electrical stimulation and infrared therapy will help to increase circulation and nerve function and decrease pain.
You will also be provided with a home exercise program that will further enhance the effects of your treatment.