Neuropathophysiology is a big word that refers to problems that happen in the nervous system. You may know it as neuropathy. It’s not just one problem, but a group of different issues that can affect different nerves in different parts of the body.
Three types of nerves can be affected:
1. Motor nerves control the body’s muscles
2. Sensory nerves process information obtained by our senses (vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell) and send it to our brain for interpretation. This includes sensing things like cold, heat, and pain.
3. Autonomic nerves regulate the involuntary functions of our internal organs (viscera), such as our heartbeat and ability to sweat.
Factors that can lead to Neuropathy
Neuropathy can be caused by physical trauma, such as from a car accident, as well as:
• Infections from viruses or bacteria
• Certain drugs used for heart problems, seizures, infections, and cancer
• Exposure to harmful substances like too much alcohol
• Disorders related to metabolism
• Repeated injuries.
Neuropathy is often linked to diabetes, a disease where there is too much sugar in the blood. Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes, where the extra sugar can harm the nerves that supply the legs. This can lead to a loss of sensation, so people may not realize they are injured. But, there are other medical conditions that can also cause neuropathy such as chronic liver or kidney disease, cancer, AIDS, or Lyme disease.
People with neuropathy may experience different types of pain or a loss of sensation. The symptoms can vary depending on the type of neuropathy and
which nerves are affected. Some people describe the pain as a tingling or burning sensation. The nerves affected can be motor, sensory, or autonomic, or a combination of these.
If the sensory nerves are affected, some symptoms that may arise are sensitivity to touch, changes in skin, hair, or nails, gradual numbness, tingling sensations (usually in the hands or feet), as well as burning, jabbing, stinging, sharp, or electric-like pain. If the motor nerves are affected, the symptoms might include muscle weakness and paralysis. On the other hand, if the autonomic nerves are affected, symptoms such as dizziness, intolerance to heat, and problems with digestion, bowel, or bladder may occur.
Methods for Treating Neuropathy
In addition to getting help from your regular doctor, some therapies that reduce stress, like massage or acupuncture, can help relieve neuropathy. Chiropractors can also provide complementary treatments to help.
For example, when the bones in your spine deteriorate or become misaligned, they can press on your nerves and cause neuropathy. Chiropractors can use spinal adjustments to realign the vertebrae and free trapped nerves. They might also use a technique called active release to massage and release compressed nerves.
If you or someone you know has neuropathy and wants to learn more about how a chiropractor can help, contact our office today.