In the United States alone, an estimated 20 million people suffer from neuropathy. This condition is widespread and has a variety of symptoms. Though there are several invasive and chemical treatments available, there are also effective alternatives.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy means nerve damage or disease. The condition arises when something damages the peripheral nervous system. This network connects the central nervous system – the spinal cord and brain – to the rest of the body. There are two primary causes of nerve damage. The first is trauma or severe injury resulting in the nerves compressing, severing, stretching, or being crushed. Alternatively, lower-level repetitive stress can cause neuropathy. People who continually strain their bodies can inflame tendons, ligaments, and muscles. This inflammation narrows nerve pathways, causing compression and damage.
What Are the Effects?
Neuropathy can impact any combination of nerves that connect to the skin, muscles, or internal organs. Tingling, sharp pain, or a buzzing sensation in the limbs often mark this condition. Some experience numbness or a weak feeling in the arms and legs. Other symptoms can include excessive sweating, digestive issues, drops in blood pressure, and thinning of the skin.
What Is the Treatment?
Symptoms of neuropathy can be treated in a host of ways, including controlled pain medications, injections, and nerve blockers. However, doctors are guiding patients toward more natural solutions in an increasing number of cases. They are managing underlying vitamin and nutrient deficiencies more proactively. Health care professionals are beginning to employ greater levels of physical therapy to help patients.
One effective therapy is transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS). This is a drug-free therapy which inhibits pain signals to the brain. Electrodes are placed on the skin corresponding to troublesome nerves. Electric impulses pass through the body with variable frequency. Many patients find this to be a reliable method to address the pain associated with neuropathy.
A large portion of the population suffers from some level of neuropathy. Fortunately, more natural and less chemically based approaches to treatment are being implemented. This gives patients the pain relief they need without the side effects attributed to injection or pill therapies.