Can Nerve Damage From Neuropathy Be Healed?

According to estimates, more than 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from peripheral neuropathy. It is caused by damage to the peripheral nervous system and is one of the most common neurologic conditions in the country. The peripheral nervous system sends information back and forth between the spinal cord and brain to other parts of the body. 

 

What Is Neuropathy?


 

This is dysfunction or damage of one or more nerves, usually resulting in muscle weakness, numbness, pain, and tingling. Typically, neuropathies start in the feet and hands. However, they can affect other parts of the body as well. Often called peripheral neuropathy, this condition indicates a problem within the network of nerves outside the spinal cord and brain. 

 

Understanding the Peripheral Nervous System


 

Think of the central nervous system as the hub, control center, or central station from which trains come and go. The peripheral nervous system is the network of tracks connecting to the central station. These tracks allow all trains to travel to and from the control center/central station. In this case, the central station is the spinal cord and brain. 

 

What Causes Neuropathy?


 

Neuropathy results from damage or destruction of nerve cells/neurons. This affects/disrupts the way the neurons communicate with the brain and with each other. Peripheral neuropathy can affect a combination of nerves in a certain area, one nerve, or one nerve type. It can also affect multiple peripheral nerves throughout your body.

 

Damage to nerve cells can result from many different problems. Some of these include diabetes, poor blood flow to the nerves, genetic variants, exposure to pesticides, and chronic infections. The cause of neuropathy is different for every patient. 

 

Auto-immunity is another common cause of nerve damage. Certain auto-immune conditions can cause the immune system to mistakenly attack the body. Essentially, the immune system may attack the nerves of those suffering from peripheral neuropathy. Hence, thorough testing is critically important to help patients with this condition. 

 

Can Peripheral Nerves Heal?


 

If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, you need to understand that you do not have to live with the symptoms. Scientific studies prove that peripheral nerves can heal. Furthermore, it is possible to stop the problem causing peripheral nerve damage in the first place.

 

When your doctor discovers the underlying cause of the condition, he/she will provide the appropriate support for your nerves. This will increase their ability to heal.    

 

Factors to Consider


 

To effectively heal nerve damage resulting from neuropathy, your doctor will consider several important factors. These include:

 

  • The types of nerve fibers damaged
     

  • The severity of the damage
     

  • The underlying cause of peripheral nerve damage

     

You have both large-diameter and small-fiber sensory nerves, as well as motor nerves that help control muscle movement. If your neuropathy has been causing muscle weakness for more than two years, the muscle damage may be permanent. 

 

The amount of treatment your nerves require to heal will depend on the severity of damage and the types of nerves damaged. The best treatment protocol should achieve the following goals:

 

  • Decreased pain originating from the brain
     

  • An optimized environment within the body to allow for nerve healing
     

  • Stimulation of damaged nerves to improve balance and reduce pain
     

  • Increase blood flow to the peripheral nerves

     

The success rate for this form of treatment protocol can be as high as 90 percent.  


 

For more on neuropathy, contact Pleasant Life Health Center at our office in Charleston, South Carolina. You can call (843) 428-7900 today to schedule an appointment.



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