When you experience pain in a part of your body, it is normally a result of pain signals stemming from an injury, such as when you stub your toe or burn your hand. The nerves in that body part process the injury and send “danger signals” to your brain that are experienced as pain. However, this is not the only way nerves can process pain.
Neuropathic pain, or nerve pain, still sends pain signals to the brain, but it is because the nerves are damaged themselves. Your arm may begin to hurt without any injury, but the nerve inside is damaged and sending false signals to the brain. Neuropathy can alter your ability to perform basic tasks and can interrupt daily life. In severe cases, nerve damage can even cause near paralysis due to the severity of the numbness or pain.
Neuropathy has a variety of causes. While injury and nerve root compression are high on the list, many people don’t realize that lifestyle choices related to wellness can also play a role in affecting neuropathic pain. At Graybar Chiropractic, we help patients in Wilmington, Wallace, and Clinton, NC discover the root of their neuropathic pain and suggest ways to treat it to return to daily life.
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy occurs when the nerves branching out to the parts of your body become damaged. Patients experiencing neuropathy typically report tingling sensations in the hands, arms, legs, or feet at first. Muscle weakness and spasms, numbness, and pain ranging from dull to shooting may also occur in the affected limbs.
The symptoms of neuropathy may travel along the nerve path in a combination of body parts, such as from the hand up to the arm or shoulder. The severity of your symptoms will largely depend on the amount of damage done to your nerves.
Some nerve damage is too severe to heal and will require long-term treatment to manage pain. In other cases, damage to nerves may be able to heal over time, especially if the damage-causing lifestyle choices are rectified early.
The link between wellness and neuropathic pain
The state of your health and wellness may be contributing to the state of your nerves. Poor wellness routines have the potential to damage your nerves, causing neuropathic pain. Fortunately, wellness choices can often be modified, giving your nerves the chance to recover.
If you are experiencing neuropathy symptoms, examine your health and wellness and see if you partake in these lifestyles or are afflicted with these problems that commonly affect neuropathy.
- Diabetes: Neuropathy is a very common symptom in patients with diabetes because of the disastrous effects high blood sugar has on the nerves. High blood sugar can disrupt the nerve’s ability to transmit signals and also prevents nerves from receiving nutrients. To combat diabetes-related neuropathic pain, closely monitor and regulate your blood sugar levels.
- Alcoholism: Alcohol abuse may also lead to a higher risk for neuropathy. Alcohol is toxic to the nerves and can reduce your body’s supply of the vitamins your nerves need to function properly, like vitamin B12. Cutting back on or stopping all alcohol intake may prevent further damage to nerves.
- Smoking: Smoking is terrible for your whole body but can also really damage nerves. The chemicals in cigarettes can constrict blood vessels, reducing the amount of necessary nutrients flowing to your nerves.
- Vitamin deficiency: If you don’t eat a well-balanced diet and get all of your recommended doses of vitamins and nutrients, your nerves may begin to suffer. Eating a healthy diet and taking supplements to regulate a vitamin deficiency will provide nerves the steady stream of nutrients they need.
- High-impact athletics or poor posture: Failing to take care of your back can cause pain in all areas of your body because of neuropathy. A misaligned spine, compressed nerve, or herniated disc may result in neuropathic pain. Each of these problems may be caused by athletic injuries and stress, or simply through everyday wear and tear due to improper posture.
Although your nerves may not always be able to heal completely, you may still be able to find some relief from neuropathic pain. Visit a chiropractor at Graybar Chiropractic in Wilmington, Wallace, and Clinton, NC to learn more about taking care of your spinal cord and nerves. Your chiropractor may provide lifestyle change recommendations, as well as conduct manipulations and adjustments through our Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) approach to realign the spine and potentially relieve pressure from the nerves. Contact us today to learn more.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.