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Chiropractic

The Types and Causes of Neuropathy

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Neuropathy affects about 8 percent of people over age 55. Your nervous system consists of two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.

The nerves of your peripheral nervous system transmit messages between your central nervous system, your brain, spinal cord and the rest of your body.

These nerves regulate a large range of functions throughout the body, including voluntary muscle movement (motor nerves), involuntary organ activity (autonomic nerves), and the perception of stimuli (sensory nerves).

Peripheral neuropathy, which is often simply referred to as “neuropathy,” is a condition that occurs when your peripheral nerves become damaged or disrupted. It is estimated that neuropathy affects about 2.4 percent of the general population, and about 8 percent of people older than age 55.

However, this estimate doesn’t include people affected by a neuropathy resulting from physical trauma to the nerves.

Neuropathy Types

Neuropathy can affect any of the three types of peripheral nerves:

  • Sensory nerves, which carry messages from your sensory organs (eyes, nose, etc.) to your brain
  • Motor nerves, which monitor the conscious movement of your muscles
  • Autonomic nerves, which regulate the involuntary functions of your body

Sometimes, neuropathy will only affect a single nerve. This is called mononeuropathy and examples include:

  • Ulnar neuropathy (elbow)
  • Radial neuropathy (arm)
  • Peroneal neuropathy (knee)
  • Femoral neuropathy (thigh)
  • Cervical neuropathy (neck)

Occasionally, two or more isolated nerves in separate areas of the body become damaged, resulting in mononeuritis multiplex neuropathy.

Most often, however, multiple peripheral nerves malfunction at the same time, a condition known as polyneuropathy.

According to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), there are more than 100 types of peripheral neuropathies.

Neuropathy Causes

Neuropathies are either inherited at birth or acquired later in life.

The most common inherited neuropathy is the neurological disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects 1 in 2,500 people in the United States.

Though doctors are sometimes unable to pinpoint the exact cause of an acquired neuropathy (this is then known as an idiopathic neuropathy), there are many known causes: systemic diseases, physical trauma, and infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders.

A systemic disease is one that affects the whole body.

The most common systemic cause behind peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, which can cause chronically high blood glucose levels that damage nerves.

Many other systemic issues can cause neuropathy, including:

  • Kidney disorders, which allow high levels of nerve-damaging toxic substances to circulate in the blood
  • Toxins from exposure to heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, mercury, and thallium
  • Certain drugs, including anticancer medications, anticonvulsants, antivirals, and antibiotics
  • Chemical imbalances due to liver diseases
  • Hormonal diseases, including hyperthyroidism, that disturb metabolic processes, potentially causing tissues and body parts to swell and exert pressure on nerves
  • Deficiencies in vitamins, including E, B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine), B12, and niacin, which are vital for healthy nerves
  • Alcohol abuse, which causes vitamin deficiencies and may also directly damage nerves
  • Cancers and tumors that exert harmful pressure on nerve fibers
  • Chronic inflammation, which can damage protective tissues around nerves, making them more vulnerable to compression or susceptible to becoming inflamed
  • Blood diseases and blood vessel damage, which can harm nerve tissue by decreasing the available oxygen supply

In addition, if a nerve suffers from isolated physical trauma, it can become damaged, resulting in neuropathy. Nerves may suffer a direct blow that severs, crushes, compresses, or stretches them, even to the point of detaching them from the spinal cord.

Common causes behind these injuries are motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries.

Nerve damage can also arise from strong pressure on a nerve, such as from broken bones and poorly fitted casts. Prolonged pressure on a nerve can also cause neuropathy, as in carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the median nerve in the wrist becomes pinched.

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And repetitive physical stress can inflame muscles, tendons, and ligaments, putting significant pressures on nerves.

Numerous infections from viruses and bacteria can cause neuropathy by attacking nerve tissues directly or indirectly, such as:

  • HIV
  • Shingles
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Lyme disease
  • Diphtheria
  • Leprosy

Furthermore, various autoimmune disorders � in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue � can lead to nerve damage, including:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Guillain-Barr� syndrome (acute inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy)
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Lupus
  • Sjogren’s syndrome

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.everydayhealth.com

When an individual experiences damage or injury to their peripheral nerves, the essential communications between the central nervous system, the brain, spinal cord and the rest of the body can be interrupted, leading to complications such as neuropathy. There are several types of neuropathy and numerous possible causes for the condition, however, most share similar symptoms like pain and discomfort.

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For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Post Disclaimer & Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "The Types and Causes of Neuropathy" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr Alex Jimenez

Welcome-Bienvenido's to our blog. We focus on treating severe spinal disabilities and injuries. We also treat Sciatica, Neck and Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal mobility, health, fitness, and structural conditioning. We use Individualized Diet Plans, Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Adapted Cross-Fit Protocols, and the "PUSH System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. If you would like to learn more about a Doctor of Chiropractic who uses advanced progressive techniques to facilitate complete physical health, please connect with me. We focus on simplicity to help restore mobility and recovery. I'd love to see you. Connect!

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