Four Ways Nerves Can Get Injured
Peripheral Neuropathy is one of the most common chronic conditions in America.
It currently effects 8% of the 55 and over population. Most of the people are over 50 but I’ve seen quite a few in their 30’s and 40’s as well. About 30% of the cases are attributed to diabetes which means 70% come from some other source.
The conventional way to treat peripheral neuropathy is with anti-seizure medications like Lyrica, gabapentin and Neurontin, anti-depressants like amitriptyline or powerful pain medications such as oxycodone. Most doctors put their patients on this cocktail of drugs, wait for the condition to get worse, then up the dose or change the drugs, wait for the condition to get worse until the patient eventually becomes disabled or in some cases needs amputation.
If we keep doing the same thing over and over again, we’re going to get the same results. If nothing changes, then nothing changes. Our current medical system really tends to be more symptom based care where the clinicians manage diseases instead of curing them. Not too many clinicians focus on the underlying issues that drive these chronic conditions forward while the patient continues to fake their body out with anti- seizure drugs, antidepressants and pain killers. It’s like your house is on fire and all you do is turn off the fire alarm.
The following is just a short list of a few of the more common issues that can cause nerve pain in your leg and feet.
1. Compressed nerves. An example of this would be disc degeneration causing pressure on the nerve that goes down the leg. Taking an X-Ray of the lower back and comparing it to a proper neurological exam will quickly rule that in or out.
2. Stretched nerves. Old motor vehicle accidents where your neck or back gets severely twisted around in a violent manner comes to mind as a good example. The nerves in those delicate areas get pulled and stretched and if not treated properly, they will gradually degenerate.
3. Lack of oxygen. We check all of our patient Oxygen levels with pulse Ox readings on both hands. The ideal value is 100% but anything above 97 is ok. Any reading below 97 can cause a slow degenerating effect on the nerve.
4. Glucose. If your blood sugar is too high, then that means glucose isn’t getting into all the tissues including the brain and nerves and that can cause a slow degenerative effect on the brain and nerves.
If you suffer with pain, numbness or cramping in your legs and feet, come to one of our seminars on peripheral neuropathy or schedule for a complimentary consultation in our office