Are you experiencing muscle weakness, numbness, prickling/tingling, and pain? This is neuropathy, which is a result of nerve damage, specifically peripheral nerves. While treatment is dependent on the cause of the neuropathy, there have been studies on resorting to acupuncture for neuropathy – that with acupuncture, nerve conduction has improved.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is due to a variety of reasons, including:
- improper nutrition
- vitamin B deficiency
- alcohol misuse
- chemotherapy-induced neuropathy
- diabetes and other disorders
- hereditary disorders
- inflammatory disorders
- protein abnormalities
- renal failure
- certain medications
The resulting neuropathy may or may not be progressive, depending on the cause and the treatment options. The sooner you address the issues, the better the prognosis for a lot of cases. So what are the signs to watch out for?
Signs of Neuropathy
These are the signs to watch for in neuropathy:
- Numbness and tingling especially in the extremities
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Muscle weakness
- Throbbing, burning pain
- Muscle cramps
When you experience any of these, you should take heed and see your health care professional and discuss the best options for you. Here we enumerate the neuropathy treatment/management options and other lifestyle changes you can implement.
Lifestyle Modification for Peripheral Neuropathy
To reduce the symptoms, these are important points to remember:
Avoid foods that are high in sugar. Instead, eat healthfully, focusing more on vegetables, fruits, healthy fats with omega-3, lean protein.
Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the nerves and leads to limited mobility, loss of some bodily functions, and unusual peripheral sensation.
Exercise improves circulation, strengthens muscles and reduces cramps, as well as controlling blood sugar levels.
Smoking will affect your blood circulation and the oxygen intake in the cellular level.
Treatment Options for Peripheral Neuropathy
Aside from the lifestyle modifications, traditional medicine for peripheral neuropathy includes:
Opioid painkillers have been a popular option because they work very quickly. However, these are only used when other options don’t help due to their adverse side effects.
Antidepressants somehow have added benefit because aside from chronic pain relief, they also improve one’s mood.
Topical medications are usually those painkilling gels that are easily acquired over the counter.
The problem with oral medications, like any other oral treatments is that they eventually have a negative impact on the liver. Hence, acupuncture for neuropathy has become an option for many.
Acupuncture for Neuropathy
Based on a study in 2007, acupuncture is effective against neuropathy. Acupuncture has been shown to improve nerve conduction in the extremities.
With acupuncture, the needles are inserted into the body’s pressure points – this then stimulates the nervous system, and endorphins (the natural painkillers in the body) are released.
It also stimulates blood flow which helps in repairing nerve damage. Best of all, since there are no medications involved, it is a natural and safer option compared to oral medications.
Neuropathy/chronic pain can be managed best with lifestyle change and acupuncture, as these are the most natural and safer options available to treat peripheral neuropathy. Contact us today to book your consult.