If you are suffering from a neuropathic condition in Greenville, South Carolina, you are not alone. In fact, there are roughly 20 million people in the US, alone, that suffer from such a condition. Those who are over the age of 55 are at greatest risk, with 8% of being affected.
What Exactly is a Neuropathic Condition?
A neuropathic condition, generally known as neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy, is a condition involving the
disruption or damage of your peripheral nerves. To better understand this, let’s take a look at the human body’s
nervous system. There are two part to this system, which include the central nervous system, which you’ve probably heard of, and the peripheral nervous system, which you might not know about.
The central nervous system is the part that most people are aware of, and it includes your brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system is the part of your nervous system that transmits messages between the central nervous system and the body. Thus, it takes both systems, working together, for the body to properly function. Through the peripheral nervous system, your central nervous system is able to communicate with your body to ensure that you are capable of moving voluntarily and involuntarily, and that your senses work. If everything is working well, you can use your various body parts as you intend to, you automatically breathe, and you can see, smell, hear, and process information.
When there is damage or disruption in the nervous system, you are unable to do one or more of these things, and you are likely to be diagnosed with a neuropathic condition, or peripheral neuropathy, if you seek treatment. There are also different types of neuropathy that you may be suffering from, and you will need to see a professional to establish what the exact problem is in your case. Following are some of the most frequently seen types of neuropathy:
- Polyneuropathy: When multiple peripheral nerves malfunction at the same time.
- Sensory Neuropathy: When your senses are disrupted, such as your vision or hearing.
- Motor Neuropathy: When your conscious muscle movements are disrupted.
- Autonomic Neuropathy: When your involuntary functions are disrupted
- Mononeuropathy: When a single nerve is damaged, disrupting function.
- Mononeuritis multiplex neuropathy: When multiple specific nerves are damaged.
A Closer Look at Mononeuropathic and Mononeuritis Multiplex Conditions
Mononeuropathic conditions involve damage or disruption to just one nerve in your nervous system, so that the symptoms are confined to a particular area of your body. For example, ulnar neuropathy affects your elbow, radial neuropathy affects your arm, peroneal neuropathy affects your knee, femoral neuropathy affects your thigh, and cervical neuropathy affects your neck.
When you have multiple individual nerves that are damaged or disrupted, in separate parts of your body, such as nerves that affect both your arm and your cervical spine, then you may be diagnosed with mononeuritis multiplex neuropathy. In most situations, however, the patient will experience a disruption in multiple peripheral nerves at the same time (as in sensory neuropathy, for example), and will be diagnosed with a polyneuropathic condition.
What Causes the Disruption of Nerve Functioning in Neuropathic Conditions
There are many different types of neuropathic conditions, and many ways that they can be acquired or even inherited through your genetics. For example, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a genetic neuropathic condition that affects .04% of patients in the US. Yet, the majority of neuropathic conditions are caused by events or issues that occur during your lifetime. This could be some kind of physical trauma that damaged your nerves or a disease or autoimmune disorder that affected your nervous system. In cases where no cause can be found or determined, your neuropathic condition might be classified as idiopathic neuropathy.
When it comes to diseases that can cause neuropathy, there are infectious diseases and systematic diseases, which affect your whole body system. The most common source of neuropathy in the form of disease is the systematic disease, diabetes. Diabetes causes neuropathy because the high blood glucose in your system can damage your nerves. Other illnesses that can directly attack your nervous system, including nerve tissues, include HIV, shingles, Lyme disease, diphtheria, and leprosy.
Other frequently seen systematic causes of neuropathy include kidney disorders, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal diseases, blood diseases, and liver disease. Your body works to process various substances that enter your system, and when any part of this system fails, it can lead to nerve damage. For instance, if your kidneys aren’t doing their job, due to disease, then toxic substances can end up in your blood stream, ultimately damaging your nerves. If your liver is not functioning correctly, then chemical imbalances can cause nerve damage.
Vitamin deficiencies can cause neuropathic conditions because your nervous system requires vitamins and nutrients to remain healthy and functioning. When you have hormonal diseases, such as a thyroid condition, you can end up with a disrupted metabolism and swollen tissues that put pressure on nerves, resulting in nerve damage. When someone has cancer, this too can end up putting pressure on nerves, resulting in damage. Certain blood diseases can inhibit the oxygen supply to your nerves, resulting in damage.
In some cases, a person is exposed to toxic chemicals that can damage the nerves, such as arsenic or lead. Sometimes, it will be medications that are needed to treat another condition, but which are unhealthy for your nervous system, such anticonvulsants or medication to treat cancer, a virus, or a bacterial infection. There are even cases where excessive alcohol use damages nerves because it causes deficiencies in your vitamins.
Can Chiropractic Care Make a Difference in Neuropathic Conditions?
Chiropractic care can make a huge difference in your neuropathic condition. It is important to understand that this kind of care cannot cure the condition, but it can ease the symptoms and make it much easier to live with, particularly when you are experiencing a significant amount of pain. Call the Chiropractic Health Center in Greenville, South Carolina to learn more.