For a simple pictorial overview of the peripheral nervous system:
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) results from damage to peripheral nerves that connect the central nervous system (CNS /Brain and Spinal cord) to the rest of the body for two-way communication. Peripheral nerves branch out of the spinal cord to all parts of the body, providing a communication link between the brain and the muscles, skin, internal organs, and blood vessels. Damage to this communication network can cause the equivalent of static on a phone line:
- Damage occurs to axons or myelin surrounding peripheral nerves. The axon is the “fiber-optic cable”of a neuron for transmitting messages from neuron body (soma) to make contact with other cells - usually neighboring neurons but sometimes muscle or gland cells.
- PN damage can affect any or all of the nerves in:
(1) Somatic Nervous System (Used for voluntary control)
• Sensory (afferent) nerves from body. Receive and transmit sensations from the parts of the body to the brain, E.g. heat, pain or touch.
Damaged sensory nerves may:
▪ Stop relaying signals. Resulting in numbness and pain (most often in hands and feet)
▪ Send incorrect signals. Transmittingsensations of pain, burning or tingling sensations (sometimes described as “pins and needles”)
• Motor (efferent) nerves to muscles. Send messages from the brain to the muscles to control movement.
Damaged motor nerves may:
▪ Impair movement and can lead to muscle weakness / wasting or even paralysis
(2) Autonomic Nervous System (Used for involuntary control)
• Sensory and motor nerves. Control involuntary functions. E.g. blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder function;
Damaged autonomic nerves may:
▪ Impair any involuntary function - depending on location of damage.
- PN commonly starts in the longest nerves. i.e. those going to your toes;
- PN may affect one to several nerves:
• Mononeuropathy. 1 nerve;
• Multiple mononeuropathy. 2 or more nerves in different areas;
• Polyneuropathy. Many nerves.
- If known, PN is classified according to cause or location. For example:
• Diabetic neuropathy
• Nutritional neuropathy
• Radiculopathy. Neuropathy resulting from pressure on/injury to a spinal nerve root (Radix) affecting nerve function. Radicular pain and other symptoms (weakness, numbness, pins and needles, lack of muscle control) may manifest as “referred”pain/symptoms in an extremity. E.g. Impingement in the lower back can result in pain/symptoms in the foot. Radiculopathy may be experienced in such as herniated disk, spinal stenosis (narrowing of spinal canal), sciatica and degenerative disk disease;
• Entrapment neuropathy. Occurs when inflammation of connective tissue puts pressure on a nerve passing through it;
• Idiopathic neuropathy. When a cause cannot be identified;
Attend to Diet, Lifestyle and Emotional State
"The medical kit of the future"
General electrotherapy health benefits. Used systemically and/or locally at specific problem areas of the body, its effective application has many benefits:
|Detoxification||Wellness / Healthy aging||Pain relief|
|Relief from insomnia||Immune system restoral||Anti-Inflammatory|
|Maximizes cellular energy production||Accelerated tissue /bone
|Muscle relaxation / rehabilitation||Increased blood oxygen
There are several reasonably affordable electrotherapy devices available for personal use. The following electrotherapies are those that have received a significant amount of positive feedback:
|Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy|
|Near Infrared (NIR) class 4 laser therapy|
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) applies specific frequency patterns to the head area, with the following benefits:
|Balances neurotransmitters||Relieves pain||Treats depression|
|Substance abuse withdrawal||Relieves insomnia||Relieve stress / anxiety|