Alternative Treatment for Neuropathy

Neuropathy is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition that affects how you live your daily life. While it can be treated and managed (depending on the cause), some conventional treatments have limitations and undesirable side effects.

Exploring alternative therapies and treatments is a good option, but it has to be done by a qualified professional. At Eastshore Healthcare, we have professional health experts skilled in physical medicine that will get you real and lasting results. If you’re experiencing neuropathy pain and would like permanent relief, contact us for a consultation, diagnosis, and permanent relief with our neuropathy pain management.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a general term that refers to any condition that affects the peripheral nervous system. Medical experts often use the terms neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy interchangeably.

The peripheral nerves send signals between the spinal cord and brain (the Central Nervous System) and other body parts. The signals sent control functions like motor coordination, sensation, and involuntary body function.

Types of Peripheral Nerves

Peripheral nerves are categorized into three depending on the types of signals they send:

  • Motor nerves – These nerves direct muscle contractions according to impulses sent from the Central Nervous System. They make it possible to walk, catch, and grasp objects and complete other movement functions.
  • Sensory nerves: These nerves help to detect sensations like touch and temperature and to differentiate texture. Damage to these nerves affects the extremities, including the feet and hands, but it can also develop in the arms and legs.
  • Autonomic nerves: These control involuntary body movements like digestion, sweating, sexual function, and heart rates.

Many neuropathy conditions affect all three peripheral nerve types. However, some affect one or a combination of any two. A good example of mononeuropathy is carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the median nerve is pinched, causing numbness and chronic pain in the hand. Polyneuropathy is when multiple peripheral nerves are damaged.

Types of Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) can occur in two different ways:

  • Axonal degeneration – This is when the axon dies or deteriorates. Longer neurons feel the impact of this degeneration most, and as a result, the feet and legs, which are farthest from the spinal cord and rely on long axons, are the most affected.
  • Demyelinating neuropathy – This is when the myelin coating of the nerve cell doesn’t form correctly or deteriorates. The deterioration affects how signals pass through the neuron.

Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

The symptoms of neuropathy depend on the types of neurons affected.

Motor Symptoms

  • Muscle paralysis or weakness
  • Muscle atrophy/shrinkage
  • Muscle cramps
  • Uncontrollable twitching
  • Slowed reflexes

Sensory Symptoms

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Burning sensations
  • Clumsiness and imbalance
  • Pain

Autonomic Symptoms

  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Not sweating enough or sweating too much
  • Blood and bowel problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Changes in skin color
  • Blurred vision
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Difficulty swallowing

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

Understanding the various factors that can lead to peripheral neuropathy is essential for effective management and prevention. Some common causes include:

  • Type 2 diabetes: If poorly controlled, it can damage peripheral nerves as a result of high blood sugar levels for a long time (diabetic neuropathy). This is why individuals living with type 2 diabetes often lose feeling in their lower legs and feet.
  • Alcohol use disorder: Excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can damage nerves and contribute to vitamin deficiencies that worsen neuropathy.
  • Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies: Deficiencies in copper and vitamin B12, B9, B6, B1, folic acid, and vitamin E can cause nerve damage.
  • Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases: Conditions such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, Lupus, CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy), Sjögren syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and vasculitis can cause neuropathy.
  • Toxins and medication: Some medications, chemotherapy, industrial chemicals, and some heavy metals can lead to peripheral neuropathy.
  • Tumors: Benign and malignant tumors can affect the nerves in the extremities.
  • Infections: Nerve damage can be caused by viral infections and bacterial infections. Conditions like shingles can also lead to persistent nerve pain.
  • Genetic conditions: Inherited genetic conditions like amyloidosis and Fabry disease can cause neuropathy.
  • Trauma and surgery: Direct nerve injuries from medical procedures or trauma can lead to localized and sometimes permanent nerve damage.
  • Vascular disorders: Problems related to blood circulation, like poor blood flow, can result in neuropathy.

Diagnosis and Tests

Diagnosing neuropathy involves a blend of methods, including:

  • Reviewing your medical history and symptoms: The health expert will ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. They may also want to know about any underlying medical conditions like type 2 diabetes you may have, plus your lifestyle and habits.
  • Neurological and physical exams: The health experts at Eastshore Healthcare will use these exams to find signs of neuropathy. These signs include your ability to feel sensations, trouble walking and maintaining your reflexes, and muscle weakness.
  • Imaging tests and lab diagnostics: These include nerve conduction testing, electromyography, and autonomic testing. Autonomic testing is performed to determine how blood pressure changes when you’re in different positions and whether your sweating is in the normal range.

Alternative Treatments for Neuropathy

Alternative treatments for neuropathy are drug and pain-free options. These treatments have lasting results for patients.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy, also known as low-level laser light therapy, triggers the growth of new tissues and optimizes the flow of blood to treated areas. It is a safe procedure with no downtime or side effects. It can manage inflammation and pain associated with neuropathy.

Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine comprises a range of natural treatments, including injections that contain regenerative stem cells and/or platelet-rich plasma injections. This treatment offers longer-lasting relief of PN because as new blood vessels are formed in the nearby region, the nerves can heal and regenerate. 

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

This is the application of measured electrical impulses. The procedure stimulates muscular contractions and optimizes the flow of blood. Consequently, your nerves will operate properly, and the loss of tactile sensation and pain, especially in people with diabetes, will improve.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy focuses on massage, routines, and exercises to enhance posture, coordination, and strength. It can help with muscle weakness and motor nerve damage. Changes in how you walk and sit can also help ease your pain.


How Quickly Does Peripheral Neuropathy Develop?

Peripheral neuropathy can develop over several months or years, although for some people, it can develop fast.

Is Peripheral Neuropathy Contagious?

No, peripheral neuropathy isn’t contagious. While an infectious disease can cause it, the condition itself cannot be spread. The exception is Hansen disease, which can spread, but it’s rare.

Can Peripheral Neuropathy Be Reversed?

Peripheral neuropathy is sometimes reversible, but other factors affect this possibility. Because of this, only your doctor can determine if your neuropathy is reversible.

Book an Appointment With Eastshore Healthcare

Eastshore Healthcare incorporates various natural pain relief treatments to assist individuals in achieving outcomes they have not been able to achieve elsewhere.

If you’re experiencing a form of neuropathic pain, our experts at Eastshore Healthcare can help. We are skilled and committed to providing high-quality alternative treatment like PRP with lasting results. Contact Eastshore Healthcare today at (717)200-4152 to book an appointment with us and let us help you manage your pain.