Acupuncture Treats Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy describes damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. In most cases, peripheral neuropathy is secondary to conditions such as diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, alcoholism, nutritional deficiencies, AIDS, or poisoning from heavy metals, chemotherapy, or various drugs.

Other causes include direct physical injury to a nerve (trauma), penetrated injuries, fractures or dislocated bones, pressure involving superficial nerves (ulna or radial) which can result from prolonged use of crutches or staying in same position, tumor, intraneural hemorrhage, exposure to cold, compression or entrapment (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome), radiation or atherosclerosis.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:

– numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature
– burning, tingling, or prickling sensation
– sharp or burning pain
– cramps
– extreme sensitivity to touch
– loss of balance and coordination,
– muscle weakness and muscle wasting
– paralysis

Oriental medicine teaches that peripheral neuropathy is due to dampness moving to the limbs, where it obstructs the flow of Qi (energy) and blood within them. The treatment is twofold, to treat the underlying factor that is causing this dampness to accumulate and to directly facilitate the circulation of Qi and blood in the affected area. By improving circulation, the nerve tissues of the affected area can be nourished to repair function and reduce pain.

Peripheral neuropathy is a symptom for many different patterns of disharmony within the body. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine aims to treat each individual uniquely depending on what caused the neuropathy and how it manifests.

Do you or someone you know suffer from peripheral neuropathy? Contact us today to find out what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!

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