Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that is caused by damage to the peripheral nervous system within the body. The peripheral nervous system, or PNS, consists of all of the nerves outside of the brain and the spinal cord. Although the Peripheral Nervous System is most of the nerves throughout the body, peripheral neuropathy is mostly located within the hands and the feet although it is important to note that it can happen sometimes in other parts of the body.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Like many conditions, there is a variety of different causes, and peripheral neuropathy is no different. According to Mayo Clinic, it is most commonly caused by traumatic injury and pressure put on the nerves, such as a car accident or a sports accident, and
autoimmune diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Some other conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy, alcoholism, bone marrow disorders, tumors, inherited disorders, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, diabetes, and some medications. Even though these can possibly cause peripheral neuropathy, they do not always cause this condition.
What are the Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?
It is hard to determine exactly what symptoms will come from peripheral neuropathy because of how many different nerves this condition can affect. There are three different kinds of nerves that can be affected by peripheral neuropathy- sensory, motor, and autonomic. Sensory nerves receive sensation, like temperature, pain, vibration or touch, from the skin. Motor nerves are in control of movement. The last type of nerves are autonomic. Autonomic
nerves are in charge of managing basic functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, and the bladder. These three different types of nerves can cause an array of symptoms from pain to tingling to loss of movement in some parts of the body. Other symptoms can include extreme sensitivity to touch, lack of coordination, bowel or bladder problems, changes with blood pressure, and heat intolerance.
How Can Massage Help With Peripheral Neuropathy?
It is still being researched, but there are many studies that point to these benefits from massage in helping to deal with the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, according to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy.
- Help with low back pain and range of motion issues throughout the body
- Lessen anxiety and depression that is caused or worsened by the condition
- Helping to build up immunity, which can be affected by peripheral neuropathy
- Reducing the feeling of nerve pain throughout the body
- Helping to reduce the sensitivity to touch
- Managing the changing of blood pressure throughout the body
Although massage cannot cure peripheral neuropathy, it can help to reduce the symptoms. Many doctors recommend massage as a complimentary treatment, but it is important to talk to your doctor before beginning any complimentary treatment for your neuropathy.
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