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Common Classifications of Peripheral Neuropathy and How to Catch It Early

Updated: May 31, 2019

Your brain’s primary job is to keep you safe, alive, functioning well and in high performance.

To accomplish, this the brain looks for nerve signals. Our nerves notify the brain about our movements, sensations and other internal functions. Peripheral Neuropathy is a nerve problem that affects feeling and movement.  Intermittent numbness, tingling or a thick heavy feeling are some early warning signals. These symptoms are your brain and body's way of getting your attention.


The early stages of Peripheral Neuropathy is comparable to listening to someone give directions on a phone with poor cell reception. Signals from nerves go through your spine and up to your brain.  The brain is not receiving a good signal and it relies on the information it needs to direct the next step.


Peripheral Neuropathy’s effect on the brain causes muddled reception within the body and begins to make adaptations to get you to the bathroom, to food, and to work. These adaptations are called compensation patterns. These patterns are easily identifiable by subtle changes in speed, strength, coordination, decreased energy, worry and motivation.


As a result of less information, compensation patterns such as hypersensitivity can also arise. This makes sense although it may not pleasant. It's like the brain is yelling at the nerves, “what’s going on down there? Can someone get me some information?” The brain is actively seeking stimulation to predict safe ways to move.


Throughout the later stages of Peripheral Neuropathy, the threat to the nerve cell is high. Individuals who typically associate movement with pain are now limiting their motion. Falling is now a significant complication and risk to the body’s well-being as well as more severe symptoms.


By addressing symptoms early, we can avoid developing compensation patterns. If you have not talked to your Dr. about these symptoms this is the first step.  If you have been living with Peripheral Neuropathy and are interested in better movement, improving your activity and feeling better naturally, we can help.


Sources:

Applied Neurology Training - 

https://zhealtheducation.com/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

WebMD

AOTA

Carr, J and Shepherd, R. Neurological Rehabilitation: Optimizing Motor Performance. St.Louis, MO. Elsevier, 2010.                                                                                                        

Bosco, G and Poppele, R. E. Proprioception from a Spinocerebellar Perspective   

PHYSIOLOGICAL REVIEWS, Vol. 81, No. 2, April 2001

AOTA.org/Practice/ August 2013, Kate suspected that Terry’s peripheral neuropathy; that is, the nerve condition that caused tingling and numbness in his feet, played a role in his fall. /~/media/Corporate/Files/Practice/Aging/Falls/30minscript.docx

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Andrea Legatt Carvin

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