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New Approaches in Addressing Peripheral Neuropathy

Updated: May 23, 2019

Treating Peripheral Neuropathy with a Functional Neurology Approach.


We are so fortunate to be living in a time where neuroscience and pain science are discovering how resilient the body actually is and how rewiring chronic pain responses are possible. As an occupational therapist, these advances have changed the conversations I have with my clients and I find it incredibly exciting!


You or your practitioners may have tried common approaches like looking at structures and chemistry of bones, muscles, nerves, inflammation and stem cells. Your goal is to have the structures becoming stronger through surgeries, medicine, cell regeneration etc.


These therapies are good. There is also a lot that is helpful for you to know how to take care of your body. Here are 3 self-care ideas to consider.

1. How to take care of nerves that are tingly, numb or in pain.

  • Pain is your brain’s way of getting your attention. The brain is trying to figure out if there is damage, potential damage and what to do to keep you safe. The techniques below address the pain as your nervous system more accurately accounts for what is going on.

  • Tingly nerves show us that the nerve signals are not communicating effectively with the brain. The neuro biomechanical approach we use at InnerSparks looks at how this is happening and addresses the problems through the way you move. Improving the numbness, tingling and pain happens naturally through unique exercises, sensory integration techniques, and neuromuscular re-education prescription.  

  • Numb nerves mean signals are lost. in these instances, movement our changes and compensation patterns develop. The way to increase function is to help the nervous system receive more information in centralized areas and decrease information in others. This can be done by engaging in sensory regulation during activity using movement, breathing techniques and sensory stim.

2.  How food, medicine and vitamins help keep your nervous system healthy. 

  • A healthy nervous system needs nutrients to work well. In general a balance of protein, carbs and fat supports good digestion and nutrition.

  • Medication maybe a part of your healing plan to manage symptoms so you can keep yourself moving. Movement is essential to healthy nervous systems.

  • Vitamins play a big role in maintaining healthy nerves and brain.  Vitamin D deficiency affects the connectivity of the brain.1 People who live in northern hemispheres with less sunlight in winter benefit from paying attention to this.  B vitamin is another important nutrient for healthy nerves and deficiencies can lead to neuropathy.2

3.  Regardless of the cause, when you have neuropathy, your nerves need 

     attention and care.

  • Work with a movement specialist to assess what is and isn’t happening in nervous system communication.

  • Find practitioners trained in neuromuscular re-education, sensory integration and sensory regulation techniques.  This is also known as a functional neurology practitioner whether a PT, OT, or Trainer. They can help you create a personalized movement prescription that improves the communication between your nerves and your brain. AKA brain maps.

  • Create sustainable movement plans to keep you and your nervous system working well. Do things that you enjoy.3


Sources:

(1) Medscape.com

(2) Nih.gov

(3) Zhealth-Education, Neurobiomechanical Model based on Functional Applied Neuroscience  ZHealthEducation.com

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Andrea Legatt Carvin

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, MOVEMENT TRAINER & LIFE COACH

6649 University Avenue Suite 100

Middleton, WI 53562

Tel: (608) 836-0305

Email: info@innersparks.com

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