Neuropathy happens when there is nerve damage, usually located in the hands and feet. There are three main types of neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, proximal neuropathy and focal neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy being the most common as the main cause of neuropathy is diabetes but it can also onset from injuries, injections and exposure to toxins.
Do you Have Peripheral Neuropathy?
Here are the common symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy.
- Pins and Needles feeling in hands or feet that can spread upwards to legs and arms
- Muscle Weakness
- Sensitivity to touch
- Throbbing Pain
- Sharp Pain
- Burning Pain
- Lack of Coordination
If you can relate to any of the above symptoms, you may have peripheral neuropathy. Dealing with this pain is time consuming and debilitating enough, but there may be things you are doing that are triggering your neuropathy to make it worse. Here are 4 things you may not realize may be triggering your neuropathy:
Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
Cigarettes and alcohol have a toxic effect on nerve tissue. Heavy drinking makes neuropathy worse. Vitamins and minerals are essential for your body functions but smoking and drinking can alter the level of minerals and vitamins that are needed for proper nerve function. Studies show that smokers are twice as likely to develop neuropathy as non-smokers. You can actually improve your neuropathy by choosing to quit smoking or drinking. Although, there will be some nerve damage caused by alcohol and smoking as that is permanent.
Your emotions can influence your perception of pain. High levels of stress and anxiety can amplify pain. Did you know physical stress and strain can increase your nerve pain as well? Strenuous exercise and muscle soreness can contribute to nerve pain during the night. Living in constant stress can wreak havoc on your body and mental health. High levels of stress could be a reason why neuropathy is worse on some days.. If you’re dealing with high levels of stress or anxiety, consider talking to a professional therapist or practice meditation and/or yoga to gain better control of your emotional state.
A study done by Loma Linda University Health indicated that your feet may be far more sensitive to cooler air. As temperatures drop at night, your peripheral nerves begin to tingle more, and you may feel more burning or sharp pains. Your heart rate also slows when you’re colder, slowing your blood and increasing painful sensations. To combat this, wrap up in warm blankets and keep the heater going in the winter when you go to bed at night. You can also soak your feet in warm bath water for a few minutes to relax your peripheral nerves before bed.
You may have already recognized certain positions make peripheral neuropathy feel worse but you may have not tried all your sleeping position options. You may be surprised how much a different sleeping position can improve those flare ups. “Patients could treat their nocturnal pain by sleeping in a position that extends the spine, potentially decompressing the nerves that control sensations in the lower limbs and feet. Some recommended sleeping positions include sleeping in a recliner, sleeping on the back with a pillow underneath the legs, and sleeping on one side of the body with a pillow between the thighs.”
Peripheral Neuropathy can have better days than others but if you are looking for a more long term solution here at Select Health our integrated health and rehab neuropathy treatment increases blood flow to the nerves in the hands and feet, which helps the nerves to rejuvenate naturally and has returned many of our patient’s feet and/or hands to normal. No surgery. No addictive medications, cortisone shots, or surgery. When you give the nerves what they need – which is oxygen, specific nutrition, proper blood sugar, and you stimulate the nerve using our FDA cleared technology, while reducing inflammation, you then have the chance that the nerves can begin to heal and your symptoms resolve. If you’d like to learn more click here! Or follow us on facebook.