Dr. Tucker: Will you explain what neuropathy is?
Dr. Fedoryk: Neuropathy is a term for a collection of disorders that occurs when nerves of the peripheral nervous system are damaged. The condition is generally referred to as peripheral neuropathy, and it is most commonly due to damage to nerve axons. It is characterized by a numbness or painful tingling in the feet, legs, hands and arms. Neuropathy can affect nerves that control muscle movement and those that detect sensations such as coldness or pain. It can also contribute to dementia. And while neuropathy is a common side effect of diabetes, it’s sometimes caused by other factors, such as thyroid problems, chemotherapy, traumatic injuries, infections and exposure to toxins.
Dr. Tucker: Do most Chiropractors treat neuropathy?
Dr. Fedoryk: Most Chiropractors treat the symptoms of neuropathy. Some of the common treatments include manipulation, mobilization, physical therapy modalities like ultrasound, gentle traction and laser. As a specialist in exercise therapy I like to teach my patients things that they can do at home that include specific exercises to improve muscle and joint function(flexibility and mobility). We can also recommend nutritional supplements and discuss diet. It is especially important for these patients to strictly manage blood sugar levels. Once the blood sugar is under control, supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid may offer considerable support. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) can rapidly and significantly reduce sensory symptoms and pain of diabetic neuropathy. It is a potent antioxidant that prevents or improves nerve conduction attributes, endoneurial blood flow and nerve Na+ K+ ATPase activity.
Dr. Tucker: How much alpha-lipoic acid do you recommend?
Dr. Fedoryk: Oral supplements of 600 mg per day is a good dose to start with.
Dr. Tucker: Any other comments for readers?
Dr. Fedoryk: Neuropathy is a serious condition that can lead to grave health problems. Don’t try to go it alone. Look for a health care professional or chiropractor who understands the causes of neuropathy along with the possible treatment options for your condition and uses a holistic approach to your condition.