Conservative Management Options
Your nervous system controls & regulates every process in your body like maintaining body temperature, activating sweat glands, contracting muscles and allowing your heart to beat. Your nervous systems consists of three different types of nerves:
- Autonomic – regulate involuntary and voluntary actions heart beat, digestion and respiration.
- Motor – control muscles via input from the brain, down the spinal cord to specific muscles.
- Sensory – facilitate touch and sensation of the skin.
When there are problems with the nervous system it can cause problems like nerve pain or neuropathy. This can be devastating and seriously alter a persons ability to function normally. Nerve pain and neuropathy can create a variety of symptoms depending upon the location of damage (brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves) and type of nerves involved.
Causes of Neuropathy & Nerve Pain
There is a long list of nerve pain causes. The most common that we encounter in Chiropractic practice include arthritis, disc herniation, disc bulge, inflammation, nutritional deficiency or toxicity, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, spinal misalignment, diabetes, trigeminal neuralgia, multiple sclerosis, shingles, guillain barre syndrome, physical trauma, myasthenia gravis, motor neuron disease, lupus, infection, spinal fracture and tumor growth. Chiropractors and other allied health professionals are ideally placed to assist sufferers of nerve pain through gentle manual therapies.
Signs & Symptoms Of Nerve Pain
If you’re suffering from any of the below signs & symptoms it’s recommended that you consult with your doctor or allied health practitioner for prompt assessment and management advice.
- Muscle weakness
- Burning pain
- Tingling & numbness
- Muscle twitching
- Loss of muscle size (atrophy)
- Sharp, shooting aching pain
- Electric shock pain
- Total muscle paralysis
- Partial or complete reflex loss
Nerve Pain Treatment
There are a plethora of available treatment options for people suffering from nerve pain. Below we’ve included the top three.
Depending on the individual circumstances, Chiropractic management may be beneficial. Chiropractic is a holistic non-invasive manual therapy that focuses on improving ones total health and wellbeing by altering the function of their nervous system. Chiropractic achieves this via numerous avenues, most commonly improving posture, altering spinal alignment and reducing nervous system interference.
Common prescription medications for neuropathic pain include anticonvulsants, anti-depressants, opiods (pain killers) and topical agents. Typical side effects of such approaches include nausea, drowsiness, vertigo and dizziness. Be sure to consult your doctor regarding prescription medication that is suitable for your individual situation.
In rare circumstances, surgery may be warranted for individuals in extremely severe cases. Approaches may include nerve blocking and nerve severing.
Chiropractor Nerve Pain Research
- Clinically significant improvements were noted in pain and overall disability following Chiropractic management in individuals suffering symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy highlighting the viable option of using it as a nerve pain treatment. Murphy, D.R., Hurwitz, EL., McGovern, E.E (2009). A nonsurgical approach to the management of patients with lumbar radiculopathy secondary to to herniated disc: A prospective observational cohort study with follow up. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 32(9); 723 – 733
- Conservative Chiropractic management produced favourable outcomes for majority of patients suffering radiculopathy in a hospital setting. Christense, K. et al (2008). Chiropractic outcomes managing radiculopathy in a hospital setting : A retrospective review of 162 patients. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 7(3); 115 – 125