Chiropractic Care: The First Choice For Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage in the extremities that feels like different pains, burning, tingling, numbness, or like stepping on objects that aren’t there. There are many reasons the symptoms might start, including the compression or pinching of the nerve, diabetes, malnutrition, alcoholism, side effects from drugs or medications, or other chronic conditions like MS, Lupus, AIDS, and cancer.

Of all the causes of neuropathy, nerve compression is possibly the easiest to fix if done by a licensed chiropractor, and yet chiropractors are not often a patient’s first stop.

Why is Compression a Problem?

Data Collection: Nerves are tiny highways of information. They collect data and rush that information up to the brain so the brain can decide what to do. If you step on a nail, for example, the nerves send out a mayday to the brain that you feel pain. The brain sends a message to the leg to lift your foot off the nail. You intuitively know that if your foot hurts, you need to investigate for potential injury.

Compression on a nerve is like a traffic jam. The message has a hard time reaching its destination. It may get corrupted, sending incorrect information to the brain. Corrupted signals result in sensations without apparent cause, like tingling or pins and needles in the hands and feet. If the damage is severe, the messages could stop altogether, which feels like numbness. If left untreated, a pinched nerve can cause permanent damage.

Data Interpretation: In addition to the uncomfortable sensations caused by damaged nerves, misfiring signals can cause other problems, like losing your sense of balance. Your brain makes calculations every second based on the following:

  • Visual Cues: How our body is oriented and positioned in relation to other objects.
  • Proprioception Cues: Pressure and vibration in skin and joints. You feel your feet on the ground, the impact when you take a step, the presence of an obstacle, etc.
  • Vestibular Cues: Motion and balance sensing organs. For example, the cochlea in the inner ear is part of that system.

Compression nerve damage messes with your ability to sense pressure and vibration, making it difficult for your body to maintain balance.

What Are Common Sources of Compression?

While direct injuries to the extremity can cause compression, the source of compression often lies in the spine. As we age, our bodies settle. The constant downward pressure from gravity can wear on the vertebrae and the soft cushioning disks between them. The vertebrae have holes allowing nerves to pass through the central spinal column and spread out toward the extremities. When the spine is aligned, those holes remain open. If things get misaligned, the holes can narrow, and the bone or disk can press directly on the nerves.

Gravity isn’t the only culprit. Poor posture sitting at a desk all day can cause the back to wear unevenly. So can manual labor jobs with lots of lifting, or jobs where you bend over a lot, like farm work. Spinal injuries from car accidents and other incidents also cause things to move out of their places.

What Can a Chiropractor Do For Me?

Adjustments: Rather than giving you pills to mask the symptoms, the chiropractor’s first step is to make sure the spine is aligned properly so the nerves have free access to communicate with the extremities. If the compression comes from another joint pressing on the nerve, they can also realign those. They treat the underlying cause, releasing pressure to allow free information exchange.

Light Therapy: Different light wavelengths have different effects on our bodies. Red or near-infrared light, or low-level laser light therapy, stimulates cell regeneration and healing, which can be beneficial when nerve cells are damaged.

Low Level Electric Nerve Stimulation: Kickstarts the nerve’s intrinsic ability to regenerate and heal.

Increase Blood Flow: By increasing blood flow around damaged nerves, nerves have the nutrients and oxygen needed to make repairs.

Home Therapy: Your chiropractor can give you exercises to do at home to increase the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment and improve symptoms more quickly.

What if the Problem Isn’t Compression?

While taking a thorough health history and giving you a comprehensive physical exam, your chiropractor could discover other underlying causes, like malnutrition, drug side effects, diabetes, or an autoimmune disorder. They may refer you to a doctor for tests and additional services. However, chiropractors can still be your best bet in lessening symptoms and increasing mobility and balance while you work with your provider.

Final Thoughts

Many people are told that nothing can be done to reverse neuropathy, but cutting-edge technology and treatments are forging a new path for neuropathy patients. Don’t give up hope. Search for “doctors who specialize in peripheral neuropathy near me” for a consultation today.


The information, including but not limited to, texts, graphics, images, and other material contained in this article are for informational purposes only. None of the material mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

Suffering From Numbness, Tingling Or Pain In The Hands Or Feet? We Can Help.

Recent Blogs

What Causes Pins and Needles in Your Hands and Feet?

When you feel itching, tingling, pricking, or numbness in your extremities it’s called paresthesia. It’s the feeling you get when your hand or foot “falls asleep.” Prolonged pressure on nerves or blood vessels can cause paresthesia. Often, all you need to do is shift...

Is Autonomic Nerve Damage Causing Your Symptoms?

If you've recently been diagnosed with nerve damage, like peripheral neuropathy, you may also experience symptoms of autonomic nerve damage. Autonomic neuropathy often goes undiagnosed because of the wide variety of symptoms. If the symptoms in this article sound...

Can Diet Be a Factor in Developing Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral Neuropathy is damage to the nerves outside your brain and spinal cord. Several factors can lead to a person developing this condition. It might surprise you to learn that diet is one of the main factors. Find out how by reading the following responses from...