Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage.
Also referred to as peripheral neuropathy, this condition affects the nerves that lead from the spinal column to the outer regions of the body.
This includes the arms, legs, hands, and feet.
It may not be easy to determine the exact cause of neuropathy, especially because it is generally seen as a result of another underlying medical condition, such as diabetes.
Many treatments for neuropathy involve simply addressing the symptoms that are associated with this disease, while others involve addressing the underlying disorder that led to the development of neuropathy.
Because some treatments may result in unwanted side effects, PEMF therapy shows promise in providing prompt symptomatic relief without harmful side effects.
What Is Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy occurs as a result of damage to the nerves that lead to the outer regions of the body.
Because nerves are responsible for sending signals to and from the brain, these signals can be interrupted when there is damage to the nerves.
Neuropathy can be limited to just one nerve or it may affect multiple nerves.
There are three types of nerves that can be affected by neuropathy.
These are the sensory nerves, motor nerves, and autonomic nerves.
As the name would imply, sensory nerves are responsible for providing sensations.
These nerves collect information from sensory receptors throughout the body regarding external and internal conditions for the body.
Motor nerves carry signals back and forth between brain and muscles.
Autonomic nerves are responsible for relaying signals regarding unconscious body functions that occur automatically, such as respiration and heartbeat.
Because there are so many various nerves of multiple types that can be affected by neuropathy, symptoms can be very much different from one person to the next.
This can make it difficult to pinpoint a cause.
While diabetics appear to be most at risk for developing this disease, others may have increased chances as well.
Symptoms of Neuropathy
Depending on the type of nerves that are damaged and the precise location where the damage is located, symptoms can vary greatly.
When sensory nerves are affected, symptoms may include:
- Inability to distinguish temperature
Sensory nerve damage may also lead to a loss of coordination or balance, foot ulcers, and gangrene.
This might be due to a loss of sensation that especially affects the hands and feet.
Damage to motor nerves can lead to changes in muscle function.
Some common symptoms include:
Those affected by motor nerve neuropathy may also find it difficult to control fine motor skills that require precise control and movement.
When autonomic nerves are damaged causing neuropathy, this can affect bodily functions that are not consciously controlled.
This can lead to symptoms such as:
- Problems with blood pressure
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Excessive sweating
- Heat intolerance
Causes of Neuropathy
Those with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing peripheral neuropathy because uncontrolled blood glucose levels can damage the nerves over a period of time.
However, those with certain other medical conditions may also have an increased risk for neuropathy, such as those with autoimmune disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, cancer, or chronic disease of the kidneys or liver.
While chronic conditions are certainly a frequent cause of neuropathy, damage to the nerves from injury or infection may also occur.
Alcohol or drug abuse, certain medications, such as those to treat cancer or HIV, and vitamin deficiencies have also been shown to lead to peripheral neuropathy.
However, there is not always an identifiable cause.
In these cases, the term idiopathic neuropathy may be used as a type of classification.
Treatment of Neuropathy
In most cases, neuropathy is treated based dealing with the underlying medical condition that causes the condition.
For example, it is important for diabetics to keep blood sugar levels within the acceptable range.
This can be accomplished through changes in diet, increased exercise, and the use of medications.
In the case of idiopathic neuropathy, where there is no identifiable cause, treatment will be limited to controlling symptoms.
Certain medications are available that can help to ease peripheral neuropathy symptoms.
These medications can help to reduce pain, burning, or tingling sensations that are often apparent with this condition.
However, there are often side effects using any type of medication.
PEMF Therapy and Neuropathy
Nerves carry electrical signals back and forth between the brain and nerve receptors throughout the body.
When nerves are damaged, such as with neuropathy, the affected cells cannot send those signals properly.
PEMF uses a current of a low frequency to stimulate individual cells, including nerve cells.
PEMF can increase the blood flow to an area, providing proper healing to the affected nerve cells.
PEMF also can be used to repolarize, depolarize, or even hyperpolarize neurons within each cell, which can improve the way the cells, thus the nerves, function.
This can help to decrease neuropathy symptoms.
Studies have shown a beneficial effect between PEMF therapy and neuropathy.
In fact, the results are so promising that PEMF has been found to be effective at reducing pain, tingling, and other symptoms of peripheral neuropathy at frequencies as low as 600 Hz to 800 Hz.
Positive effects have been seen by simply using PEMF for a half an hour to an hour each day, for as little as 12 days.
Healing of nerve tissue has been seen in animal studies.
Because PEMF offers healing benefits at the cellular level with very little chance of side effects, it is showing to be a good treatment for neuropathy.
By working the same way that the body’s cells do, PEMF can help bring body functions back into alignment.
Both symptoms and the cause of these symptoms may benefit from this type of therapy.