Nerves play an important role in every aspect of your health by influencing senses, movement, and automatic function. If you develop peripheral neuropathy (PN), your body may have difficulty with these different functions. This condition can greatly cause discomfort and interfere with your everyday activities. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the severity of the symptoms and make them manageable.
What Are the Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?
The symptoms of PN manifest, depending on the location and type of nerves affected. People with this condition usually experience these:
- Loss of sensation
- Burning pain
- Increased sensitivity to light touch
- Decreased coordination in the affected limb
- Weakness or paralysis in the affected muscles or parts of the body
- Bowel or bladder changes
- Temperature intolerances
- Decreased balance
- Poor wound healing
- Excessive sweating
- Skin dryness
- Pale skin
- Abnormal nail growth
How Is Peripheral Neuropathy Diagnosed?
If you experience these symptoms, consulting a medical professional is recommended. Making a diagnosis can be made using several methods, like testing your sensation, reflexes, and muscle strength. You may also undergo blood work, diagnostic imaging, or nerve-conduction testing.
How Can You Prevent Peripheral Neuropathy?
Changing your lifestyle can help reduce the risk of developing PN. This includes avoiding activities that put your nerves at risk for injury and environmental chemicals that may cause reinjury.
Regular exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle are also essential to improve your health. In addition, another way to take better care of your health is to head to a physiotherapy clinic.
How Can a Physical Therapist Help in Treating or Preventing This Condition?
Physical therapists are trained to help reduce your risk of having PN and the complications associated with it. They have the know-how to notice any changes in your strength, sensation, and functional ability and work with you to prevent the development of this condition.
On the other hand, if you already have PN, a physical therapist can improve and maintain your functions affected by your condition. They will develop a treatment plan based on your needs and goals.
Since every patient with PN has a different type, cause, and symptoms, your healthcare will be unique. Here are common approaches your physical therapist may recommend:
- Moderate-Intensity and Balance and Coordination Exercises: Moderate-intensity exercises can help strengthen your muscles and boost your physical function. You may also be required to do some exercises specific to improving your balance and coordination to decrease your risk of falling.
- Nerve-Gliding Activities: Nerves need movement, blood, and space to function well. To manage the symptoms of PN and promote healing of the nerves, your physical therapist may ask you to perform nerve-gliding exercises.
- Bracing: If you have a nerve injury, bracing may be prescribed to protect your injured nerves and prevent further injury during your recovery. This will also help you move safely and allow for proper healing.
PN is a condition that affects millions of people in the US. If you happen to be one of them, there are ways to make your symptoms manageable. Get started in regaining your pain-free life and improving your quality of life by reaching out to a physical therapist near you.
At Davis Integrated Medicine, we are well-equipped at physical therapy in Montclair, NJ. We will customize a treatment plan for you to cater to your needs and preferences. In addition, we offer therapeutic massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and more. To schedule an appointment, contact us at (973) 834-8937.