Peripheral Neuropathies

Are All the Peripheral Neuropathies the Same?

No. All the peripheral neuropathies are not the same.

We find, though, that the patients who present with peripheral neuropathy, regardless of the cause, do have remarkably similar symptoms.

The good news with our treatment program has been that even in the presence of similar symptoms from different etiologies (causes), the corrective care for is often remarkably effective regardless of the primary cause. That is the beauty of the treatment system that we have been able to employ.

In order to find out what components of peripheral neuropathy you have, your doctor will conduct a very thorough evaluation. This will include things such as your vital signs, body mass index, the mobility and range of motion of your lower back and hips, and the overall health of your feet, skin, nails and hair, blood vessels and circulation. This might include Doppler ultrasound, a simple painless test to check for blood flow or blockages.

As the doctor performs her clinical examination, she’ll also perform a very thorough neurological examination including reflexes, muscle-testing, and sensation to touch using a device as simple as a pin, a brush or perhaps even a pinwheel. Doctors commonly will also check your vibration sensation, which very often is disturbed in peripheral neuropathy. This is done painlessly and very easily through the use of simple tuning forks. Your balance will be assessed.

Laboratory tests may very well be performed. These would include things such as a chemistry panel, kidney and liver function. Your doctor will also want to double check your blood sugar levels and more than likely perform a hemoglobin A1c.

This particular test is very good at identifying patients who may be borderline diabetic. I have found many patients who present with neuropathy symptoms have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes but may very well suffer from what’s called a metabolic syndrome.

This is when your body abnormally handles blood sugar, which may unfortunately lead to the development of neuropathy and other diabetic complications well before the formal diagnosis is made. You and Your healthcare professionals need to be aware of this research as well, two of the best synopses from the National Library of Medicine which are on-line.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

Chiropractic Treatment: Herniated Discs

If you have slipped, ruptured, or herniated discs, you can attest to the truth of the old saying that when your back hurts, your whole body hurts.

The pain can be never ending.  It’s virtually impossible to find a comfortable position, either standing or lying down.

The pain can take over your entire life and lead to

  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Inability to perform normal daily activities
  • Reduced social interaction with friends and family

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek medical treatment.

So What Causes a Herniated Disc?

First, it helps to understand what the discs in your spine do.  The bones in your spine are separated and cushioned by small discs that act as shock absorbers.  When they function properly, they allow your spine to remain flexible.  But when they’re damaged, which is much more likely as you age, the discs can bulge or rupture.

Any number of things can cause a herniated disc – plain old fashioned wear and tear, sitting too much, or a traumatic injury from lifting too much weight and lifting it improperly.

If you sit for long periods of time and frequently experience minor back pain and chronic back tiredness you could be at great risk for developing a “wear and tear” herniated disc. Something as simple as bending over to pick up a piece of paper, a minor fall, or even a sneeze can be all it takes to cause a disc to rupture.

If your job or your lifestyle require you to do frequent heavy lifting and you lift with your back instead of your legs, you’re pretty much a herniated disc waiting to happen.  Always lift with your legs, with your spine straight to equalize the pressure on the discs to avoid serious problems.

Treatment Options

When you’re diagnosed with a herniated disc, the first goals of treatment are:

  • Pain relief – first and foremost
  • Address any weakness or numbness in your feet, legs and lower back
  • Prevention of additional injuries

Find a practitioner with extensive experience in treating herniated discs and their accompanying issues.

More than 90% of patients with herniated discs (if treated early on) will improve within 6 months without surgery.  But you need to start treatment at the first sign of problems.

For the most part, you can expect:

  • Bed rest followed by increased, prescribed and controlled activity
  • Chiropractic manipulation to get the spine back into proper alignment and take pressure off the herniated disc and nerves
  • Exercises to reduce your pain and strengthen the muscles in the back

Save yourself years of back pain misery.

 

We can work with you or your loved one to determine the best treatment for your condition.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 at to schedule a consultation today

The PPW team

 

 

Painful Ear Infections

Can Chiropractic help?

While otitis media, otherwise known as painful ear infections, is very rare in adults, three out of four children will experience this painful condition before their third birthday.  Let’s explore this issue a little bit. If you have young children of your own, or other loved ones that fall into the 3 and under age range, learning to identify the causes, symptoms, and treatments of painful ear infections or otitis media can help spare your little one some undue suffering.

What are some causes of painful ear infections?

The primary reason that young children are more prone to painful ear infections is because a child’s immune system is not yet fully developed until about the age of 4, making the child less able to fight off the infection. With this in mind, the main causes of otitis media are:

• Age, with an increased susceptibility between the ages of 6 months and 18 months
• Exposure to other children (and their viruses) in group child care settings
• Laying a baby down to drink bottles rather than sitting the child upright to eat
• Seasonal allergies and viruses, making middle ear infections more common in fall and winter (a.k.a. the cold and flu season)
• Exposure to tobacco smoke and high levels of air pollution
• A family history of otitis media

What are the symptoms of painful ear infections?

When a child is too young to vocally express the pain in their ear, it can be hard to identify an ear infection. Watching for the symptoms below can help alert you to this condition…so you can help your child find relief.  Common symptoms include:

• Tugging or pulling at the ears
• Unusual crying or fussiness
• Frequent sleep interruptions or insomnia
• Difficulty hearing (i.e. the child suddenly stops responding to your vocal requests)
• High irritability
• Fever of 100 degrees F or higher
• Clear liquid draining from the ears
• Headaches

Adults who suffer painful ear infections  might experience an earache, high fever (100 degrees F or higher), a feeling of dizziness, and even temporary loss of hearing.

When to Seek Help

Parents often fret whenever their children are sick, but middle ear infections aren’t often cause for immediate medical attention.

If your child’s ear starts leaking blood or pus,  schedule a visit to the pediatrician, they likely will save yourself a frantic trip to the Emergency Room… this new development is treatable and can actually bring pain relief to your little sufferer.

If symptoms of the ear infection don’t disappear on their own within 1-2 days, or if your child experiences frequent earaches, ask is if our treatment might be helpful

A Proactive Treatment Plan 

Acute middle of the night episodes may very well have you and your child in the Emergency Department. Chronic middle ear infections are not only uncomfortable for young children, but recurring infections can, in extreme cases, lead to permanent hearing loss, along with speech and other development problems.

And while traditional treatments involve antibiotic medications, in cases of chronic conditions the child can develop a resistance to the medication, leaving them unable to enjoy the pain relief that prescription medications offer.

There may be an effective complementary treatment for the treatment of painful ear infections A main reason for the often speedy recovery is chiropractic care may help to facilitate draining of fluids in the ear. More studies are needed.

The bottom line is that going easy on antibiotics as a first treatment might assist the development of your child’s natural immune system (and therefore a better barrier to middle ear infections), delivering lasting relief and decreasing the risk of complications.

We can work with you or your loved one to determine the best treatment for your condition. Please call us at 781-659-7989 at to schedule a consultation today

Please call us at 781-659-7989 at to schedule a consultation today

The PPW team

 

Heel Pain: Common Causes and Treatments

If you’ve been experiencing a sharp pain in your heel, particularly after long periods of sitting or resting, plantar fasciitis could be to blame. With this painful condition, the tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes – called the plantar fascia – becomes inflamed or irritated. One of the most common causes of heel pain, plantar fasciitis typically brings about a stabbing sensation with each step you take, although the pain usually decreases the more you walk (the tissue become more stretched, easing some of the tension on your heel bone).

What are some causes of plantar fasciitis?

Typically, the plantar fascia acts as somewhat of a shock absorber for the arch in your foot. Too much tension, however, can leave tiny tears in the tissue; excessive tearing can lead to irritation and, with it, the condition of plantar fasciitis.

A few factors that could lead to plantar fasciitis include:

Weight: Being overweight can add too much stress on your plantar fascia, stretching it to the point of inflammation and pain.

Age: Plantar fasciitis is most often found in patients between the ages of 40 and 60.

Gender: Women, particularly during pregnancy, are more prone to plantar fasciitis than men.

Activity: Exercises and activities that place an unusual amount of stress on the heel – such as running and certain forms of dancing – can lead to plantar fasciitis.

Long periods of standing: People who spend their days on their feet on hard surfaces, such as teachers and waitresses, often find themselves suffering from plantar fasciitis.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Often, plantar fasciitis is associated with pain that:

• Comes about gradually (as opposed to a noticeable tear or strain)
• Is experienced in just one foot (although it can occur in both feet at the same time)
• Is significantly worse after long periods of rest, such as first thing in the morning

If you’ve been sitting or resting for a long period of time, make an effort to stretch the affected foot before standing. Slowly flex your foot, pulling it gently toward your leg, and then move it from side to side. You might also move your foot in large circles or try writing the alphabet with your toes. These movements can help stretch the plantar fascia, leaving it less tense when you put weight on your foot (and therefore decreasing the pain of first impact!).

Get Your Feet Moving to Keep Healthy!

Depending on the severity of your condition, chiropractic treatment might consist of:

• Ultrasound treatments
• Soft tissue mobilization
• Stretching
• Chiropractic adjustments
• Cold laser treatments
• Taping/bracing the injured foot

We can work with you or your loved one to determine the best treatment for your condition.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 at to schedule a consultation today

The PPW team

Why Carb Control Can Help Neuropathy, Fibromyalgia, and Many Forms of Chronic Pain

Carrying excess body fat can elevate blood sugars and triglycerides over time. Even mildly elevated blood sugars can cause some of these sugars to attach to protein molecules, causing chronic pain.

As a regular reader of my articles, you understand—in part, at least—the importance of controlling carbohydrates in our diets.

There are two forms of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates include things like refined sugar, which is commonly contained in cookies, cakes, sodas, ice cream, etcetera. You probably also know that these items are forbidden on the NeuropathyDR Diet Plan!

There are also complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are mainly starches like those found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.

The most dangerous part of high carbohydrate consumption is that it simply causes us to gain weight unnecessarily. The mechanism by which this happens is relatively complex.

In a nutshell, high carbohydrate consumption causes our bodies to produce excess insulin. Production of extra insulin actually causes a number of things to occur, but the most important is lowering of blood sugar by driving excess calories into fat cells.

This is how excess carbohydrates in our diet causes us to gain weight, seemingly very rapidly.

Another factor which many patients are unaware of is carrying excess body fat can elevate blood sugars and triglycerides over time. Even mildly elevated blood sugars can cause some of these sugars to attach to protein molecules. This is responsible for making us feel very stiff and sore.

This also makes it more difficult for our bodies to regulate insulin levels.

Of course, this response is dramatically altered in patients who are diabetic, creating all types of dangerous health effects, including eye disease, kidney disease, and of course peripheral neuropathy and other forms of chronic pain.

The good news is, pre-diabetes and borderline diabetes can often be controlled—and sometimes reversed—by improving the quality of diet.

The sooner we spring into action, the better our chances of impacting our current and future health.

There are, however, two circumstances in which higher carbohydrate consumption may be needed.

Number one, is if you take insulin. If you take insulin, you need to know that changing your diet, and certain dietary supplementation, especially with thiamine or vitamin B1, can influence your blood sugar and insulin requirements. That’s why need to work very carefully with prescribing healthcare professionals.

Also, if you are an athlete in training, you will need to consume more carbohydrates than average. To avoid excess weight gain, avoid overeating, and emphasize the complex carbohydrates, such as those contained in fruit and vegetables, as opposed to simple sugars.

Also try to confine higher carbohydrate consumption to within one hour before, and perhaps after, strenuous physical activity.

Please call us to schedule an evaluation at 781-659-7989 today!