Can Diabetic Neuropathy Be Reversed?

Experiencing diabetic neuropathy can be quite distressing. A question that many individuals living with diabetes might find themselves asking is, can diabetic neuropathy be reversed? Don’t worry; we’re here to answer this important question and shed some light on this uncomfortable symptom.

While completely reversing diabetic neuropathy may not always be possible, it is well worth exploring ways to manage the impact of symptoms and prevent any further nerve damage from occurring. By taking proactive steps and intervening early, you can find solutions that significantly reduce pain and discomfort and improve your quality of life.

In this article, we’ll explore the common types of diabetic neuropathy and their unique characteristics. We’ll also discuss various conventional treatment options commonly prescribed to help manage this condition.

When it comes to individuals experiencing persistently painful and debilitating symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, finding effective treatment becomes a top priority.

We’ll introduce how the specialized Neurofunctional Pain Management techniques offered by Neuragenex provide an innovative approach to finding relief from pain without resorting to heavy medications or invasive surgeries.

Let’s begin by taking a closer look at what diabetic neuropathy is and what it is that causes your painful symptoms.

Understanding Diabetic Neuropathy and Its Prevalence

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that causes damage to the nerves throughout the body. This results from elevated blood sugar levels, which over time, can lead to disruptions in nerve function and communication, resulting in various uncomfortable and often painful symptoms.

The prevalence of diabetic neuropathy is striking, where sufferers of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can experience its effects. Nearly half of all people who have diabetes will develop neuropathy during their lifetime, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). It is more prevalent among those who have struggled with diabetes for a long time or those who have difficulty managing their diabetes.

Depending on the severity and type of diabetic neuropathy, it can cause mild to severe pain, particularly in the hands and feet. Additionally, it can provoke further complications such as ulcers and infections, muscle weakness, and, in severe cases, amputation of the affected area. These symptoms carry the potential to deeply influence the daily lives of those affected.

The impact of diabetic neuropathy can vary widely, highlighting how important it is to better understand this condition. In the next section, we will discuss the different types of diabetic neuropathy and their distinct symptoms.

Types Of Diabetic Neuropathy And Their Symptoms

There are several distinct types of diabetic neuropathy, each displaying an identifiable set of symptoms. These variations exist due to the many ways high blood sugar, a hallmark of diabetes, impacts different nerves of the body. Let’s explore the different classifications and their effects below:

Peripheral Neuropathy

As the most common type of diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy is what most people may picture when thinking of this condition. It damages the nerves in the hands, arms, feet, and legs, where it typically begins with sensations of numbness.

Over time, it can lead to mild to severe neuropathic pain and loss of most or all local sensation. Even the early stages of peripheral neuropathy can impact routine activities, making walking, exercising, or dexterous tasks a challenge.

Autonomic Neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathy poses a different set of challenges to those affected. This type of neuropathy damages the autonomic nerves, which control many of the body’s involuntary functions. This can affect an individual’s heart rate, blood pressure, bladder, digestive tract, and genitals.

Symptoms of autonomic neuropathy will vary, depending on its severity and the areas affected. Digestive upsets such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and bowel incontinence can develop. Additionally, urinary tract areas may be impacted, causing infrequent urination, bladder infections, or incontinence.

If autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves that control heart rate and blood pressure, it can cause dizziness and fainting, along with slow, fast, or abnormal heart rates. A further uncomfortable sign can include problems with getting or keeping an erection (for men) or difficulty with orgasms and vaginal dryness (for women).

Focal Neuropathy

Focal neuropathy, sometimes called mononeuropathy, damages a single nerve or group of nerves in close proximity. It is less common than both peripheral and autonomic neuropathy, and it mostly affects nerves of the torso, legs, head, or hands.

The distinctive characteristic of focal neuropathy involves the localization of symptoms to a specific area, where it causes sudden pain and weakness.

For example, it may cause sudden pain and numbness within the face, otherwise known as Bell’s Palsy. Or it may affect the thumb and index finger, as seen in carpal tunnel syndrome, where pain and immobility develop.

Proximal Neuropathy

Proximal neuropathy is a rare form of diabetic neuropathy that can lead to life-altering symptoms if left unmanaged. Otherwise referred to as diabetic amyotrophy, this type of neuropathy harms the nerves of the hips, thighs, and buttocks.

Pain and weakness arise throughout the affected areas where even standing and walking can become difficult tasks. Symptoms will usually only affect one side of the body, although it can spread to both sides in rare cases.

Common Medical Treatment Options For Diabetic Neuropathy

While completely reversing the effects of diabetic neuropathy may be challenging, an individual can slow down its progression and manage its painful symptoms in many ways.

The two biggest factors that can prevent the condition from worsening and help you to find relief are adopting lifestyle changes to manage blood sugar levels effectively. Let’s discuss these alongside other contemporary treatments in more detail:

  • Glycemic control: Maintaining blood sugar levels through lifestyle adjustments and medication is the best way to prevent nerve damage from diabetic neuropathy from worsening and to ease the symptoms. This can be achieved by following your prescribed medication regime, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications: Some over-the-counter medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can provide relief from the pain and inflammation caused by diabetic neuropathy. It is essential to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication.
  • Surgery: In some cases, inflammation from nerve and tissue damage causes swelling and compression of the surrounding nerves, heightening the painful symptoms. In this case, surgery may be considered to reduce nerve compression and alleviate pain.
  • Physical therapy: Through the help of a qualified physical therapist, you can discover targeted exercises and conditioning movements that help improve muscle strength, relieve tension, and alleviate discomfort caused by neuropathy.
  • Complementary Therapies: Many individuals choose to explore complementary options to help find effective relief from diabetic neuropathy. Techniques such as acupuncture, massage, relaxation, and meditation may help relieve the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation): This therapy aims to alleviate pain associated with diabetic neuropathy by improving blood flow and reducing painful signals sent to the brain from low-pulse electrical currents applied to the skin.

These treatment options aim to relieve painful symptoms, improve nerve function, and slow the progression of diabetic neuropathy. However, some individuals who suffer from chronic pain may struggle to find sufficient relief.

Alternative approaches, such as our Neuragenex approach to Neurofunctional Pain Management, can offer promising solutions. Next, we will discuss how Neuragenex can help you find enduring relief from the pain caused by diabetic neuropathy.

The Neuragenex Protocol

Neuragenex specializes in Neurofunctional Pain Management and offers a tailored pain treatment protocol designed to address diabetic neuropathy at its source. Our dedicated specialists offer an alternative to traditional treatment methods by providing non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic options for pain management.

So, what does Neurofunctional Pain Management involve, and how does it work? Our Neuragenex protocols include electroanalgesia treatments, specialized IV therapy, and lifestyle counseling. Let’s explore these techniques in more detail.

IV Nutritional Therapy

Specialized IV therapy is an integral part of our tailored approach that addresses an individual’s specific needs. Through blood work evaluation, we identify your nutritional deficiencies, customizing a hydration therapy program that can improve your overall health. 

IV nutritional therapy replenishes essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and other core nutritional components. When combined with electroanalgesia, customized hydration therapy reduces inflammation and promotes overall healing, optimizing the body for enduring pain relief for each patient.


Electroanalgesia is another key component of Neurofunctional Pain Management. This therapy uses electrical stimulation to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. Electroanalgesia uses high-pulse electrical currents applied to the skin.

By promoting nerve regeneration and reducing pain signals, electroanalgesia enhances muscle function and alleviates the impact of neuropathy. Its long-lasting effects can provide relief for months after completing the treatment course.

Lifestyle Counseling And Patient Education

At Neuragenex, we strongly believe in a whole-person, patient-centered approach to managing pain. We understand that suffering from chronic pain can have a profound psychological effect and encompasses more than just an underlying health condition but also your entire lifestyle. 

That is why our Neuragenex protocol includes lifestyle counseling. Our comprehensive patient education program focuses on improving various aspects of health to enhance overall well-being and address specific health conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy. 

By making positive lifestyle changes, patients can further support their healing process and improve their quality of life even after completing their Neuragenex treatment course.

Take Control Of Your Diabetic Neuropathy Today

Although the answer to the question ‘Can diabetic neuropathy be reversed?’ isn’t as straightforward as you might have hoped, there are many ways to manage and alleviate its impact and manage painful symptoms.

Improving your well-being while living with diabetes is very achievable through early detection and intervention of diabetic neuropathy. Discovering tailored treatments and adopting lifestyle adjustments are key in helping to slow the progression of this condition and enhancing your overall quality of life.

Diabetic neuropathy can be challenging, and with the help of our dedicated team at Neuragenex, our expertise, support, and innovative solutions can help you navigate the complexities of this complex condition. Your journey to a more comfortable and fulfilling life starts with informed choices and a commitment to proactive care.

What Causes Neuropathy, Its Different Types, And Treatment Options

One of the common mistakes people make when attempting to treat pain is that they assume all pain is the same. As such, they tend to treat any pain they experience using the same methods, whether acute or chronic. However, doing so will never solve the problem; it only provides temporary relief. This is especially the case regarding neuropathy, which can cause multiple symptoms, including mild to severe pain in various forms. The tricky thing about neuropathy is that there are several forms of neuropathy that can lead to many kinds of symptoms. Not to mention, there are many potential underlying causes.

The following is a guide to understanding what neuropathy is, what can cause it, the different types of neuropathy, and the treatment options available.


Neuropathy is a condition in which various symptoms are experienced as a result of nerve damage. This nerve damage can be caused by numerous diseases, conditions, and even injuries. It occurs when the body’s nerves malfunction, leading to pain, numbness, tingling, and even paralysis. 

Neuropathy can affect any system of the body that relies on the nervous system, such as muscles and internal organs. Because neuropathy is complex, it can be challenging to understand what causes the disorder and how to treat it. As such, understanding the basics of the nervous system and its different types, as well as their accompanying symptoms and treatment options, is crucial.

Neuropathy And Our Nervous System

The nervous system is a complex and essential system of the body that helps us control our movements, interpret sensations, and even think. It is comprised of two parts:

  • Central Nervous System: The central nervous system is responsible for processing and interpreting incoming sensory information. It includes the brain and spinal cord, forming a communication network between the body and the environment.
  • Peripheral Nervous System: The peripheral nervous system is responsible for controlling bodily functions, such as movement and the function of organs. The peripheral nervous system connects the central nervous system to the body’s other systems, such as the muscles and internal organs. The peripheral nervous system is divided into two parts:

    • Somatic Nervous System: The somatic nervous system is responsible for voluntary movements, such as writing and walking.
    • Autonomic Nervous System: The autonomic nervous system is responsible for involuntary activities like digestion and heart rate.

4 Types Of Neuropathy

Neuropathy is caused by damage to or malformation of the nerve fibers in the peripheral nervous system. When this happens, it can cause various symptoms depending on which nerves are affected. There are four types of neuropathy. Each type has its own set of symptoms. These include the following:

1. Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that affects your peripheral nerves. These nerves connect your brain and spinal cord to your muscles, internal organs, and skin. Causes of peripheral neuropathy can include injury, infection, or exposure to certain toxins.

It’s estimated that over 20 million people in the U.S. have some sort of peripheral neuropathy. However, because symptoms can sometimes be mild and can be confused with other conditions, many people with peripheral neuropathy are not diagnosed with the disorder.

Signs And Symptoms

Symptoms and signs of peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Numbness and tingling in the feet or hands
  • Burning sensations
  • Loss of coordination
  • Weakness in the limbs
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Chronic pain

2. Autonomic Neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathy is a disorder that affects your autonomic nervous system. Autonomic nerves control your involuntary bodily functions such as digestion, heart rate, respiration, perspiration, and urination. Damage to the autonomic nerves can be caused by diseases such as diabetes, alcoholism, or any condition affecting the blood vessels. It can also occur on its own. It’s said to affect more than 70 million people worldwide.

Signs And Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a damaged autonomic nervous system include: 

  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Lightheadedness
  • Trouble controlling body temperature
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dizziness or fainting when standing up
  • Blurred vision or other vision changes
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Excessive sweating or lack of sweating
  • Incontinence
  • Slowed digestion or digestive issues
  • Difficulty swallowing

3. Focal Neuropathy

Focal neuropathy is a disorder where only one nerve, or group of nerves, is damaged. It can affect any part of your body and can cause a range of symptoms. It’s most commonly seen in older adults, especially those with diabetes or other metabolic disorders. Entrapments, or nerve compression due to trauma, can also cause focal neuropathy.

Signs And Symptoms

Focal neuropathy can occur suddenly, and the symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. However, when caused by chronic conditions like diabetes or HIV/AIDS, it can persist for much longer. Common signs and symptoms of focal neuropathy include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Tingling
  • Loss of sensation
  • Paralysis in the affected area

4. Cranial Neuropathy

Cranial neuropathy is a disorder that affects the nerves in your brain. It can affect any of the 12 cranial nerves, which control different functions in your body. Various conditions, such as diabetes, tumors, trauma, infections, or toxins, can cause it. There are several types of cranial neuropathy, and the symptoms can vary depending on which nerves are affected. These types include the following:

Microvascular Cranial Nerve Palsy

Microvascular cranial nerve palsy (also known as ischemic cranial neuropathy) is the most common form of cranial neuropathy. It is caused by the narrowing or blockage of small blood vessels that supply oxygen to the cranial nerves in your brain, leading to nerve damage and a range of possible symptoms. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Double vision
  • Facial numbness
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Loss of taste
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking

Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is another form of cranial neuropathy. It is caused by inflammation in the facial nerve, which can lead to temporary paralysis of the affected side of your face. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Drooping on one side of the face
  • Sudden loss of facial movement
  • Pain around your ear
  • Uncontrollable blinking of one eye
  • Difficulty smiling or frowning on one side
  • Sensitivity to sound on one side
  • Headache pain in the affected area.

Third, Fourth, And Sixth Nerve Palsy

Third, fourth, and sixth nerve palsy are other types of cranial neuropathies. They involve damage to the oculomotor, trochlear, and abducens nerves. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Double vision
  • Headaches
  • Crossed eyes (strabismus)
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Trouble focusing on near objects
  • Drooping eyelids.

What Neuropathic Pain Feels Like

Neuropathy can cause many symptoms, many of which depend on the type of neuropathy and what is causing it. However, one of the common symptoms of neuropathy is nerve pain or neuropathic pain. This type of pain is normally described as a burning, tingling sensation, but it can also feel like a shooting, stabbing, or electricity-like sensation. The following examples are of conditions that can cause such neuropathic pain:

  • Postherpetic neuralgia: Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication of herpes zoster (more commonly referred to as shingles) and can cause burning, aching, and sharp pain in the area where the rash appeared. It can last for months or even years after the rash has cleared.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia: Trigeminal neuralgia causes sharp, shooting pain in the face and jaw. It is caused by damage or irritation to the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is responsible for delivering sensation from the face to the brain. It often feels like a stabbing or electric shock and can be triggered by the slightest touch or movement.
  • Diabetic neuropathy: Diabetic neuropathy occurs in people with diabetes. It develops because of high blood sugar and can cause various symptoms, including burning, numbness, tingling, or shooting pain in the hands and feet.
  • HIV-associated peripheral sensory neuropathy: HIV-associated peripheral sensory neuropathy is caused by nerve damage due to HIV infection. HIV infections can damage the nerves by attacking the myelin sheath, which is the nerve fibers’ protective coating. This can lead to burning sensations, numbness, tingling, and shooting pain in the hands, feet, and other areas of the body.
  • Leprosy: Leprosy is an infection caused by the Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. Leprosy can cause nerve damage as a result of inflammation and tissue damage. The nerve damage lead to a burning, tingling sensation and numbness in the affected area. Other symptoms may include weakness or paralysis of the face and other parts of the body.
  • Peripheral nerve injury pain: Peripheral nerve injury pain is caused by peripheral nerve damage, which can result from trauma, surgery, tumors, or radiation. It can cause burning, stabbing, and shooting pain in the affected area.

Other Symptoms That Accompanies Neuropathic Pain

The following are additional symptoms known to be associated with neuropathic pain:

  • Paresthesia: Paresthesia is the sensation of prickling, tingling, burning, or numbness in the skin. It can result from damage to the nerves that carry sensations from the body to the brain. 
  • Allodynia: Allodynia occurs when a person feels pain from something that wouldn’t usually cause it. It can occur after nerve damage and can cause a person to experience pain from stimuli that wouldn’t normally be painful, such as light touch or even the air passing over the skin.
  • Hyperalgesia: Hyperalgesia is a condition in which pain is felt more intensely than usual. It can be caused by nerve damage and can make even mild sensations of pain feel more intense.
  • Dysesthesia: Dysesthesia is a painful sensation that can occur without any stimulation. This means that it can be experienced without anything touching the skin. It commonly affects the hands, feet, and other areas of the body and can cause sensations of burning, itching, stinging, or electric shock.

Causes Of Neuropathy

Even though neuropathy refers to a wide range of symptoms that are caused by damage to the nerves, the underlying cause of nerve damage can vary. In fact, many different things can trigger different types of neuropathy. The following are the common denominators that can lead to neuropathy as well as some of their sub-causes:

Health Conditions

Many different health conditions can lead to nerve damage, thereby causing neuropathy. The following are some of the health conditions known to lead to neuropathy:

Poorly Managed Diabetes

If you don’t manage your diabetes effectively, it can lead to nerve damage and the subsequent development of neuropathy. If your blood sugar levels are too high for too long, it can lead to small blood vessel damage which may cut off oxygen and nutrients to your nerves. This can lead to nerve damage since the nerves no longer receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to remain healthy. As a result, it should come as no surprise that people with diabetes are more prone to developing neuropathy.

Idiopathic Neuropathy

Although many different things can cause neuropathy (including the health conditions listed here), there are times when no underlying cause can be identified. When this is the case, the condition is called idiopathic neuropathy.

Chronic Alcoholism

Chronic alcoholism interferes with the normal functioning of the nerves, leading to nerve damage and neuropathy. This is because chronic alcohol use can lead to malnutrition and can have a toxic effect on the nerves.


Certain types of cancer can lead to nerve damage and the subsequent development of neuropathy. For example, people with lymphoma may experience paraneoplastic neuropathy, which is caused by the cancer cells attacking and damaging the nerves.


HIV/AIDS is a condition that prevents the body from fighting off infections due to a weakened immune system. As a result, HIV/AIDS can lead to nerve damage and neuropathy because it increases the risk of infections that can affect the nerves.

Dietary Causes

Certain dietary deficiencies can sometimes lead to nerve damage and neuropathy. This is because deficiencies in specific vitamins and minerals can make it difficult for the body to repair damaged nerves properly. The following are some of the more common dietary causes that can lead to neuropathy:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

One of eight B vitamins, vitamin B12 is essential to cell metabolism (meaning how cells use energy), red blood cell formation, and nerve function. If you don’t have enough vitamin B12 in your diet, it can lead to a condition known as pernicious anemia. This form of anemia can cause nerve damage by preventing the body’s red blood cells from carrying oxygen to the nerves.

Copper Deficiency

Copper is a mineral vital for the normal functioning of nerve cells because it helps insulate the outer sheath of nerve cells. Without an adequate amount of copper in your diet, your nerves become more vulnerable to damage.

Excess Nutrient Consumption

Although deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to nerve damage and neuropathy, consuming too much of some nutrients can also be problematic. For example, an excess of vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage because it can interfere with the body’s production of neurotransmitters.

Exposure To Toxins In Foods

Certain foods, such as shellfish and other seafood, contain toxins that can lead to nerve damage. These toxins include ciguatoxin, maitotoxin, and okadaic acid. Eating foods that contain these toxins can lead to nerve damage by interfering with the normal functioning of nerve cells.

Diagnosis Of Neuropathy

When you consider the different types of neuropathy, all the different symptoms neuropathy can cause, and all of the potential underlying conditions, diagnosing neuropathy and its cause is no simple matter. As such, there are a variety of medical tests and procedures used to diagnose neuropathy, such as the following:

Electrodiagnostic Testing 

Electrodiagnostic testing involves using electrodes to measure the electrical signals sent by nerve cells. By recording these signals, doctors can look for abnormalities indicating nerve damage and neuropathy.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are used by doctors to look for certain conditions, such as diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, and infections that could be causing nerve damage. Examples of blood tests used to diagnose neuropathy include complete blood count (CBC) and comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP).

Skin Biopsies

Skin biopsies are a type of procedure used to take a small sample of skin. Skin biopsies can help doctors to identify certain types of nerve damage, such as sensory neuropathy. By looking at nerve fibers under a microscope, doctors can look for signs of damage or disease.

Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST)

Quantitative sensory testing is a procedure used to measure how sensitive a person’s skin is to different stimuli. For example, this test can identify nerve damage by looking for differences in how a person’s skin responds to light touch, pinpricks, and heat.

Different Treatments For Neuropathy

There are several neuropathy treatments available, depending on the kind of neuropathy you have, the types of symptoms you’re experiencing, the severity of the symptoms, and the underlying causes. These include


Medications such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioids are commonly prescribed to manage the pain associated with neuropathy. Antidepressants can help to reduce nerve pain by affecting the transmission of signals between nerves. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — for example, ibuprofen and naproxen — can reduce inflammation and nerve pain. Opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, and fentanyl can be prescribed for severe neuropathic pain.

Although these medications can help alleviate some of the symptoms of neuropathy, you should understand their potential risks. Some medications are known to be addictive and can also cause side effects. These side effects vary but can include drowsiness, nausea, constipation, dizziness, and more. On top of that, medications won’t address the underlying cause of neuropathy — they’ll only mask the symptoms.


In some cases, a more conventional doctor might recommend surgery to treat neuropathy. For example, if the nerve damage is caused by spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) or a herniated disc, surgery can help release pressure on the affected nerves. In other cases, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, releasing pressure on compressed nerves in the wrist by cutting away any extra tissue can help to alleviate symptoms. 

Of course, like pain medications, surgery comes with its share of risks. Surgery is invasive, which means there is a chance of complications, such as infection, allergic reaction, and nerve damage. Additionally, the recovery time can be long, depending on how complicated the surgery was. Not to mention, there’s no guarantee that the surgery will be successful.

Nerve Stimulation

Electrical stimulation (e-stim) treatments are another option for treating neuropathy. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is one type of nerve stimulation therapy that uses low levels of electrical currents that stimulate the nerves and reduce pain. However, TENS is generally only effective for providing short-term relief. In the case of chronic pain, electroanalgesia is more appropriate.

Electroanalgesia uses a high pulse rate (up to 10,000 pulses per second) to deliver electrical currents deeper into the nerves than TENS is capable of doing. As a result, electroanalgesia can provide long-term relief by stimulating the release of endorphins, blocking pain signals to the brain, increasing circulation, and reducing inflammation. Electroanalgesia is an FDA-cleared therapy that is a critical component of our Neuragenex protocol, which uses a whole-person approach to treating chronic pain.

Alternative And Complementary Therapies

In addition to more traditional treatments, there are alternative and complementary therapies that may help manage neuropathy. Alpha lipoic acid, for example, is an antioxidant found to reduce nerve pain in some people with peripheral neuropathy. Acetyl-L-carnitine is another supplement that may help reduce nerve pain, as well as other symptoms associated with the condition. 

However, speak with a medical professional before you take any supplements, as some may interact with medications or other treatments negatively. Additionally, it’s vital to ensure that any supplements you take are of high quality and reliable.

In addition to supplements, yoga, massage, acupuncture, and biofeedback are some of the many alternative therapies that may help reduce nerve pain or other neuropathy symptoms. Discussing the various options with your doctor before pursuing any of these therapies is best.

Diet And Proper Nutrition

Eating a balanced diet is a critical part of managing neuropathy. Eating foods rich in essential nutrients, like B vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids, can help to decrease inflammation and improve nerve health. Additionally, it’s essential to avoid foods that may be inflammatory or can cause blood sugar fluctuations, as these can worsen neuropathy symptoms. Finally, staying hydrated is crucial, as dehydration can exacerbate neuropathy symptoms.

Prognosis Of Neuropathy 

The prognosis of neuropathy depends on the underlying condition causing it and how quickly it progresses. In some cases, such as diabetic neuropathy, you can manage the condition with certain lifestyle changes. In these cases, symptoms may improve over time, and the prognosis is generally good. However, in other cases, such as neuropathy caused by a tumor or traumatic injury, the outlook may be more serious, and a more aggressive treatment plan may be necessary.

No matter what the cause, managing neuropathy requires a combination of lifestyle changes and treatments that focus on addressing the underlying cause to help provide long-term relief.

Seek The Most Effective And Safest Neuropathy Treatment

Neuropathy is a complicated condition to treat, and it’s vital to have an experienced team of experts dedicated to finding the most effective and safest treatment option. At Neuragenex, we use a whole-person approach to treating chronic pain, which includes electroanalgesia, IV therapy, and lifestyle counseling. We address each patient’s individual needs by developing personalized treatment plans that may help provide long-term pain relief.

TENS Unit For Neuropathy – Is It Your Best Treatment Option?

If you are one of the 20 million people in the US whose lives are deeply affected by neuropathy, the chances are that you have a constant thought: finding a treatment that alleviates the pain and frees you from medications.

But is TENS the best treatment option for neuropathy?

If you’ve decided to try neurofunctional pain management and electroanalgesia for neuropathy, you are on the right path. Electrical stimulation can improve blood flow, ease discomfort, and promote regeneration of nerve damage.

But, there’s a lot more that you need to know about TENS – let’s get started.

Potential Causes Of Neuropathic Pain

Deriving from the Greek words for “nerve” (neuron) and “condition” (pathos), neuropathy is a term used to describe the nerve damage that occurs in one or more parts of your nervous system. The term alone does not describe the underlying cause or symptom intensity of neuropathic pain, nor does it specify which part of the body is affected.

So, what causes neuropathy?

To understand this, it is crucial to understand that our body’s nervous system is divided into two parts:

  • The central nervous system – that is, the brain and the spinal cord
  • The peripheral nervous system (PNS) – that is, the nerves that are located outside of the brain and the spinal cord

The PNS is responsible for transmitting sensory information (such as pain or feeling cold) and motor signals to the brain. It also supports processes that we can’t consciously control (i.e., our heartbeat, sweating, digestion, etc).

What Does Neuropathy Feel like?

When nerves belonging to the PNS are damaged, the signals traveling from your extremities or organs are unable to reach the brain, or they are subjected to interference. 

Depending on what nerve (or nerves) is damaged, you’ll experience a range of symptoms:

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Painful cramps
  • Tingling, prickling, burning, and numbness
  • Uncontrolled muscle twitching
  • Muscle weakness or shrinking
  • Loss of coordination
  • Inability to feel sensations of touch and vibrations
  • Extreme sensitivity

In extreme cases, you might also feel as if you are wearing a glove (if the sensory nerves are affected), experience paralysis (if the motor nerves are affected), or report symptoms such as heat intolerance, excessive sweating, drops in blood pressure, and loss of bladder control (if the autonomic nerves are affected).

Everyone can experience neuropathy at any stage of life. In 20-30% of cases, neuropathic pain has no known cause (idiopathic). Nonetheless, some factors put you at greater risk of developing this condition. Let’s look at them below:

Disease And Infection

Inadequately managed health conditions, some chronic diseases, and certain treatments can lead to nerve damage. Specifically, these include:

  • Diabetes: 2019 studies show that 6-51% of adults with diabetes also live with neuropathy, often due to poorly managed blood pressure. If left untreated, diabetic peripheral neuropathy can lead to foot ulcers and even limb amputation. 
  • Autoimmune diseases: Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and some chronic inflammatory diseases can lead to nerve damage. Some forms of neuropathy can also be hereditary. 
  • Tumors and chemotherapy: Whether cancerous or not, tumors can interfere with the PNS by pressing on and damaging nerves. Additionally, chemotherapy and other medications can damage nerves. Today, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) affects 19-85% of patients, making it one of the most common side effects of cancer treatments. 
  • Infections: Infections caused by viruses (such as HIV/AIDS) and bacteria can lead to nerve damage. A 2020 review shows that 30-60% of people with HIV globally are also diagnosed with neuropathy.
  • Some health events: Events such as physical trauma or injury can damage the PNS in one or more locations.


If you have been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, or you drink alcohol excessively for long periods, you might be at risk of neuropathy. That’s because the toxic effects of alcohol can damage the nerves’ protective sheath, called myelin, and contribute to nutritional deficiencies.

Estimations show that alcoholic neuropathy may affect 25% to 66% of those diagnosed with chronic alcohol use disorder.

Nutritional Deficiency

Certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to nerve damage. In particular, to lower your risk of developing or worsening neuropathy, you should supplement the following vitamins and minerals to avoid deficiencies:

  • Copper
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B6 (although high levels of B6 can also cause neuropathy)
  • Vitamin B9
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
  • Vitamin E

Some substances, such as metformin, and toxins present in food, like mercury in fish, can damage nerves in PNS.



TENS Therapy And Neuropathic Pain

TENS – which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation – is a type of therapy that leverages low-voltage electric pulses to ease pain and discomfort. An at-home TENS unit is a small device that is attached to electrodes (adhesive pads) via thin wires.

When applied to the problem area, the pads deliver mild impulses of electrical current through the skin and into the nervous system. When this happens, the external impulses prevent pain signals from reaching the brain by “flooding” the nervous system. In turn, this action will stop you from feeling pain.

TENS also works by boosting the production of feel-good, pain-killing hormones, such as endorphins, and stimulating blood flow in the affected area.

Today, TENS units are commercially available, making electrical stimulation a convenient pain management method for people with arthritis, back pain, and other chronic conditions.

Although TENS is a relatively new treatment for neuropathic pain, evidence-based reviews published in 2020 show that this therapy can help alleviate pain in people with neuropathy deriving from sciatica, spinal cord injury, and postherpetic neuralgia (a consequence of shingles).

Is TENS Safe To Use For Neuropathic Pain?

Generally, TENS is considered to be safe, and it can be administered by anyone, regardless of training or experience. This level of safety comes from the fact that at-home TENS units only deliver extremely mild electrical pulses that can’t cause pain. Additionally, they offer easy-to-use settings that can be adjusted by users without a medical background.

Nonetheless, there are some precautions you should take:

  • The adhesive material used to make the electrodes sticky (propylene glycol) might cause allergic reactions and irritate the skin
  • Not all TENS devices are FDA approved
  • Avoid placing the electrodes in sensitive areas, such as on the head, abdomen, and genitals

Is TENS Effective For Treating Neuropathic Pain?

Although the efficacy of TENS as a pain management method is still being researched, recent studies have made some promising conclusions. 

In a 2013 review of eight studies, electrical stimulation seemed to have a beneficial effect on patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, when used in conjunction with other treatments. Ongoing clinical trials also aim to prove the efficacy of electrical stimulation to delay or prevent limb amputation in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which currently accounts for 50-75% of non-traumatic amputations.

Additionally, a 2017 assessment published by the Cochrane Library showed that electrotherapy might help those with nerve damage caused by carpal tunnel syndrome and shingles.

Although still sparse, the body of research around TENS is promising. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that the beneficial effects of electrical stimulation demonstrated in the studies above were applied by medical-grade TENS devices and not at-home units. 

At-home devices are created to be harmless and come with significant limitations in terms of power and wavelength. Because of this, commercially-available TENS units can’t be classified as electroanalgesic treatment. 

On the other hand, when treating acute or chronic pain, patients require high-frequency pulses, which only medical-grade, FDA-approved machines can deliver. Because more powerful electrical pulses are just tolerable by the patient, this treatment can only be administered by a highly trained professional.

Drawbacks And Contraindications Of Using TENS Therapy

As seen above, at-home TENS units are generally considered safe – but are also less efficient than professionally-administered treatments. Because of this, you might be exposing yourself to unnecessary health risks when using an over-the-counter device.

Ultimately, just like any other treatment, TENS isn’t suitable for everyone, and being aware of the contradictions of this therapy can help you stay safe. Here’s what you need to know:

Interferes With Other Medical Devices

If you are wearing a medical device, the electrical impulses produced by TENS can interfere with the signals of your implant and lead to severe side effects. For example, if you have a pacemaker, unsupervised TENS can cause bradycardia or asystole (serious heart problems), and inhibit the functioning of your implanted device.

Irritates The Skin

As seen in a 2004 review, the acrylate in the conductive gel that coats the electrodes of a TENS unit might cause skin irritation. Although rare, contact dermatitis can worsen neuropathic pain and delay treatment progress.

Leads To Muscle Fatigue And Spasms

One of the greatest advantages of TENS is that it can be safely used without severe side effects. However, especially in the case of low-frequency electrical stimulation, you can experience muscle fatigue, spasms, and twitching due to overuse. Over time, TENS might also lead to the accumulation of waste material, which can damage the muscles in the affected area.

Affects Your Blood Pressure

The positive effects of TENS for neuropathy and nerve damage can be attributed to the improved blood flow in the problem area, which also boosts the circulation of beneficial fresh oxygen and nutrients. However, if you suffer from low blood pressure, you should be aware that TENS can decrease blood pressure even further, by as much as 6.3 mmHg.

Can Cause Facial Nerve Damage

Although some studies have found that TENS can have a positive effect on patients suffering from acute facial nerve paralysis, you should never place the TENS electrodes on certain parts of your body, including your face, genitals, and abdomen.



Your Non-Surgical And Non-Opioid Treatment For Neuropathy

If you have neuropathy, you know that this isn’t a simple condition to treat – or to understand.

However, thanks to today’s advances in regenerative medicine, new treatment options can help alleviate pain, strengthen the muscles, regenerate damaged nerves, and free you from unfamiliar and uncomfortable sensations.

At Neuragenex, we provide our patients with a more efficient alternative to TENS, which still leverages the principles behind electroanalgesia and electrical stimulation. But we also combine these therapies with a more innovative approach to neuropathic pain treatment.

Here are some of the neurofunctional pain management therapies we provide:

Electromagnetic Therapies For Neuropathic Pain Management

To treat neuropathic pain, it’s important to understand what happens at a cellular level. In turn, to understand these processes, it’s necessary to leave our world, which is dominated by standard physics laws, and enter the world of cells, atoms, and particles.

These behave according to the laws of quantum mechanics. New technologies, such as Quantum Resonance-Specific Induction (QRSI™), allow us to interact with pain-causing mechanisms at a cellular level. This technology creates electromagnetic energy fields and electric currents that amplify subatomic particle movements that increase the healing and regenerating power of cells.

Put simply, with these tools, the team at Nuragenex uses electromagnetic resonance (the electrical signaling between cells) to optimize energy levels at a cellular level. These energized cells contribute to healing damaged tissues.

Discover A Safe And Effective Treatment For Neuropathic Pain

Although neuropathy is certainly a common condition, no two patients have the same story, nor do they experience the same pain. That is why generalized TENS might not be the solution you’ve been looking for.

At Neuragenex, we can guide you through a personalized, holistic treatment journey to help you live a healthier, fuller, and pain-free life without medications or surgery.

Sciatica and Peripheral Neuropathy Pain Treatment Options with Neurofunctional Pain

Sciatica is a condition that currently affects up to forty percent of the population in the United States. While sciatica is more common in populations fifty and older, it can present in younger populations and persist throughout life as a chronic pain condition. Many people with back and joint pain conditions can expect a high possibility of experiencing sciatica at some point in their lifetime. Regardless of the preventative measures taken by patients, before or after diagnosis, the symptoms of sciatica will often debilitate and immobilize those who suffer from it. On a personal note, I have seen my own close family members become nearly immobilized for multiple days with recurring bouts of sciatica. While most of the population suffering from sciatica are middle-aged, there is no guarantee that a younger generation (say, those in their twenties or thirties) will not experience the conditions of sciatica. Males, aged 40 and older, are three times more likely to experience sciatica and seek treatment, either surgical or nonsurgical.

Sciatica pain comes from the sciatic nerve that runs from the base of the spinal cord down through the hip and pelvic area and down the length of the leg, which is the classic pain presentation of the shooting pain down the side of the leg. Most commonly, the condition is a result of nerves along your spine being compressed, which is why it is commonly associated with back pain and sacrum torsions and other such skeletal movements that can compress the nerve. It is also possible that muscle inflammation can compress the nerve as well.

Because the pain manifests along the nerves in the leg, many who experience sciatica will incorrectly assume that the problem must originate in the leg as well. This is a common misconception among those affected with sciatica and unless the proper cause is explained by a doctor, a patient may seek alternative methods for treatment with their focus on the leg, where the pain has manifested. When pain originates in one location but is expressed in another location this is a called referred pain, or radicular pain (radiating pain) as most physicians will describe it when it pertains to compressed nerves in the spine and pelvic region creating pain that radiates down into the leg. Patients who are ill-informed on the causes of sciatica and seek to treat the pain on their own will often apply heat, cold, and massaging apparatus to the affected area. These practices may only produce fleeting or ineffective results, or no results at all, but may further irritate the affected area. As with any condition of pain that exhibits itself in the body, the most important thing to do is to learn exactly what is happening in order to seek the most effective treatment. This is why a good diagnostic work up with a medical physician is important to understand the condition. There are also other pain conditions that are time sensitive in nature that may need treatment so medical physicians and thorough diagnostic testing are important know the cause of the pain. It’s also important to note here that it is not always possible to determine the cause or source of pain even with good diagnostic workups, making it even more important to have safe and effective treatment options that are non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical.

Now that we know the origins of this condition stem from nerves along the spine, we can seek further treatment that will mitigate the pain. However, to further understand an effective treatment, sciatica typically results from the nerves along the spine being pinched. This pinching occurs either as the result of a herniated disk or an overgrowth of bone along the spine that acts as a compression point against the sciatic nerve, an overgrowth that is more commonly referred to as a bone spur, or an inflamed muscle that is compressing the nerve and radiating pain. One thing for patients to consider are the risk factors associated with sciatica. Dr. Patricia Parreira and her associates determined that the risk factors for sciatica include, “[p]oor general health, physical and psychological stress, and characteristics of the person [meaning age, race, weight, and gender]” (2018). We will go further into the risk factors that could contribute to sciatica, but patients can keep Dr. Parreira’s general definition of risk factors in mind.

A less common but still contributable risk factor that causes the pinching of the sciatic nerve can be the damage that results from diabetes. This damage is somewhat akin to the damage that results in peripheral neuropathy. However, the two conditions are not entirely exclusive and multiple symptoms of sciatica are also shared with peripheral neuropathy. In fact, there are different categories or neuropathy, one being called radicular neuropathy that also derives from compressed nerves, whereas the more common peripheral neuropathy you hear about is diabetic neuropathy which is a metabolic derived problem. Both produce similar pain sensations, and both are called neuropathy. However, they are both derived differently and should be treated differently in order to ensure proper treatment options, which goes back to needing a thorough diagnostic work up that you can only get from a medical physician or medical provider, not from another type of office that can’t actually test for or diagnose a metabolic condition like diabetic neuropathy. Just make sure you are going to an actual medical office with real medical physicians when you are seeking a diagnosis and treatment solutions for your pain.

Dr. Jensen outlines the warning signs of sciatica with the following: “Unilateral leg pain more severe than low back pain, pain most commonly radiating posteriorly at the leg and below the knee, numbness and/or paranesthesia in the involved lower leg, positive neural tension test with provocation of pain in the affected leg (straight leg raise test/femoral nerve test/slump test),” and, “neurological deficit associated with the involved nerve root” (2019). Patients should also keep in mind that some of the shared symptoms include shooting pains between the lower back and legs, burning sensations, tingling sensations, and numbness which are similar symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

While peripheral neuropathy indicates itself along the fingers and toes– hence the word peripheral– sciatica is more concentrated along the spine and is further exacerbated from sitting for long periods of time. So, those who live or work under more sedentary conditions are common patients of sciatica pain. As with many of the conditions related to chronic nerve pain, lack of exercise has repeatedly been a contributing factor. The same is especially true for sciatica. Along with exercise, patients will find a litany of nonsurgical treatments for sciatica, whose accessibility and efficacy should be determined before serious consideration.

Neuragenex is pioneering the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management and creating proprietary treatment protocols that are non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic. Neurofunctional Pain Management is the concept of using high pulse electrical therapies combined with specialized hydration therapies that balance nutritional deficiencies to restore health and reduce chronic systemic inflammation and create an enhanced pain relief effect that can endure for months and months after a completed course of treatment. Neuragenex calls their proprietary treatment program Neuralgesia, which is that combination of electrical stimulation and hydration therapy in a single treatment event. Neurofunctional Pain Management stands at the forefront of the next generation of pain management treatment and is an ideal treatment option for sciatica pain in scenarios where orthopedic interventions to correct mechanical impingements are not possible or are not effective. Neuralgesia is a proprietary treatment program offered exclusively by Neuragenex and like I mentioned, it is a combination of high pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy that work together to produce enhanced pain relief that can endure for several months after a patient completes a course of treatment. Neurofunctional Pain Management is the overall concept of electrical pain relief and health restoration to effectively manage chronic pain.

Neuralgesia treatment therapies typically last for one hour, twice a week. With the combination of high pulse electrical stimulation that is classified as electroanalgesia, which creates an effect called sustained depolarization that prevents the pain referral event from occurring, and acts as a non-pharmaceutical analgesic therapy which reduced the pain/inflammation cycle and allows tissues the reduced inflammation time to repairs damaged nerves tissues. Hydration therapy with a specialized mix of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional components, patients will experience the most targeted and effective pain treatment in a short amount of time. With a balanced and effective vitamin and mineral nutritional restoration treatment and full-body hydration, combined with electrical stimulation that heals damaged nerves, Neurofunctional Pain Management is really the most effective next generation pain management treatment possible.

The mission of Neuragenex is to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify quality of life without drugs, surgery, or invasive procedures, while operating as a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic pain management program. Our vision is to be the first thought, first choice, and first step in the journey of chronic pain treatment for millions of patients across the nation.

Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy Pain Treatment Through The Next Generation Of Neurofunctional Pain Management Approach

Peripheral neuropathy, while typically a condition that results from type 2 diabetes and the insulin resistance cycle found in patients with diabetes, is one of the most difficult conditions to treat. Unfortunately, while we are familiar with the condition, that does not mean many people have been able to find an effective or lasting treatment. 

If there is one thing that patients can take away from the long and arduous history of treating peripheral neuropathy, it is that it is difficult to treat. Most patients never get full relief from the pain, and the condition gets worse over time as medications become less effective. Now, with knowledge obtained from ongoing research on the condition, we are now able to specifically target the painful symptoms of peripheral neuropathy with concentrated and effective treatments. 

Patients can take heart in knowing that as medical advancements are made, the options for treatment are also improved. Patients must also keep in mind that because there is a variety for treatment, they not only have the options for choice but the responsibility to make the best choice possible in seeking an effective treatment for chronic peripheral neuropathy.

In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about an innovative, non-surgical, and non-invasive treatment for peripheral neuropathy offered at Neuragenex: Neurofunctional Pain Management.

The Extent Of Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy Pain

Peripheral neuropathy is a term used to describe a degenerative neurological disease that affects over 20 million people in the US alone

This condition causes progressive damage to the nerves belonging to the body’s peripheral nervous system, or the ones located outside of the brain and spinal cord. 

The peripheral nervous system is responsible for transmitting information from the brain to the body’s organs, muscles, and extremities – and vice-versa. When the peripheral nerves are damaged, this transmission is interrupted, which causes symptoms such as numbness, tingling sensations, and pain

As the nerve damage progresses, peripheral neuropathy can cause disabling pain and extreme fatigue. It may also lead to complications like ulcers or abnormalities in bodily functions such as the heartbeat, sweating, and digestion. 

The nerves in the peripheral nervous system can become damaged as a consequence of several reasons, including diabetes, infections, traumatic injury, nutritional deficiencies, exposure to toxins, and medications. 

Peripheral neuropathy affects every person differently, and the set of symptoms you’ll experience is directly correlated to what kind of nerves are affected. Let’s look at the different groups of nerves that can become damaged below.

Motor Nerve Damage

Motor nerves are nerves in the peripheral nervous system responsible for transmitting signals relating to muscle movements. These nerve endings are located within the muscle mass and supply information to the brain about muscle contractions, coordination, and the body’s positioning within the surrounding space. 

When these muscles become damaged you may experience involuntary muscle movements – such as spasms, cramps, and fasciculations – as well as impaired coordination and balance. Motor nerve damage can also make falls more likely and, when it impairs muscle movement, can lead to muscle shrinking and atrophy.

Sensory Nerve Damage

The sensory nerves of the peripheral nervous system are responsible for transmitting signals to the brain relating to sensations such as temperature, touch, vibration, and pain. Sensory nerve damage prevents these signals from traveling to and being processed by the brain. 

This translates into numbness and abnormal sensations such as tingling or burning and stabbing pain. 

Sensory nerve damage may also cause several symptoms, including:

  • Loss of feeling
  • Paresthesia pain (“pins and needles” sensations)
  • Hyperesthesia (extreme sensitivity to touch)
  • Allodynia (experiencing pain in response to stimuli that should be painless)

The sensory nerves in the fingers, toes, hands, and feet are usually the first ones to be affected.

Autonomic Nerve Damage

The autonomic nerves are responsible for carrying signals to the brain relating to the body’s autonomic functions, or those functions we don’t have direct control over. For example, these nerves regulate processes such as blood circulation, heartbeat, sweating, digestion, and bowel and bladder function.  

When these nerves are damaged, you may develop what’s known as autonomic neuropathy, a serious condition that can lead to irregular heartbeat, digestion problems, excessive sweating, and bowel or bladder dysfunction

Patients with autonomic nerve damage may need medical interventions to address their condition, such as the implantation of a pacemaker.

What Do We Know About Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy?

Most patients may live with the condition of peripheral neuropathy, experience its daily inhibiting power, and believe they know all there is to know about their options for treatment because they have only ever talked to one medical provider about it. The reality is that not even the greatest minds who have studied the condition for their entire careers know all there is to know about peripheral neuropathy, and there is more research being published every year on the subject with new and better ideas for therapy.

Below, we’ll look at what we know about diagnosing, preventing, and treating neuropathy.

How Is Peripheral Neuropathy Diagnosed?

As seen above, neuropathy is considered to be a clinically challenging condition to diagnose. This is because there are no definitive diagnostic tests for it and because its “invisible” nature makes symptoms appear subjective at first. 

However, a specialized healthcare provider may use several tools and diagnostic tests to determine the nature, cause, and extent of the nerve damage. Some of these tools include the following:

  • A thorough physical examination. This includes an assessment of symptoms and a review of the patient’s medical history.
  • Blood tests. Blood tests are used to investigate nutritional imbalances, autoimmune disease, and genetic factors that may be contributing to neuropathy. 
  • Electrodiagnostic tests. Nerve conduction tests (NCS) and electromyograms (EMG) are used to assess how well the nerves work based on the strength and signals of the nerve signals. Quantitative Sensory Tests (QST) may also be used to determine how you respond to stimuli such as vibration, pressure, and temperature. 
  • Biopsies. Skin samples containing nerve fibers may be collected for examination. These tests are used to determine the nerve count on your hands or feet. 
  • Neurological examinations. During a neurological exam, a neurologist assesses your ability to feel pain and control muscle movements. 

Your doctor may also prescribe imaging tests such as MRI and CT scans. These tests are used to exclude underlying conditions and abnormalities that may be damaging or pressing on the nerves in the peripheral nervous system, such as tumors.

Can This Condition Be Prevented?

Some risk factors for neuropathy cannot be fully prevented. These include aging, genetic factors, and hereditary conditions such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. 

However, some lifestyle choices can help you safeguard your nerves from further damage. 

You can reduce your risk of peripheral neuropathy through lifestyle changes, including:

  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
  • Preventing nutritional deficiencies through a balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly and leading an active lifestyle
  • Monitoring risk factors for diabetes, including obesity
  • Preventing exposure to toxins that may damage nerves, such as arsenic

If you have been diagnosed with nerve damage, it is crucial to find an adequate treatment program to slow down or prevent the progression of the disease. Additionally, if you experience numbness and pain, a self-care routine that involves regular exercise, massages, and inspections of your hands and feet can help you reduce the risk of severe complications, such as ulcers. 

What Researchers Say About The Condition

In an article published in May of 2021, Dr. Gordon Sloan et al. raised concerns over the fact that they are still learning about peripheral neuropathy, particularly when it is a result of diabetes which they term as “DSPN” or Diabetic Sensorimotor Peripheral Neuropathy. Dr. Gordon and his associates in their key points note that, “The mechanisms of DSPN are not fully understood but involve downstream injurious pathways associated with hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and microvascular disease leading to neuronal inflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death” (2021). 

Even as doctors attempt to fully understand peripheral neuropathy, the mechanisms involved in the damage caused by the condition are not precisely understood. It is as if a vehicle refuses to start and a mechanic suggests that they know something is wrong with the engine. This is said not to take away from medical providers and researchers–after all, the human body is infinitely more complex than a car–but the analogy serves to prove the point that even those studying the condition struggle to understand it completely and learn more things they did not know before year after year.

It is easy to blame physicians when we think they should have all the answers to our problems and solutions for our pain. Dr. Gordon and his associates seem to understand and share this frustration, especially when confronting the pain of their patients. And while there are those patients who do not experience pain from DSPN, the frustration continues to mount for both doctors and patients. 

Dr. Gordon continues in his analysis to state that “[t]he reasons why some patients develop painless rather than painful DSPN are unknown; however, alterations in the peripheral and central nervous system have emerged as potential explanations”. These “potential explanations” are often all we have to work with when it comes to understanding the mechanisms and treatment of peripheral neuropathy, but patients and doctors should take heart in knowing that the research continues at as fast a pace we can keep.

A Deeper Dive Into Possible Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy

Even if you have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, understanding what’s causing this condition isn’t always easy. Today, up to 30% of neuropathy cases remain idiopathic, meaning that they have no known cause. Additionally, diabetes – and, in particular, poorly-managed blood sugar – is considered to be one of the main triggers of nerve damage. 

This is because sudden and drastic fluctuations in blood glucose levels can impair the functioning of the blood vessels responsible for supplying nerves with oxygen and nutrients. When this supply is disrupted, nerve endings can become damaged or die. 

According to a 2019 study, over 50% of people with diabetes have neuropathy. 

In the sections below, we’ll look in more detail at the possible causes and contributing factors to neuropathy.

The Relationship Between Diabetes And Peripheral Neuropathy

For the time being, it should suffice to know that peripheral neuropathy is a condition that typically results from diabetes and that managing diabetes will likely contribute to the management of peripheral neuropathy. In an article published in February of 2021, Doctors at the University of Milano-Bicocca surmise that all types of peripheral neuropathy, “. . . are characterized by nerves damage and axonal loss, and they could be classified in hereditary or acquired forms” (2021). 

Patients can imagine that sugar is a crystal structure with non-conforming shapes and edges that rub against everything it touches. Many people have seen a power washer with added sand particles in the water flow to enhance the destructive force of the water by having the sand particles and their sharp edges grind away at a surface like sandpaper. 

Sugar acts largely the same way in our bodies, with concentrations of sugar in the blood creating a directly observable destruction in the body. Insulin is the hormone required to trigger cellular uptake of sugar where it is metabolized. 

Insulin resistance results in cells not responding to the command to take up sugar, and leaving that sugar circulating in the blood, grinding away at everything it touches throughout the body like a power washer with sand in the water flow. 

If the body experiences a higher intake of sugar, more insulin is required to clean the blood and uptake the sugar. Over time, after a meal, the level of blood sugar should decrease to normal levels and the insulin may be lowered to match it, but the damage is done. 

This is a contributing factor to why doctors ask for a fasting blood test. They don’t want to test your blood sugar after you eat because it’s full of sugar. However, if you have not eaten in 8 hours, that blood sugar test has a lot more value to your doctor in learning about your insulin resistance condition. The body is unable to handle a high level of sugar in the blood and damage will result, damage pointed directly to the body’s most sensitive structures like microvascular passages and other delicate tissues. 

Most likely the first noticeable systems affected by this extreme insulin resistance are at the edge or periphery, hence the small delicate microvascular tissues, and directly affecting the peripheral nerves that report sensations and pain. Thus, the term peripheral neuropathy has been used to describe the condition as patients who suffer from it feel it in their fingers and toes where the nerves are at the edge or peripheral of their body.

Acrylamides: A Possible Contributing Factor

Peripheral neuropathy is not only a condition that results from diabetes, but it can result from several factors such as prescription medications, oncology and chemotherapy regimens, and even environmental chemicals including what researchers are calling acrylamide. 

In an article published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research, doctors Bin-Jumah et al. found that, “[a]crylamide is a chemical monomer; its polymer compounds are used in the manufacture of plastic, papers, adhesive tapes, dyes, and food packaging. Lately, scientists found that cooking (mainly roasting, baking, and frying) yields acrylamide” (2021). 

The research continues and suggests that, “[a]crylamide has toxic effects on different body systems [including] genitourinary, reproductive, nervous system, along with being a carcinogenic substance. The neurotoxicity of acrylamide includes central and peripheral neuropathy. In humans, the clinical manifestations include sensory or motor peripheral neuropathy, drowsiness, or cerebellar ataxia”. 

While the effects of acrylamide, including peripheral neuropathy, are indeed terrifying, it is imperative that patients stay optimistic in the face of potential exposure or worsening of their condition.

Other Contributing Factors To Peripheral Neuropathy

While a lot is yet to be understood about the causes of peripheral neuropathy, research is shedding light on risk factors that may be contributing to or aggravating this disease. 

Below, we’ll explore the known causes of nerve damage.

Injuries And Trauma

Direct trauma is one of the leading causes of damage to a single nerve, a condition known as mononeuropathy. Traumatic injuries can interrupt a nerve’s connection to the brain, which can lead to neuropathic pain and numbness. 

Medical conditions such as carpal and cubital tunnel syndrome may also lead to nerve damage. In these cases, the structures around the nerve press on and irritate major nerves that connect the limb to the brain and the spinal cord, thus causing temporary or permanent neuropathy.

Autoimmune Diseases

A 2018 study shows that genetic factors contribute to 1 in every 2500 cases of neuropathy. Additionally, some forms of neuropathy – such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease – are hereditary. 

Beyond genetic and hereditary factors, autoimmune diseases may also lead to nerve damage. This is the case of degenerative or chronic inflammatory diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions are triggered by an overactive immune system, and cause the body to sustain high levels of inflammation for prolonged periods. Such high levels of inflammation can damage nerve fibers and cause neuropathy.

Hormonal Imbalance

Some hormonal imbalances may contribute to neuropathy. You may be at greater risk of nerve damage if your body produces too much or too little of certain hormones, including:

  • Estrogen and testosterone. Sex hormones play a role in regulating inflammation levels. A sudden drop in these hormones, which may occur due to health events like menopause, can lead to inflammation-induced nerve damage. 
  • Thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism (having an underactive thyroid) can cause nerve damage by increasing fluid retention, causing the tissue to swell, and causing metabolic dysfunction. 
  • Growth hormones. High levels of growth hormones can cause structures of the body (i.e.: bones and joints) to enlarge and press on nearby nerves.
  • Progesterone. Progesterone contributes to developing and maintaining the myelin, which is the nerve’s protective sheath. When progesterone levels drop, the myelin is left unprotected, which can lead to a type of nerve damage known as demyelinating neuropathy.

Kidney And Liver Disorders

Kidney dysfunction can cause fluids, water, and waste products to accumulate in the body, which can have a toxic effect on the nerves. This condition is known as uremic neuropathy and affects an estimated 20-50% of people with kidney disease. Diabetes and high blood pressure are two of the leading causes of kidney disorders. 

Neuropathy is also a common complication of advanced liver disease. In this case, nerve damage occurs due to the fact that, when the liver does not work properly, toxins begin to build up in the blood. In some cases, these toxins may travel to the brain and cause a serious condition known as hepatic encephalopathy. 

Alcohol misuse is one of the leading causes of liver disease, alongside obesity and hepatitis infections. Additionally, chronic exposure to high quantities of alcohol can damage the myelin and lead to neuropathy. It is estimated that between 25% and 66% of those with alcohol use disorders also have neuropathy.

Vitamin Imbalances

Some nutritional deficiencies are associated with a higher risk of nerve damage. According to a 2008 study, these nutrients include:

  • Copper
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B9

Too much or too little Vitamin B6 can also cause neuropathy. 

Some metabolic and digestive disorders may prevent your body from absorbing these essential nutrients. These conditions include Celiac disease and alcohol use disorder.


Nerve damage may also be caused by the sustained high levels of inflammation the body produces in response to infection. Such high levels of inflammation can damage the myelin, thus leading to peripheral neuropathy. Some infections that may trigger this condition include:

  • Shingles
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Diphtheria 

It is estimated that over 50% of people with HIV also have neuropathy.

The Effects Of Peripheral Neuropathy On Daily Life

Being a degenerative disease, peripheral neuropathy often starts with mild symptoms, such as discomfort and numbness in the hands and feet. However, over time, living with neuropathy can lead to an array of complications. 

Hypersensitivity to touch can cause you to experience pain at the lightest touch, which can prevent you from being productive at work or getting a restful night’s sleep. It is estimated that sleep disturbances affect nearly 70% of those with nerve damage

Additionally, if you are unable to feel pain, you may inadvertently expose your limbs to extreme heat or cold, or let infected wounds go untreated, which can lead to sores, ulcers, and the death of tissue (gangrene). Amputations due to neuropathy account for up to 75% of all non-traumatic amputations

Beyond causing debilitating pain and disability, neuropathy can also affect your mental health. According to a 2020 study, depression and anxiety affect 65% and 73% of people with neuropathy, respectively. 

Nerve damage can also affect your professional life and 43% of people with neuropathy report that their employment status is affected by their condition. 

While the complications of neuropathy can undoubtedly be serious, some treatment options can help you manage your pain and prevent the disease from progressing. Let’s look at these lines of treatment below.

Why Traditional Medications Don’t Work

Neuropathy is commonly treated with medications such as painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), narcotics, anesthetics, and topical drugs.

However, given the chronic nature of this condition, taking medications daily can expose you to a cascade of risks and side effects. Understanding the advantages and risks of each line of treatment can help you make a more informed decision for your health. 

Below, we’ll look at the pharmaceutical treatments traditionally prescribed for neuropathy according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


Antidepressants may be prescribed to manage neuropathic pain and address the mental health complications of neuropathy. This class of drugs works by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters in the spinal cord that reduce pain signals. 

Some of the antidepressants prescribed for neuropathy include venlafaxine, bupropion, and duloxetine, which belong to a class of drugs known as tertiary-amine TCAs. 

Taking antidepressants regularly can lead to eating disorders, fibromyalgia, insomnia, and digestive issues. They may also increase the risk of heart disease and death.


Some local anesthetics can help reduce neuropathic pain by blocking nerve conduction and preventing nerve signals from reaching the brain. This line of treatment is often prescribed when other pain-killing medications have not worked. Anti-epileptic medications that work similarly to anesthetics may also be prescribed. 

Headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and gastrointestinal problems are just a few of the side effects caused by this line of treatment.


Some topical pain-killing creams may help reduce the symptoms of neuropathy, especially if nerve damage is a complication of shingles. Some gels, balms, and creams that may be prescribed include:

  • capsaicin (the active compound in chili peppers) cream
  • Menthol-based counterirritants
  • Lidocaine creams
  • Topical NSAIDs

Narcotics And Opioids

Narcotics and opioids such as oxycodone may temporarily relieve neuropathic pain by blocking pain signals traveling to the brain. Although these drugs should only be used if other treatments have not worked, a 2021 study showed that nearly 44% of patients diagnosed with neuropathy between 2014 and 2018 were prescribed opioids. 

Narcotics can lead to serious complications, including drowsiness, slowed breathing, euphoria, and addiction.

Why Surgery Isn’t Worth The Trouble

Surgical interventions may be prescribed if the damage and irritation to a nerve is due to enlarged surrounding structures, such as in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome. 

However, the scientific community – alongside the team of specialists at Neuragenex – advised against surgical interventions, especially if you suffer from neuropathy caused by diabetes, infection, nutritional deficiencies, or exposure to toxins. 

Even if surgery may appear to be your last resort to ease neuropathic pain, invasive procedures used to repair damaged nerves can further damage the nerves and lead to long and painful rehabilitation periods.

Other Non-Surgical Treatments

Some non-surgical treatments may help you ease the pain derived from neuropathy and prevent further nerve damage. However, these treatments are not equally effective on all patients.

Let’s look at what should be included in a non-invasive treatment for neuropathy below:

  • Acupuncture and massage therapy: Acupuncture and massages may help relax the muscles around damaged nerves and stimulate blood flow, thus easing pressure and relieving pain. Massage therapy may also trigger the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. 
  • Nutritional supplements: Some supplements may help you prevent or correct nutritional deficiencies that contribute to neuropathy, such as B12 and copper. 
  • Quitting drinking and smoking: Avoiding alcohol and tobacco can limit your exposure to toxins that may further damage peripheral nerves. 
  • Self-care: Maintaining a structured personal hygiene routine and examining your feet for infected wounds can help you prevent some of the complications of neuropathy, including ulcers. 
  • Regular exercise: Regular physical activity can strengthen your musculoskeletal system and prevent muscle mass loss, which may help counteract the symptoms deriving from damage to motor nerves. Staying active can also help you keep a healthy weight and manage your blood sugar, thus reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes, which are risk factors for neuropathy. 
  • Managing your blood sugar levels: If neuropathy is caused by uncontrolled diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels can help you prevent further damage to your nerves and stop neuropathy from progressing. 

Lastly, physical therapy may help. With the help of a physical therapist, you may be able to boost your muscle strength, improve your flexibility, and counteract the symptoms of neuropathy. Improving your physical health may also reduce the risk of falls and injuries, which are often caused by neuropathy.

Is There An Effective Treatment For Chronic Peripheral Neuropathy Pain?

Effective treatment options for peripheral neuropathy that don’t involve medications or surgery do exist – but not many patients are aware of them. By educating yourself, you’ll discover lines of treatments for chronic peripheral neuropathy pain based on regenerative medicine and natural therapies, such as Neurofunctional Pain Management.

Neuragenex is at the forefront of chronic pain management by implementing cutting edge chronic pain management protocols that relieve pain, restore health, and magnify the quality of life for patients with chronic pain. 

Neuragenex has pioneered the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management and created proprietary treatment protocols that stand at the forefront of the next generation of chronic pain management and peripheral neuropathy treatment. 

Neurofunctional Pain Management is a proprietary treatment program offered exclusively by Neuragenex. This treatment is a combination of high pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy that work together to produce enhanced pain relief that may endure for several months after a patient completes a course of treatment. 

For the most effective and lasting relief from peripheral neuropathy pain, Neurofunctional Pain Management treatments typically last for one hour, twice a week. With the combination of high pulse electrical stimulation which creates a sustained depolarization effect on the pain neurons, while also stimulating tissue regeneration that repairs damaged nerves and damaged microvascular tissues

Specialized hydration therapy of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional components help patients restore health and create a synergy effect on their pain treatment condition. The combination of these two therapies create an enhanced pain relief effect that may endure for months without the need for drugs, surgery or invasive procedures. 

Many patients experience relief after a single treatment session and those who complete their entire treatment plan may experience months and months of pain relief and enhanced quality of life.

The Next Generation Of Peripheral Neuropathy Pain Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, relying on medications and enduring the side effects of pharmacotherapy may seem like the only options. Fortunately, as research around the causes, symptoms, and treatments for neuropathy progresses, a new option is now available to today’s patients: Neurofunctional Pain Management.

Neuragenex understands that with a balance of high pulse electrical stimulation, and effective vitamin mineral restoration treatment to restore general full-body hydration, the treatment outcomes with Neuragenex are substantial and constitute a new effective way of treating chronic pain. Neurofunctional Pain Management is really the most effective next generation chronic pain treatment in the medical field. Neurofunctional Pain Management as the next generation in pain management meets the Neuragenex mission to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify quality of life while operating as a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic pain treatment program. Our vision is to be the first thought, first choice, and first step in the journey of chronic pain relief.

Peripheral Neuropathy Explained: A Loss of Signal with the Mind

Burning, tingling, numbing, and stabbing pain in the fingers and toes; a loss of balance and hand coordination—these are all signs of peripheral neuropathy, a condition that millions of Americans suffer through every day.

Those patients who experience these symptoms have difficulty understanding what these sensations mean and how they are related to their underlying chronic health conditions. Many of them have never suffered a major injury or had severe health problems, and they still experience the debilitating pain of peripheral neuropathy.

An Outsider’s Perspective On The Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy

For an outsider—someone who has never experienced the condition—the symptoms seem even more confusing and odd. What’s even more outlandish for outsiders is when they hear that the most probable cause of these sensations is type 2 diabetes. How can someone’s diet and blood sugar translate to pain in the nerves at the ends of their body?

Granted, peripheral neuropathy is not only caused by type 2 diabetes; it can also be caused by severe accidents or injuries.

However, with the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy being type 2 diabetes, an increase in type 2 diabetes prevalence in the population directly causes an increase in peripheral neuropathy prevalence, along with a diminished quality of life for everyone around those who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy pain.

The Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes

In a study conducted in 2020, the shocking number of type 2 diabetes diagnoses and the increased trajectory of diagnoses demonstrates the undeniable and inevitable increase in peripheral neuropathy.

The study concluded that type 2 diabetes had a “. . . global prevalence in adults in 2017 of 8.8% of the world population, with the anticipation of a further increase to 9.9% by 2045” (Standl, 2020).

At this time, the world population suffering from type 2 diabetes is ostensibly at 9% and with a population of seven billion people, six-hundred-and-thirty-million people have been diagnosed with the condition.

The Link Between Type 2 Diabetes And Peripheral Neuropathy

Physicians everywhere have declared type 2 diabetes an epidemic, and because of its associated and damaging symptoms, the threat is real.

But why diabetes? How is the condition related to the undeniable nerve damage caused by peripheral neuropathy?

We must first look at how the underlying condition is diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed by identifying the level of insulin that is created to balance out the body’s sugar intake. It is the pancreas that lowers blood sugar by producing the insulin hormone. When blood sugar rises after a meal, insulin is produced to decrease or keep blood sugar in check and in balance.

As the body takes in more sugar, more insulin is required. If the body takes in its maximum intake of sugar, there will not be enough insulin to decrease or balance the amount of blood sugar in your body.

Eventually, the body becomes unaffected by the level of insulin that has been added or naturally produced, and unless blood sugars are lowered, the body will continue to experience the myriad complications associated with diabetes. These underlying conditions associated with diabetes are often referred to as “insulin resistance“.

How Insulin Resistance Causes Damage To Neurons

Physicians Liumeng Jian and Guangda Yang confirmed in a recent study in 2020 that “Diabetes-related metabolic factors such as increased glucose, decreased insulin, and increased lipids produce changes underlying the development of diabetic neuropathy. Injury to neurons, microvascular endothelium, and Schwann cells in DM contributes to the pathogenesis of neuropathy.” (2020)

These changes associated with diabetes and insulin resistance are damaging to patients’ neurons (the cells responsible for communicating sensory experiences to the brain). The damage inflicted on neurons can account for patients losing feeling in their toes, feet, and sometimes fingers or hands.

Symptoms Of Nerve Damage From Type 2 Diabetes

Now that you know how diabetes-related metabolic factors can contribute to the damage of your neurons. With that in mind, the following are a few of the primary symptoms of nerve damage caused by type 2 diabetes:

Touch Sensitivity

It is common for peripheral nerve damage to cause touch sensitivity. It can affect your hands, arms, legs, and feet. This sensitivity is often described as a “tingling” or “pins and needles” sensation that usually begins in the feet. The sensation has also been described as feeling like you’re wearing gloves or socks. This sensitivity can grow quite extreme, even causing discomfort at the slightest touch like that of bedsheets at night.

Muscle Weakness

Peripheral nerve damage is also linked to muscle weakness. Your peripheral nervous system includes your motor nerves, which are responsible for your skeletal and somatic movements. Because type 2 diabetes can damage your motor nerves, it can lead to muscle weakness and various other issues, such as painful cramps, muscle shrinking, and uncontrollable muscle twitching.

Balance Problems

In addition to touch sensitivity, damage to your sensory nerves caused by type 2 diabetes can result in issues with your balance. In more specific terms, it can result in the loss of sense of position, which makes it more difficult to perform complex movements, such as walking or maintaining your balance when your eyes are closed.

Diagnosis of Peripheral Neuropathy Based on Diabetic Symptoms

Doctors will often check for signs of peripheral neuropathy by running a soft tool over the surface of the patient’s toes and feet. The doctor may then test for the neurons’ response to sharp pain from a needle prick as well as the differences between heat and cold.

If patients experience little to no sensation from these methods, the doctor may diagnose the patient with peripheral neuropathy. There are many other diagnostic tests that may be employed to assist in the diagnosis and severity.

In the end, the connections between peripheral neuropathy and type 2 diabetes are undeniable, but the condition of peripheral neuropathy– as mentioned previously– can also be caused by significant physical damage due to injury.

Regardless of the cause of peripheral neuropathy, the damage to the neurons that communicate pain to the brain is what signals a clear diagnosis of the condition.

Damaged Neurons Cause The Loss Of Signal With The Mind

Peripheral neuropathy is frustrating and, at times, confusing. Even with a basic understanding of the condition and why it happens, patients do not understand why they sometimes feel numbness in their feet while their hands feel on fire.

Many times, patients will express, with understandable frustration, their loss of balance when getting out of bed every morning. Loss of balance is one of the primary elements of reduced quality of life. It creates anxiety and patients are less willing to engage in activity, exercise, and movement in general due to this loss of balance.

Loss of sleep is another highly critical reduction in quality of life that is directly associated with pain caused by peripheral neuropathy.

The best way to understand your body’s differing reactions is to view its peripheral nerves as radio waves that have lost connection.

Sometimes, when peripheral nerves are damaged, the signal between the damaged nerves and your brain will become static and fuzzy. The message being sent from the nerves isn’t clear to the brain, and so the brain attempts to interpret the message to the best of its ability.

It’s not the brain that is damaged, it’s the nerve. And so, as the brain receives these messages from the periphery of the body, it will consistently lose signals and ask the nerves if they are correctly interpreting things: “Are we in pain? Are we asleep? Do we need to be concerned?”

But the fact is, the nerves have lost signal and are out of the brain’s range. Unless effective treatment is applied, the damage will remain, and the nerves will misfire and send false signals to the brain.

An Effective Treatment From Neuragenex: Neuralgesia

Regardless of the causes, history, or symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, there are few effective treatments that can reduce the pain and the problems associated with this condition.

Neuragenex offers a solution that works to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify the quality of life through a proprietary treatment protocol called Neuralgesia. Hundreds of patients have experienced relief from the pains and irritations of peripheral neuropathy through next-generation Neuralgesia treatment protocols.

Patients who may have suffered for years or even decades with treatments that hardly worked or stopped working overtime can now get a next-generation pain management treatment for peripheral neuropathy that serves to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify the quality of life. Many patients experience immediate relief and regain function in their extremities after one session.

In some cases, patients report being pain-free after a single treatment session for the first time in years and also report amazing quality-of-life successes like being able to sleep through the night again for the first time in years.

Neuralgesia protocols are a one-hour treatment twice a week. Neuralgesia uses a combination of high-pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy to produce pain relief effects that may last for months and months after a completed course of treatment.

Patients who start the Neuralgesia treatment protocol with Neuragenex are often amazed that they have reduced or relieved pain, they feel better all around, they want to move and get exercise and they feel like their quality of life is back, not just better, but a magnified quality of life.

This is what Neuragenex aims to accomplish for all its patients using our proprietary Neuralgesia therapy protocols.

Living With Peripheral Neuropathy: The Day-to-Day Life

For patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy, some of the most difficult daily tasks used to be simple and without thought. Because of the numbing, stabbing, tingling, and burning pains that persist in the fingers, hands, toes, and feet, many patients lose the ability to maintain what they would call a normal lifestyle. 

In other words, peripheral neuropathy patients have a diminished quality of life. 

For loved ones of these patients, the most difficult aspect of peripheral neuropathy is understanding the condition and learning how they can help with something they don’t completely understand. With peripheral neuropathy, understanding the day-to-day conditions of a patient is paramount in order to seek care and treatment.

5 Peripheral Neuropathy Complications

Patients who suffer from severe cases of peripheral neuropathy will often encounter its effects the second they step out of bed. Shooting and burning pain just walking around, inability to participate in normal physical movements and activities, and fear and anxiety of worsening symptoms when engaged in any activity in the presence of loved ones. 

Patients who are elderly and have lived with the prolonged effects of peripheral neuropathy are at an increased risk of danger simply when getting out of bed. With a loss of balance being one of the most common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, elderly patients have often experienced twisted ankles, hyper-extended knees, bruising, and even broken bones. 

In turn, balance problems and falls resulting in fractures are some of the most common causes of hospitalizations.

But to understand the full extent to which peripheral neuropathy can affect a person’s life, it is crucial to look at all the complications that can arise from not managing this condition properly. Let’s look at these complications below.

The following are complications associated with Peripheral Neuropathy:

1. Injuries, Wounds, and Ulcers From Loss of Sensation in Neuropathy

One of the most common symptoms of neuropathy is numbness – or a loss of feeling that usually begins in the hands and feet. At first, mild numbness might not feel like a major problem. However, over time, damaged sensory nerve endings become unable to send signals to the brain related to sensations of pain, touch, vibration, or temperature. 

In turn, you may no longer be able to feel the pain deriving from an infected wound in your feet, or you might inadvertently expose your limbs to extreme heat or cold. This can lead to wounds and injuries which, if unaddressed, can become infected and lead to ulcers and sores.

2. Cardiovascular Autonomic Neuropathy

Neuropathy commonly affects sensory and motor nerves, which are the nerves responsible for carrying signals to the brain relating to touch, temperature, and muscle movements. However, in some cases, nerve damage can affect the autonomic nerves, which have the role of transmitting to the brain signals relating to body functions we don’t have direct control over. These functions include blood pressure and heartbeat. 

In severe cases, damage to the autonomic nerves responsible for regulating the heartbeat can lead to what’s called cardiac autonomic neuropathy. This type of neuropathy can cause erratic heartbeat and resting tachycardia, leading to a fivefold increase in the risk of death by heart attack (myocardial infarction).

Currently, cardiac autonomic neuropathy is considered to be one of the most common severe complications of diabetes.

3. Digestive Issues Due to Autonomic Nerve Damage

If autonomic neuropathy affects the nerves responsible for controlling the digestive system, you might experience a range of gastrointestinal problems. Some of the most common complications of gastrointestinal autonomic neuropathy include:

  • Digestive issues such as constipation and diarrhea
  • Abnormal sensations such as loss of appetite and feeling full after a few bites of food
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling bloated 
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Heartburn 
  • Gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying)

Problems with the digestive system might make it harder to control blood sugar levels, especially in people with diabetes, and can lead to nutritional deficiencies. These consequences, in turn, can worsen neuropathy and lead to further nerve damage.

4. Bladder Control Loss

Loss of bladder control – a condition called neurogenic bladder – is caused by damage to the autonomic and motor nerves involved with the correct functioning of the urinary system. 

This condition, which is most commonly caused by diabetic neuropathy, can lead to difficulty sensing a full bladder, difficulty urinating, urinary incontinence, and inability to empty the bladder during urination. 

These side effects can lead to further complications, including urinary tract infections.

5. Gangrene and Amputations

As seen above, the inability to feel pain and discomfort deriving from an infected wound or exposure to extreme heat and cold can lead to ulcers. If not properly addressed, the infection can cause the death of surrounding tissue, which causes what’s called “gangrene”. 

If not immediately addressed, gangrene might require limb amputation. 

Currently, 25-90% of all amputations are attributable to diabetes mellitus and related diabetic neuropathies.

Along with the various sensations experienced by patients in their feet, it’s the fear that they will lose those feet with prolonged peripheral neuropathy after numbness sets in permanently and infections and ulcers dramatically increase the health risks of living with peripheral neuropathy. 

With these symptoms being a very real probability, patients would do well to recognize the metastasis of their peripheral neuropathy pain into ulcers and a final amputation.

However, fear of this condition materializing into something worse is not necessarily a bad thing. Often it is fear of a condition getting worse that motivates patients or their loved ones to seek treatment for that condition. Unfortunately, the reality of seeking effective treatment is troublesome at best. 

As patients live day-to-day with the effects of peripheral neuropathy, many rely on the aid of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) or consider the life-altering effects of drastic and invasive surgery.

The Side Effects Of NSAID Dependency In Peripheral Neuropathy Patients

Nearly 60% of Americans battling chronic pain use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly to manage their condition. These medications are certainly accessible and affordable, but patients should not underestimate the risks and side effects they are exposing themselves to.

With NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen, patients often become dependent and require regular doses which can cause unwanted side effects that include:

Gastrointestinal (Gi) Bleeding

The chronic use of NSAIDs over long periods can compromise the health of the gastrointestinal system. In particular, these drugs cause injury to the gastrointestinal mucosa (the inner lining that protects the digestive tract). 

In 1-2% of people taking NSAIDs regularly to manage their neuropathic pain, damage to the mucosa can cause lesions and internal bleeding. This happens because NSAIDs have an inhibiting effect on the platelets, which are the blood cells responsible for healing wounds. 

When left unaddressed, GI bleeding can have severe consequences, including shock, anemia, and inhibited blood flow.

Myocardial Infarction

Studies have shown that taking NSAIDs regularly for any length of time can lead to an increased risk of developing a heart attack (myocardial infarction). And, this can happen in as little as a week!

This is because non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs affect how the chemicals responsible for preventing blood clots work, making obstructions in blood vessels and arteries more likely. Additionally, NSAIDs can increase the body’s retention of fluids and salt by inhibiting the correct functioning of the kidneys. In turn, high levels of salt can cause hypertension or high blood pressure. 

The risk of developing a myocardial infarction is higher among people with existing heart conditions.


As seen above, taking NSAIDs can increase the likelihood of blood clots. What’s more, NSAIDs can cause the narrowing of blood vessels (vasoconstriction) by inhibiting the proper functioning of prostaglandins, which are the chemicals in charge of relaxing veins and arteries. 

Combined, these effects can cut out the blood supply to the brain and cause ischaemic strokes.

Peptic Ulcer

Peptic ulcers are lesions of the lining of the stomach or of the first part of the small intestine. If left untreated, they can lead to severe consequences, including stomach cancer, obstruction, and internal bleeding. 

It is estimated that NSAIDs cause 10-30% of all peptic ulcers by inhibiting the chemicals in the gastrointestinal system responsible for protecting the mucosa.

Acute Renal Failure

As seen above, NSAIDs cause the narrowing of blood vessels and reduce the levels of chemicals (prostaglandins) responsible for relaxing veins and arteries. This reduces the blood flow to the kidneys and inhibits their ability to work properly. 

In turn, waste material, toxins, and salt begin to build up in the kidneys, which can lead to Acute Renal Failure, a severe condition that can be fatal if not immediately addressed. Since aging causes a natural loss of kidney function, Acute Renal Failure is more likely among patients aged over 65.

As patients worry and fret over a solution to their peripheral neuropathy pain, the desire to seek out invasive surgery increases. Many who seek out surgery are accompanied by understandable anxiety– a fear of cost and irreparable damage. 

Patients who are faced with the option of surgery and consider it seriously will often experience anxiety because of their lack of options and education involving peripheral neuropathy and its treatment.

The Cost Of Living With Peripheral Neuropathy And How Neuragenex Can Help

Doctors who are accustomed to performing the surgeries would do well to treat patients with patience through their anxiety with education and one-on-one time, if possible. 

Unfortunately, many doctors do not take the time to educate their patients about the side effects of invasive surgery or the surprising costs associated with that surgery. In the end, living with peripheral neuropathy is costly.

Some of the costs include:

Dosage And Dosing-Schedule Adjustments Of PIs

Common treatments prescribed for peripheral neuropathy include NSAIDs and other over-the-counter pain relievers as well as anticonvulsant drugs, antidepressants, and topical medications such as capsaicin.

Beyond the cost of these medications, patients also have to deal with the expenses related to adjusting their dosage over time as their disease progresses. 

Although these costs might vary from one person to another, statistics conducted in 2006 showed that, in Canada, patients with neuropathy faced $1,137 every 3 months in direct costs (77% of which were attributable to medications, prescriptions, and specialist visits) and $1,430 in indirect costs.

PI Treatment Discontinuation And Switching

Although neuropathy is a widespread condition, it remains challenging to diagnose and treat. This is because this disease can have several underlying causes and can manifest itself with a range of symptoms. What’s more, around a third of cases of neuropathy have no known cause (idiopathic neuropathy). 

This causes patients and healthcare providers to undergo long periods of trial and error to find a treatment that is effective and only causes tolerable side effects. Undergoing several lines of treatment and switching from one therapy to another can be expensive for patients. 

According to 2019 estimations, the first line of treatment costs patients an average of $23,183, while subsequent therapies can add up to $37,880 or more.

Medications To Address The Pain

The cost of pain medications can vary, often according to the severity of symptoms and advancement of the disease. However, the economic cost of chronic pain deriving from neuropathy is certainly not negligible. 

The total cost of prescription medications recommended to patients battling chronic pain in the US is $17.8 billion annually. Additionally, individuals with chronic pain are estimated to pay $7,726 more than people with no pain in healthcare costs each year.


In some cases, neuropathy can be caused by soft and hard tissues (like bones, ligaments, and tendons) pressing on a nerve. This can happen in the case of conditions such as Carpal and Cubital Tunnel Syndromes. Additionally, health events like direct trauma can cause bone fractures, tendon ruptures, and mechanical issues that can damage a nerve.

In these cases, patients might be recommended to undergo surgical procedures that aim to decompress or free a nerve. These procedures are not only expensive, but they can also lead to a cascade of indirect costs, such as lost wages, missed days at work, and expensive rehabilitation therapies. 

For example, undergoing a Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery can cost around $3540 and involve a recovery period that can go from 3-4 months to a year.

How Neuragenex Can Help You Prevent Surgery

Facing the prospect of having to undergo surgery is not only financially difficult but also emotionally straining, and physically taxing. In the end, patients who live through these troubles want a treatment that is effective, affordable, and accessible.

There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy ranging from diabetic-induced neuropathy to medication-induced neuropathy. 

Regardless of the causes, symptoms, or history of peripheral neuropathy, Neuragenex offers a next generation solution to peripheral neuropathy pain with its proprietary Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment protocol. 

Neurofunctional Pain Management  treatment sessions are twice a week for one hour and the experience is social with patients engaging with physicians and staff the entire time they are in treatment. Neurofunctional Pain Management  is a combination of high pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy that produces an enhanced pain reduction effect that can last for many months after a patient completes their course of treatment. Neurofunctional Pain Management  is not only effective at treating peripheral neuropathy but is also highly effective at treating a wide range of chronic pain conditions such as back pain, knee pain and joint pain, chronic migraines and headaches, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain stemming from accidents or surgery.

Neuragenex is on a mission to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify quality of life across the nation without medication, surgery, or invasive procedures. Out vision is to be the first thought, first choice, and first step in the journey of chronic pain management.

Peripheral Neuropathy Pain Management: Dealing With The Condition

Affecting nearly 2.5% of the world population, nerve pain is certainly widespread; however, because of its “invisible” nature, it is often not well understood, diagnosed, or treated. 

But just because the pain, distress, and abnormal sensations are not immediately noticeable to others, it does not mean that nerve pain isn’t serious or life-changing.

It is important to educate yourself about the causes and symptoms of neuropathy and look for a pain management strategy that is sustainable and efficient in the long term. 

With Neuragenex’s Neurofunctional Pain Management approach, individuals with peripheral neuropathy today have an alternative option to deal with their condition that does not rely on medications or surgery. Let’s take a look at how these treatment options for peripheral neuropathy can help.

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Simply, peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to the nerves in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which are the nerves that lie outside of the brain and the spinal cord. 

There are three types of nerves in the PNS:

  • Motor nerves – Motor nerves are the ones controlling the movement of muscles and are responsible for carrying movement-related signals to the brain. 
  • Sensory nerves – Sensory nerves transmit signals relating to sensations to the brain, which include touch, temperature, and vibration. A high concentration of these nerve fibers can be found in the skin of the fingertips and palms.
  • Autonomic nerves – Autonomic nerves are responsible for managing body functions we don’t have direct control over, such as breathing, digesting, and sweating. 

When these nerves become damaged, motor, sensory, and autonomic signals are unable to reach the brain, thus leading to a cascade of symptoms, including numbness, extreme sensitivity to touch, and spasms. In severe cases, this can lead to muscle atrophy, erratic heartbeat, digestive problems, and loss of bladder or bowel control. 

Nerve damage can affect a single nerve (mononeuropathy) or multiple nerves in different areas of the body (polyneuropathy), and there are over 100 forms of neuropathy. Depending on what nerves the damage extends to, a patient might experience different neuropathic pain.

What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?

While it sometimes manifests as a lack of sensitivity and numbness, peripheral neuropathy is most commonly a condition of burning, tingling, and stabbing pain that fires on the peripheral nervous system. Patients who experience the pains of peripheral neuropathy explain that there is a burning or irritating sensation in the fingers, hands, toes, and feet. While this pain can vary between a light tingling and an intense burning; however, it is ultimately the loss of function and quality of life that affects patients the most, such as loss of balance and reduced quality of sleep or lack of sleep altogether due to ongoing neuropathy pain. 

Loss of function can lead to loss of balance when peripheral neuropathy exhibits in the feet. This can be especially dangerous the older the patients get and the longer their type 2 diabetes goes untreated – the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. However, patients aren’t always as concerned with the cause of their condition as they are with the solution for treatment.

Understanding The Types Of Pain Caused By Peripheral Neuropathy

With over 7 trillion nerve endings present in the human body that can potentially become damaged, it is easy to see why neuropathy can manifest itself with a variety of different symptoms. 

Nonetheless, understanding how neuropathy can affect your body is the first step to accurately diagnosing nerve pain, uncovering the underlying causes of this condition, and finding a suitable treatment program. Let’s start by looking at the common consequences of nerve pain below.

Burning Pain

Burning pain, especially in the hands and feet, is one of the most common symptoms of neuropathy. Burning sensations are a result of damaged nerve endings in the epidermis (skin), which can become overactive and send improper signals to the brain. 

Nerve damage to sensory nerves (sensory neuropathy) is one of the leading causes of burning feet.

Paresthesia Pain

People with neuropathy often describe their pain as tingling, prickling, or “pins and needles” sensations. These manifestations of neuropathy fall under the category of paresthesia pain, which is caused by improper nerve signaling. This is due to abnormalities or damage to the pathway that connects a peripheral nerve to the brain’s sensory cortex.


Hyperesthesia refers to the hypersensitivity to touch caused by damaged sensory nerves that become overactive and begin to send improper pain, touch, and temperature signals to the brain. Although this might not directly lead to pain, hyperesthesia can cause you to experience an excessive perception of stimuli. 

For example, you might begin to experience discomfort when the bed sheets are touching your skin at nighttime. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and can lead to sleep disturbances. 

It is also important to note that neuropathy can cause the opposite of hyperesthesia as well, which is hypoalgesia. Hypoalgesia – or the reduced ability to feel pain – can lead to some of the most severe complications of neuropathy. Indeed, if you are unable to feel pain, you might let an infected wound go untreated, which can cause ulcers and gangrene, or inadvertently expose your skin to excessive heat or cold.

Allodynia Pain

Allodynia is a form of hyperesthesia that causes you to experience excessive pain in response to stimuli that should be painless or only cause mild sensations. This is due to sensory nerves becoming damaged and misfiring, thus sending improper signals to the brain. 

If you have allodynia pain, daily actions such as brushing your teeth or holding a cup can cause severe pain. This type of pain affects 15-20% of patients with neuropathy.

Managing Complications Of Peripheral Neuropathy

When it comes to peripheral neuropathy, patients should carefully explain the nature and symptoms of their condition to their doctor and confirm a diagnosis before seeking treatment. Once a confirmed diagnosis has been reached, patients are often presented with various treatment options. However, according to Maher R. Khdour in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology published in February 2020, “ . . . peripheral neuropathy is often inadequately treated.” Khdour also raises the concern that “. . . neuropathy is a highly prevalent, disabling condition, the management of which is associated with significant costs.” While insulin levels will balance out with the level of blood sugar if patients are careful, patients may also wonder what steps they can take in managing the complications associated with peripheral neuropathy.  

Khdour continues to list some of these treatments, which include “the use of specific anticonvulsants and antidepressants for pain management in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy” (2020). Medications of all sorts are a known cause of peripheral neuropathy. Often, a regimen of medications taken by a patient with type 2 diabetes may be partially to blame for the persistent neuropathy. Some patients may also choose to undergo expensive surgery to address the pain.

Traditional Methods Of Relieving Neuropathy Pain

The complexity of the nervous system, coupled with the existence of over 100 forms of neuropathy, makes treating nerve pain a clinical challenge. Because of this, most healthcare providers and patients resort to traditional treatments such as over-the-counter medicines, massages, and topical creams. 

Although these treatment options might be a suitable short-term solution for neuropathic pain, patients need to be aware of the full picture. Below, we’ll look at the most commonly prescribed traditional methods of relieving neuropathy pain and their implications.

Over-The-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications for neuropathy include painkillers (such as acetaminophen) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Ibuprofen).

These medications are accessible and affordable, and they might be effective in temporarily reducing the pain you experience. However, they don’t come without side effects. 

Some complications of pain relievers patients should be aware of include:

  • Digestive issues, constipation, and nausea
  • Fatigue and headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth 
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Increased risk of heart attacks and strokes
  • Increased risk of gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding
  • Kidney malfunction and failure

If taken over long periods, NSAIDs and painkillers can also lead to dependency.

Topical Creams, Balms, Rubs, And Gels

Topical creams can help adults with peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes or with nerve pain deriving from the complications of shingles. In particular, capsaicin (the active component in chili peppers) cream can help provide long-lasting desensitization of the local nerve endings, thus stopping pain signals from traveling to the brain.

Other rubs, gels, balms, and sprays that can reduce nerve pain include:

  • Counterirritants containing menthol or camphor
  • Topical forms of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Lidocaine creams
  • Topical salicylates (the active compound in aspirin)

Physical Therapy And Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help temporarily decrease the pain associated with nerve damage by relaxing the muscles and easing the pressure on damaged nerves. Additionally, massage techniques that include light stroking, gliding, and vibration can boost blood circulation in the areas affected by nerve pain, which can help regenerate damaged tissues and promote healing. 

Studies conducted in 2020 also show that foot massages can ease burning sensations, boost relaxation, and improve sleep quality in patients with hyperesthesia.


Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that involves inserting small needles into the body’s pressure points. It can help with neuropathic pain by stimulating the nervous system, but it also has other benefits, including:

  • Stimulating the blood flow in the area affected by peripheral neuropathy, thus promoting nerve regeneration.
  • Triggering the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. 

A pilot study conducted in 2017 showed that acupuncture might be beneficial to improve nerve conduction (how fast electrical impulses travel through the nerves). 76% of the study’s participants also reported a reduction in nerve pain.

Herbal Supplements

As seen above, neuropathy can be caused by certain nutritional deficiencies. In these cases, patients might benefit from incorporating some supplements into their diet to support nerve regeneration, provide pain relief, help control blood sugar levels, and relieve inflammation. 

These supplements include:

  • B vitamins such as B12, B1, and B6
  • Antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid
  • Amino acids such as acetyl-L-carnitine and n-acetyl cysteine
  • Natural extracts such as fish oil and curcumin (turmeric)

Opioid Drugs (Morphine Derivatives)

Opioid drugs such as oxycodone can be used to treat the symptoms of neuropathy when other treatments have failed. In a study conducted in 2021, nearly 44% of patients who received a diagnosis of neuropathy between 2014 and 2018 were prescribed opioids as part of their therapy. 

Although opioids might help patients with neuropathy find relief from their pain in the short term, they can lead to a cascade of complications, including addiction, drowsiness, euphoria, constipation, and slowed breathing.

Drawbacks Of Using Traditional Methods In Managing Neuropathy

Most of the traditional methods for managing neuropathic pain are symptomatic, which means that they don’t have curative or disease-modifying effects. This means that they don’t address the underlying cause of neuropathy. 

What’s more, not all treatments are equally effective for all patients, who will need to go through trial-and-error, multiple lines of treatments, and steep care costs. Here are just some of the downsides of choosing the treatment options seen above.

1. Inaccurate Diagnosis

For most patients and healthcare providers, the priority is to address the pain deriving from nerve damage. However, often, the underlying reason for this condition is left untreated. This not only makes the chosen line of treatment inefficient, but it can also lead to severe complications if another disease goes unaddressed. 

For example, if neuropathy is caused by undiagnosed diabetes, simply treating the symptoms of nerve pain can expose a patient to complications linked to inadequately managed blood sugar levels, including ulcers, chronic kidney disease, and retinopathy.

2. Costly Treatments

Undergoing multiple lines of treatment can be extremely costly for patients. In a 2019 review, patients with peripheral neuropathy paid an average of $23,183 for the first line of therapy and $37,880 for the second line of therapy. 

Given the impact that nerve pain therapies can have on a person’s financial life, it is crucial for healthcare providers to avoid the trial-and-error phase where possible.

3. Time-Consuming Process

Neuropathy is a neurodegenerative disease, meaning that, if left untreated, it will progressively cause the death of more and more nerve fibers. Because of this, it is important for patients to find an effective treatment option in the shortest amount of time possible. 

Although doctors commonly prescribe one medication after another until one is found effective, obtaining an accurate diagnosis should be the first step to treating peripheral neuropathy.

4. Low Success Rates

Although there are several pharmaceutical treatment options for neuropathic pain, the benefits that these bring are limited and subjective. 

A 2021 trial comparing the efficacy of neuropathy medications showed that the most efficient treatment (nortriptyline, a type of antidepressant) only improved symptoms by 50% in a quarter of patients. The other drugs in the comparison (duloxetine, mexiletine, and pregabalin) were even less efficient and caused significant side effects.

5. Risk Of Side Effects

Undergoing several lines of treatment can expose patients to significant side effects, including dependency in the case of NSAIDs and opioids. Additionally, medications and herbal supplements can interact with one another and affect the efficiency of other drugs. 

For example, in people at risk of heart problems, taking NSAIDs for nerve pain can increase the risk of myocardial infarction.

6. Limited Knowledge And Expertise

Although therapies such as NSAIDs, massage therapy, acupuncture, and herbal supplements are readily available and affordable, patients lack the knowledge and expertise to use these treatments effectively.

7. Lack Of Personalization

No one treatment is equally effective for all patients with neuropathy, mostly because this condition can be caused by a range of risk factors and manifest itself with a variety of symptoms. 

Nonetheless, traditional treatment options tend to be a “one-size-fits-all” approach, which does not take into account the individual needs of a patient, such as existing health conditions, lifestyle factors, and health goals.

Coping With Emotional Effects Of Living With PN: Managing Stress & Anxiety

Living with peripheral neuropathy can have a profound impact on a person’s mental and emotional health. Experiencing debilitating pain can cause a loss of productivity, missed days at work, reduced wages, social withdrawal, and inhibited mobility. And, because of this, it isn’t surprising that, according to a 2020 study, around 65% of people with neuropathy suffer from depression, and 73% of those with nerve pain battle severe anxiety. 

While consulting a specialized mental health professional should always be the first port of call, there are some other complementary strategies you can use to manage the stress and anxiety arising from peripheral neuropathy:

  • Use massage therapy to ease the pain in the hands and feet and boost the release of feel-good hormones such as endorphins. 
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and body scans. 
  • Improve your bedtime routine to better cope with the sleep disturbances deriving from nerve pain. 
  • Find support from others who are struggling with nerve pain.
  • Be open about your condition and concerns with your loved ones. 

When it comes down to managing and coping with neuropathy, a critical role is played by the treatment option you have chosen. Educating yourself about the treatment options available and partnering with a specialist can help you maintain hope and find the most efficient solution for your needs.

Lifestyle Changes to Mitigate Peripheral Neuropathy Pain

Your lifestyle choices can have a profound impact on your ability to contain nerve damage, avoid the complications of neuropathy, and improve your nerves’ functionality. 

Some steps that you can take to better cope with neuropathy and improve your overall health include:

  • Exercise regularly – Not only does exercise trigger the release of pain-relieving endorphins, but it also improves muscle strength and boosts circulation. This can counteract the negative effects of nerve damage on the muscles and improve the supply of oxygen and nutrients to damaged nerves. 
  • Improve your diet – A well-balanced diet can help improve how you feel mentally and physically, and it can also help you manage conditions such as diabetes and obesity, which are risk factors for neuropathy. Additionally, supplementing B vitamins, introducing healthy fats, avoiding gluten, and eating more fruits and vegetables can help you avoid nutritional deficiencies, improve nutrient absorption, and boost your musculoskeletal system. 
  • Reduce alcohol and nicotine intake – As seen above, alcohol and nicotine can have neurotoxic effects. Avoid further damage to your nerves by quitting smoking and reducing your alcohol intake. 
  • Improve your personal care routine – Several of the complications deriving from neuropathy can be avoided with a thorough personal care regime. For example, consider checking your feet for wounds and infections to avoid ulcers, and massaging your hands and feet to improve circulation in the areas affected by neuropathy.

When looking to modify your lifestyle to ease the pain deriving from neuropathy, it is essential to work with a specialized lifestyle counselor who can help you design a nutritional and exercise routine for your health needs and goals.

When to Seek Medical Care for Uncontrollable Peripheral Neuropathy Pain

Neuropathy can have a unique impact on a person’s life. For some, the numbness and tingling sensations are temporary side effects of health events, such as undergoing chemotherapy. However, for others, peripheral neuropathy can be a debilitating or disabling condition. 

If you have noticed that your nerve pain is interfering with your daily activities, you should not think twice about seeking medical care as soon as possible. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis and selecting an appropriate treatment option can help you limit the consequences of peripheral neuropathy and, in some cases, reverse nerve damage. 

Be sure to look beyond traditional treatment options, and select a therapy that is designed around your needs, medical history, and goals with the help of Neuragenex – let’s look at how Neurofunctional Pain Management can help below.

Live A Pain-free Life With Neuragenex

For patients seeking treatment for peripheral neuropathy when the affected areas are numb, the use of traditional medications would seem counterintuitive. However, solutions for peripheral neuropathy may be both simple and lasting– especially when considering a solution with Neuragenex. 

Neuragenex uses a proprietary Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment program that may effectively relieve pain, restore health, and magnify the quality of life for patients suffering from chronic peripheral neuropathy and its symptoms.

Neurofunctional Pain Management is a combination of high-pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy that enhances the pain relief effect while also balancing and restoring health for patients in the Neurofunctional Pain Management program. Many patients report relief of pain and increases in function and quality of life after just one treatment. Many patients also report substantially long periods of pain relief after completing a full course of Neurofunctional Pain Management therapy that can endure for many months to over a year of pain relief without medications, surgeries, or invasive procedures. Neurofunctional Pain Management is the next generation of pain management. 

Patients who experience these sessions of pain treatment will tell you that they wish they had started sooner and that they had not put off such an effective and long-lasting treatment. Neuragenex is on a mission to bring effective and lasting pain relief to millions of patients suffering from chronic pain across the nation. Our mission is to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify the quality of life without medication, surgery, or invasive procedures.


The Relationship Between Osteoarthritis And Peripheral Neuropathy

Osteoarthritis (OA) and peripheral neuropathy are two distinct diseases that affect different areas of the body. Although they are both degenerative conditions, the former leads to the breakdown of the soft tissue in the joints, while the latter refers to damage to the nerves in the peripheral nervous system.

However, all systems and processes in the human body are interconnected and interdependent. This means that even though each of the conditions above has its own causes and manifests itself with unique symptoms, OA and peripheral neuropathy can have similar risk factors, appear at the same time, or have a causal relationship with one another.

Understanding OA and neuropathy, and how they are linked to each other, can help you identify the early signs of these conditions and address their underlying causes. This guide will take you through what you need to know to safeguard your musculoskeletal and neurological health.

Understanding These Two Conditions

To understand how OA influences neuropathy and vice-versa, and while these conditions sometimes manifest themselves concurrently, it is necessary to first look at each disease separately.

Below is a comprehensive overview of each disease, its symptoms, causes, and risk factors. Let’s get started.


Affecting 32.5 million adults in the US and an estimated 500 million people worldwide, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint degenerative disease globally. As a form of arthritis, OA is an inflammatory condition that, over time, wears down the soft tissue (cartilage) in the joint area, which is responsible for cushioning and lubricating joint movements.

As the cartilage wears down, the surrounding bones, ligaments, and tendons are left unprotected against friction and shock. In turn, this can cause bone damage, reduced joint movements, mechanical issues, and deformities.

Being a degenerative disease, OA is rarely caused by direct trauma. Instead, the most common risk factors include aging, genetic factors, posture, excessive stress, and overuse. Being overweight or regularly performing motions that overload the joints are some of the most common risk factors.

Currently, OA is one of the leading causes of disability among older demographics, and causes impairments and reduced productivity to over 8 million working-age adults.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a term describing degenerative damage to the nerves located in the peripheral nervous system of the human body – or the ones external to the spinal cord or brain. These nerves are in charge of carrying motor and sensory signals from different parts of the body to the brain and enable autonomic processes such as breathing, digestion, and heartbeat.

To this day, not all aspects of peripheral neuropathy are thoroughly understood. However, it has become clear that erratic blood sugar levels caused by diabetes can damage blood vessels and lead to the death of nerves by severing their supply of oxygen and nutrients. Currently, it is estimated that over 50% of those with diabetes also suffer from nerve damage.

Beyond diabetes, other risk factors that translate into nerve damage include exposure to toxins such as lead and mercury, trauma and collisions, hereditary diseases, infections such as HIV, and medications such as chemotherapy. Smoking or battling alcohol use disorder might also be risk factors for neuropathy because the toxins contained in nicotine and alcohol can damage the protective coating around nerves (myelin).

Depending on whether it affects sensory, motor, or autonomic nerves, neuropathy can manifest itself with a range of symptoms, which often include:

  • Pain and discomfort that begins in the hands and feet
  • Loss of sensation affecting the extremities
  • Inability to feel pain or hypersensitivity to touch
  • A burning sensation or stabbing pain
  • Spasms, cramps, and involuntary muscle movements
  • Loss of balance and impaired coordination
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control, erratic heartbeat, and digestive issues

If left unaddressed, neuropathy can lead to complications such as foot ulcers, increased risk of falls, and the need for medical devices such as pacemakers.

Can You Have Arthritis And Neuropathy At The Same Time?

Although both osteoarthritis and neuropathy are incredibly widespread conditions, it isn’t always easy to understand their comorbidity. This is because symptoms might overlap and each disease is often treated individually.

However, evidence is emerging that people with osteoarthritis might have undiagnosed neuropathy and vice-versa. For example, in a 2021 study, nearly 50% of patients with knee osteoarthritis also experienced neuropathic pain. The prevalence of comorbidity was higher in the group of patients with lower education, higher age, and higher body mass index.

So, the two conditions can co-exist. And, in some cases, one might be a risk factor to the other. The section below delves deeper into the connection between OA and neuropathy.

How Osteoarthritis Can Associate With Neuropathy

Not everyone with OA will develop neuropathy, and not every case of nerve damage will directly cause osteoarthritis. Nonetheless, understanding how the two conditions relate to each other can help patients gain a greater understanding of the symptoms, causes, and risk factors of the two conditions.

The Causal Relationship Between OA and Neuropathy

Let’s start by understanding how the joint and nerve systems are connected. According to a hypothesis developed in 2019, nerves and joints rely on each other to maintain the nervous and musculoskeletal systems healthy.

The nerves that surround the joints play a vital role in controlling blood flow to those areas and supplying the joint tissue with essential nutrients and oxygen. On the other hand, the high levels of inflammation in the joints affected by OA can contribute to surrounding nerve damage.

This relationship causes these main effects:

  • Damaged nerves in the joint are unable to deliver position signals to the brain, which can contribute to a loss of balance and coordination.
  • Improper sense signaling can affect how the body distributes loads during movements, which can cause improper mechanics and worsen OA
  • Affected sensory nerves can interfere with how pain is experienced, causing heightened OA discomfort
  • Deformities and improper mechanics (which are common in people with OA) can put pressure on and irritate nerves that would normally be unaffected by the same motions, thus leading to nerve damage.

Shared Risk Factors

Neuropathy and OA might have a few common risk factors.

Firstly, being overweight or obese is among the leading causes of type 2 diabetes which, in turn, is the main risk factor for neuropathy. People with high BMI are also more likely to develop osteoarthritis because of the excessive loading and stress on the joints.

Additionally, OA is an inflammatory disease, meaning that the generation of soft tissue in the joint is caused by irritation and inflammation. Inflammation also plays a role in neuropathy by causing demyelination (the loss of the nerves’ protective sheath). Both inflammatory conditions can be made worse by the use of alcohol or nicotine.

Other factors that might contribute to both OA and neuropathy include aging, mechanics, and genetics.

Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis With Peripheral Neuropathy

Understanding the differences and similarities between the symptoms of OA and neuropathy is critical to identify the onset of either of the two conditions and choosing a treatment option that goes beyond simply providing pain relief.

Osteoarthritis (OA) affects almost 33 million adults in the United States alone. Much like peripheral neuropathy, which affects the extremities of the body’s nervous system, osteoarthritis is a condition that often manifests in the fingers and toes of patients who have been diagnosed with it.

But patients who suffer from OA can expect to experience its symptoms in most joints throughout the body. The symptoms of OA, when compared to peripheral neuropathy, are not entirely the same and patients who are familiar with the nonsurgical treatments for peripheral neuropathy often look elsewhere to treat the conditions of OA.

Below are some of the telltale signs that a patient might be battling both OA and neuropathy.

Nerve Pain

Peripheral neuropathy causes tingling, burning, and numbness in the extremities.

Nerve pain remains an enigmatic condition to treat, mostly due to the wide range of signs it manifests itself with. Some of the most common and best-known symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include tingling, burning, and numbness in the extremities. This is because the nerves in the hands and feet are the first ones to be affected, and the ones responsible for carrying the most evident motor and sensory signals to the brain.

When nerve damage occurs, patients are likely to experience a heightened, burning, or stabbing pain, often accompanied by unfamiliar sensations or abnormal responses to stimuli (i.e.: feeling pain in response to stimuli that should be painless).

Where the nerve pain is located depends on what nerves have been damaged. In the case of patients affected by both OA and neuropathy, nerve pain might concentrate around the joints and become more evident during joint movements. More commonly, this pain affects the nerves that connect joints to one another, such as in the case of hands, feet, wrists, ankles, elbows, and knees.

Joint Pain

OA manifests itself with symptoms of bone spurs, stiffness, and pain specifically targeting the joints. Unfortunately, there have been cases where patients have peripheral neuropathy with OA.

When this happens, the areas around the joint might begin to experience stabbing and burning sensations (if sensory nerves are affected) or muscle spasms, cramps, and fasciculations (if motor nerves are affected).

Treatment Approaches

Both OA and neuropathy are considered clinically challenging to treat, mostly because they can derive from a range of causes and each patient is likely to experience different symptoms.

However, after a thorough examination of the manifestations of each condition, healthcare providers might recommend surgical or non-surgical therapies to both ease a patient’s symptoms and treat the underlying cause of OA or neuropathy.

Below are the most common treatment options offered to patients today.

Surgical Options

Surgery tends to be the last resort for people struggling with OA, and it is only recommended in case a patient is battling a severe end-stage symptomatic condition.

On the other hand, surgery for neuropathy is most commonly administered when the nerve pain is caused by other conditions that add excessive pressure on the nerves, such as carpal or cubital tunnel syndromes. These procedures aim at decompressing or releasing the nerves, which can lead to pain relief but aren’t able to reverse the neurological damage caused by neuropathy.

Here are some of the most common surgical options available today.


Osteotomy is a surgical procedure that attempts to reestablish proper mechanics of the joint by reshaping the bones located in the area affected by OA. During the procedure, the bone tissue is removed or reshaped, so that the bones deformed by arthritis can fall back into place and continue to support the joint’s movements.

Arthroscopic Surgery

Most commonly performed to repair the damage caused by osteoarthritis of the knee, arthroscopy is a minor and minimally invasive surgery that involves the use of an arthroscope.

The tube is inserted into the joint area via a small incision, and it is maneuvered to examine the damaged area and determine what is causing the pain. If further interventions are needed, the surgeon might use the arthroscope and other tools to mildly reshape the bones and soft tissue in the damaged area to relieve pain and improve mechanics.


One of the most prominent surgical solutions for OA was discovered in the 1950s and 60s by Dr. John Charnley, who successfully treated the condition with an invasive procedure called arthroplasty. The procedure was widely successful and continues to be the preferred method for the surgical treatment of osteoarthritis.

In a medical assessment and survey of advancements in treating OA, Professor K.D. Brandt of the Indiana University School of Medicine found that “[r]ecommendation of total joint arthroplasty for the patient with OA, however, is tantamount to an acknowledgement of the failure of medical management. The surgical procedure is often performed after the patient has experienced years, or even decades, of pain and disability” (2004).

Patients who have sought treatment for their OA who are familiar with the “medical management” referred to by Professor Brandt may not have even considered that arthroplasty is only considered for patients who have suffered from its symptoms for years and even decades.

This means that even patients who would choose to undergo drastic surgery to relieve their pain may not have the same recommendation from their doctor before years or even decades of living with debilitating pain.

While this news may not be surprising to some who have sought immediate and lasting relief for their pain, it is no less of a disappointment. Still, there are those who are wary of surgical procedures to cure their OA and have lasting relief from pain and understandably so.

Elective, non-emergency surgery is a heavy decision that would weigh on the mind of any patient. Naturally, most patients will seek milder and non-invasive or nonsurgical solutions, solutions that will help them manage the pain.

Nonsurgical Treatment Alternatives

When we speak of nonsurgical options for treatment, we consider that these treatments are not always recommended or even effective for many patients who suffer from the pain of any condition.

However, for OA, seeing how it has affected and continues to affect millions of adults in the United States alone and given that patients live an average of 30 years with this condition, there has been extensive research done in search of a treatment or a cure that does not involve extensive and invasive surgery.

Additionally, the prevalence of OA has nearly doubled since the 1950s and is rising alongside life expectancy and obesity rates. The steady increase in the number of cases has contributed to a steady and persistent level of research into a treatment for the condition and this should be a welcome relief for anyone seeking said treatment.

Unfortunately, research from several in the medical community conclude that effective treatment for osteoarthritis is elusive and often lacks the efficacy desired by both patients and their doctors.

With the need for effective nonsurgical treatment of osteoarthritis being sought by patients, even professionals in the medical community like Professor Brandt are frustrated at the lack of effective options available to their patients.

Professor Brandt– after surveying the available options, their limited benefits, and many side-effects– states that “. . . we surely need better and safer drugs to treat OA symptoms(2004).

The last thing patients of OA want to hear is that the symptoms they are attempting to treat with better and safer drugs are met with sometimes worsening side effects.

Because of this, it is vital for healthcare professionals to maintain a holistic approach when attempting to treat the underlying causes of OA and neuropathy. A comprehensive understanding of how lifestyle factors, genetics, and medical history can play a crucial role in determining which nonsurgical treatment (or combination of treatments) should be recommended.

Taking this into consideration, below is an overview of the nonsurgical treatment options available today.


One of the most common nonsurgical treatments for OA is the use of nutraceuticals.

Nutraceuticals are dietary supplements that claim to improve the life expectancy and health care of an individual when used in tandem with healthy foods. The general assumption of nutraceutical efficacy works in tandem with the patient’s willingness to live a healthy lifestyle.

The specific nutraceuticals that treat OA include glucosamine and chondroitin methylsulfonylmethane. These compounds have both analgesic and chondroprotective properties, which allow them to ease pain and delay the degeneration of cartilage.

The efficacy of these treatments has been debated among peers in the medical community for decades. Notwithstanding, Dr. Begum Yurdakok Dikmen counters that nutraceuticals have been introduced as a form of treatment over the centuries and that many suffering from osteoarthritis look to them for a solution.

In a study on nutraceuticals done in 2016, Dr. Dikmen grappled with the fact that “[r]egulations regarding the quality and safety of nutraceuticals are still being debated . .” (2016). This is in part due to the medical community’s skepticism of nutraceuticals being seen as an alternative medicinal treatment for OA.

However, Dikmen states that nutraceuticals are still being considered by governmental bodies that will continue to “. . . develop strategies together with the public to enlighten the benefits supported by solid scientific evidence”.

Understandably, skepticism continues to be a persistent hindrance for the use of nutraceuticals in the treatment of osteoarthritis. This skepticism lies not only in physicians with patients who suffer from osteoarthritis but in the patients themselves.

Many would rather consider a lasting treatment that they know will work for them before ingesting a nutraceutical with which they are unfamiliar.

A study conducted by Marco AntônioPercope de Andrade M.DPh.D. concluded that glucosamine hydrochloride, a nutraceutical, “ . . . had no effect on pain management” when it came to treating osteoarthritis (2015).

Dr. de Andrade confirmed that results from more familiar sources for nutraceuticals such as avocado and soybeans were less conclusive and “. . . may have positive effects on knee and hip OA, but long-term results could not be confirmed”.

These conclusions on the benefits of nutraceuticals are both disappointing and frustrating especially for those who are seeking relief from the pain. While some patients who suffer from OA may feel a small amount of relief from the pain when using nutraceuticals, lasting relief will not be found.


There are perhaps more nonsurgical options that will help– options that are made available through Neuragenex.

In the year 2000, a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of another nonsurgical treatment known as viscosupplementation was conducted.

While the clinical trials of viscosupplementation were in their infancy, Dr. John Watterson found that “. . . the lack of systemic side effects and the potential lasting effects make it an appealing option” (2000).

The process of viscosupplementation is best described as a loosening and relaxing of the joints that feel stiff and rusted over. This nonsurgical option uses a safe compound called hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid has been FDA approved for decades and Dr. Watterson attests to this benefit by stating that “[t]he US Food and Drug Administration approval of hyaluronic acid as a device has avoided the need for meeting the more stringent criteria for approval as a drug”.

Decades later, the use of hyaluronic acid in viscosupplementation has remained an effective and affordable solution to treat osteoarthritis. Neuragenex uses this treatment for osteoarthritis in conjunction with its proprietary pain-relieving Neuralgesia treatment protocol.

While viscosupplementation relieves and loosens the joints affected by OA, Neuralgesia treatments further reduce the pain. Many patients experiencing the symptoms of OA report relief after only one Neuralgesia treatment session with Neuragenex.

Patients experience greater mobility, strength, and requisition of the motor skills they used to enjoy completing their daily tasks.

Our Secret To Treating Arthritis-Related Neuropathy With Success

Because of how neuropathy and OA are interrelated and, sometimes, codependent, both degenerative diseases can be addressed using a similar approach.

Neuragenex’s proprietary Neuralgesia treatment program is an effective solution to manage and ease the pain and symptoms associated with both conditions when weighed against other options.

Patients who choose not to rely on pharmaceuticals, perhaps fearing the risk of dependency or addiction, and patients who are wary of seeking surgical treatment to alleviate pain should look to Neuralgesia therapy with Neuragenex for a solution to their pain.

Based on the research and findings that emerged over the past decades, Neuragenex leverages a combination of viscosupplementation therapies and proprietary Neuralgesia treatment programs. The hyaluronic acid injections remain an effective option to lubricate the joints affected by OA and support the regeneration of damaged tissue, while Neuralgesia treatments further reduce pain through Combined Electrochemical Treatment (CET), Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM), proprietary Neurassage therapeutic techniques, and lifestyle counseling.

Many patients experiencing the symptoms of OA and chronic pain report relief after only one Neuralgesia treatment session with Neuragenex. Patients experience greater mobility, strength, and requisition of the motor skills they used to enjoy completing their daily tasks. The treatment is simple, non-invasive, and does not require the use of medications.

Neuragenex is on a mission to bring Neuralgesia therapy to the millions of patients suffering from chronic pain who are not content with or willing to risk the conventional treatment options currently available. Thanks to our next-generation pain management protocol, we offer the opportunity to patients to relieve chronic pain and return to living their lives to the fullest.

Treat These Two Conditions With One Effective And Safe Treatment

Understanding how degenerative conditions such as OA and neuropathy relate to each other remains challenging. And, finding the right treatment for your needs can be even more difficult.

Nonetheless, thanks to recent advances in regenerative medicine, today’s patients have the opportunity to explore alternative treatment options that don’t involve pill-popping or surgery. And, Neuragenex, with its innovative treatment protocols, is at the forefront of this revolution.

Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment: The Best Non-Invasive Option For You

For nearly 2.5% of the world’s population, receiving a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy means facing the prospect of relying on medications or resorting to surgery to manage their nerve pain. 

Given the degenerative nature of this disease, it has never been more important for patients to look beyond traditional treatments and find a solution that does not involve invasive medical procedures. 

Fortunately, today’s advances in regenerative medicine offer a valid, non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical alternative worth exploring. Here, we’ll explore how Neuragenex’s programs (Neuralgesia and Neurofunctional Pain Management) can help.

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves in the Peripheral Nervous System, which are the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. These nerves are in charge of delivering signals to the brain relating to muscle movements (motor nerves), touch and temperature sensations (sensory nerves), and autonomic processes, such as breathing, digestion, and blood circulation. 

These nerves can become damaged for several reasons, including diabetes, exposure to toxins, or infection. When this happens, motor, sensory, and autonomic signals traveling to and from the brain are inhibited. 

This may lead to experiencing acute pain (even in response to stimuli that should be painless), numbness, loss of balance, or muscle spasms. In severe cases, peripheral neuropathy can also lead to ulcers and, if it is affecting autonomic nerves, may also impair functions such as heartbeat and sweating. 

Understanding the causes and symptoms of neuropathy when the first signs begin to manifest themselves can help you contain nerve damage and avoid the most severe consequences. Above all, understanding your nerve pain can help you find the right treatment option for your needs.

Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

Depending on what nerves are affected by neuropathy, you might experience a range of symptoms. Learning to recognize these telltale signs as they begin to appear is the first step to understanding and managing your condition.

Let’s look at the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in more detail below. 

  • Pain in the extremities (hands and feet) – One of the most common symptoms of neuropathy is pain that begins in the extremities, which can be described as prickling pain or “pins and needles” sensations. This pain – which is called paresthesia – appears when the normal signaling of pain, touch, and vibration is disrupted. 
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch – Damaged nerves can misfire and send abnormal signals to the brain’s sensory cortex, causing extreme sensitivity to touch (hyperesthesia) and pain in response to stimuli that should normally be painless (allodynia). 
  • Cramps and spasms – Uncontrolled muscle movements are caused by damaged motor nerves, which send improper motor signals to the brain.
  • Burning sensations – Burning pain is due to damaged nerve endings in the skin, which become overactive and misfire signals of pain to the brain. 
  • Loss of feeling – When nerves become damaged, they might become unable to transmit signals relating to pain, touch, temperature, and vibration to the brain, thus leading to numbness, loss of feeling, and reduced ability to feel pain (hypoalgesia)
  • Trouble sleeping – Around 68% of patients with neuropathy experience strongly disturbed sleep. This is due to muscle spasms that can wake you up at night and hyperesthesia, which leads to extreme sensitivity to touch, abnormal sensations, and difficulty falling asleep. 
  • Loss of balance – When motor and sensory nerves are affected, your brain might no longer be able to receive signals about your body’s position in space, balance, and coordination. This might cause you to bump into objects, struggle to get up from a low seated position, and be at greater risk of falls and injuries.

Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy

Nerve damage can arise from a range of causes and risk factors, including the following:

  • Diabetes – Diabetes and poorly managed blood sugar can lead to nerve damage. Erratic blood glucose levels can impair the blood vessels and prevent them from delivering essential blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the nerves, thus leading to the death of nerve fibers. Currently, neuropathy is a complication in 51% of people with diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases – Some forms of neuropathy, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, are hereditary. Additionally, some autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can cause nerve damage due to the sustained levels of inflammation produced by the body. 
  • Infections – In the case of infections caused by bacteria or viruses, nerve damage is derived from sustained high levels of inflammation caused by the body’s response to infections. Excessive inflammation can degrade the myelin (the nerves’ protective coating), thus preventing them from correctly transmitting signals. In people with HIV, neuropathy is a comorbidity in over 50% of cases
  • Physical injury or trauma – Direct trauma is one of the main causes of mononeuropathy (damage to a single nerve). Injuries such as fractures and dislocations can sever the nerve’s connection to the brain and lead to neuropathic pain and numbness. 
  • Exposure to toxins, alcohol, and nicotine – Some toxins, such as lead and arsenic, have neurotoxic effects, meaning that they may cause the degeneration of nerve fibers. This is also true for toxins found in food, such as mercury in swordfish. Using alcohol and nicotine over long periods can damage the myelin that coats and protects the nerves, thus leading to neuropathy. It is estimated that 25-66% of those with an alcohol abuse disorder have alcoholic neuropathy. 
  • Nutrient deficiencies – Some nutritional deficiencies (such as copper and B12) can cause nerve demyelination (damage to the nerve’s protective sheath) and lead to neuropathy. This might also happen in the case of conditions that prevent nutrients from being absorbed properly by the body, such as Celiac disease.
  • Blood or vascular problems – Conditions that damage the blood vessels supplying blood, oxygen, and nutrients to nerves (i.e.: vasculitis) can cause the death of nerve fibers and increase the risk of neuropathy. 
  • Tumors and chemotherapy – Some tumors can grow near a nerve and press on it, which can cause nerve irritation and damage. What’s more, some medications, such as the drugs used in chemotherapy, can have a neurotoxic effect and cause the death of nerve fibers. It is estimated that up to 85% of people undergoing cancer treatment will develop temporary neuropathy. 

Although the items above are some of the most common causes of neuropathy, it is important to keep in mind that up to a third of people with nerve pain have idiopathic neuropathy, meaning that the root cause of their disease is unknown.

How Diagnosis Works

Nerve pain is considered to be an “invisible illness” because its symptoms are not immediately visible to others. This makes neuropathy challenging to diagnose and treat. 

Nonetheless, by partnering with a specialized healthcare provider, you’ll be able to obtain an accurate diagnosis of your condition and its underlying causes. Beyond performing a thorough physical exam and reviewing your medical history, a specialist will conduct several tests to determine the causes and extent of your nerve damage. 

These tests include:

  • Blood tests – Blood tests are used to determine whether the nerve damage is caused by high levels of toxins (like mercury and lead) or by nutritional deficiencies, such as low levels of Vitamin B12. Blood tests can also highlight genetic, hereditary, and autoimmune disorders that contribute to neuropathy. 
  • Skinnerve biopsies – This type of test involves removing a sample of the skin containing nerve fibers for examination. These tests aim to highlight abnormalities in nerve endings as well as determine the nerve count on your extremities. 
  • Neurological exams – Neurological examinations look at the physical signs of neuropathy, such as changes in your ability to feel pain and move muscles, tendons, and ligaments. 
  • Electrodiagnostic tests – These include a nerve conduction test (NCS) and electromyograms (EMG) to determine how well your nerves work. Some of the indicators monitored through these tests include the speed and strength of nerve signals. 
  • Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) – If you have been diagnosed with neuropathy, this type of test can help assess the extent of the damage and determine how well nerves respond to sensory stimuli. 
  • Imaging tests – These examinations are used to diagnose neuropathy through a series of images collected via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nerve ultrasounds, and computerized tomography (CT) scans. These can help determine if the nerve damage is due to a tumor, a compressed nerve, or other structural abnormalities.

Importance Of Getting An Accurate Diagnosis

Peripheral neuropathy can cause chronic and severe pain and lead to threatening consequences such as ulcers, gangrene, amputations, loss of bladder/bowel control, or irregular heartbeat. 

So, while it might seem easy to resort to painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage your condition, these cannot be considered a sustainable long-term pain management strategy. In the best-case scenario, these medications can ease discomfort in the short term. In the worst-case scenario, they can conceal a significant, more dangerous underlying cause of nerve damage. 

That’s why obtaining an accurate diagnosis is essential. Once you have determined what is causing your nerve pain, you’ll be able to choose a pain management strategy that addresses the root cause of your condition. For example, if nerve pain is caused by poorly controlled blood sugar, diabetes management strategies and lifestyle adjustments should be your first port of call. 

Understanding your condition and what’s causing it also means educating yourself about the best treatment options for your needs and goals. Let’s compare the different alternatives to manage nerve pain below.

Comparing The Success Of Surgical And Nonsurgical Treatments

Surgical treatment options for patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy have been known to have lasting effects. However, the success of these surgeries may negate any associated side effects or patient invasiveness. Nor does the success of these surgeries guarantee the negation of peripheral neuropathy symptom recurrence down the road.

  • Surgical Offloading

One of the most common surgical treatment options available to patients is what’s known as a surgical offloading procedure. 

As patients experience the imbalance and eventual muscular deformity that evolves from long-term peripheral neuropathy, ulcers are a common development. Ulcers ultimately develop because of the pressure that has been placed on the associated limb. 

The complications prevalent in the feet of diabetic patients attribute to the pressure of standing and walking. If patients were to continue to allow these ulcers to develop without treatment, they would find both walking and standing unbearable.

  • Shoes, Orthotics, And Contact Cast

According to a study done in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, Aharon S. Finestone and colleagues concluded that “[t]he mainstay of treating and preventing ulcers is offloading. This may be done with shoes, orthotics and contact casts” (2018). 

Finestone uses examples of these nonsurgical treatments and states that they offload or relieve the pressure and pain from patients who may develop or have developed ulcers. 

While creating casts and specialized shoes may relieve the pain and reduce the likelihood of further ulcer development, they are not a full-proof solution to the problem. Patients may have to seek adjustment to the shoes created for them if the pain is recurrent and purchasing these shoes can be costly. 

  • Why Treatment Compliance Is Critical

Finestone addresses the concerns associated with these nonsurgical treatments, concluding that “. . . while these are frequently effective in the short run, in the long run, ulcers often recur for a variety of reasons, including patients’ lack of compliance”. 

While Finestone attributes recurring conditions and ulcers to patients’ lack of compliance or responsibility, many patients who are complying with their doctor’s recommendations may feel frustrated at this answer. 

This is especially true for patients who are seeking non-invasive solutions to their pain that will also produce long-lasting treatment for the conditions of peripheral neuropathy. Still, for some patients, the short-term solutions mentioned by Finestone may seem more like a bandaid to a wound that needs stitches.

Surgery Doesn’t Have To Be The Only Option

Finestone justifies surgical treatment while conceding that it is not an easy undertaking and should be carefully considered and explained to patients. You should know what your body is experiencing and what the first step is in seeking effective and long-lasting treatment. 

When it comes to offloading or relieving the pain induced by ulcers, Finestone states that a “. . . more definitive method of offloading includes surgical correction of foot deformities.While any surgery in these patients is a considerable undertaking, the natural history of recurrent or recalcitrant ulcers is so dismal that a more aggressive and surgical approach may be justified”. 

Patients who suffer from the long-term effects of peripheral neuropathy, such as recalcitrant or recurring ulcers, may find justification in seeking surgical treatment. This is a choice that must be carefully considered by patients and thoroughly explained by their doctors as patients who are reluctant in undergoing surgery are not alone. 

In a study conducted by Mitchell Mark, PhD, it was concluded that “[m]edical advances have led to a considerable rise in the level of elective surgery undertaken as day-case surgery and with a minimal hospital stay. However, amid such advances, preoperative psychological care has remained relatively static” (2003).

Preoperative Anxiety Of Patients Escalate With Surgery Looming

Patients in 2003 experienced little to no alleviation of their preoperative anxiety and desired to have their concerns addressed. 

Doctors performing the surgery of offloading are required to explain the procedure to the patients before they elect to undergo the surgery. But knowing the procedure and the potential side-effects may further the anxiety of patients, especially for those who have not undergone surgery in the past.

Patients who choose to undergo elective surgery not only recognize and agonize over the risks associated with the surgery but also experience skepticism and will need to weigh the risks against the rewards.

With the number of diabetic patients increasing worldwide, elective surgery related to peripheral neuropathy has risen in the past 20 years. This lack of psychological care to alleviate anxiety contributes to patient apprehension. 

Mark continues to address the need for psychological care by stating that, “[t]hirty-four studies embracing data from 3754 patients undergoing both inpatient and day-case procedures were reviewed. Three main themes emerged–causes of anxiety, clinical concerns and measurement, and anxiety management”. 

It is not unnatural for most patients to experience this apprehension and frustration, especially if they have been reviewing and following the nonsurgical recommendations of their doctors.

Neuralgesia: Your Best Non Surgical Treatment For Peripheral Neuropathy

Neuragenex uses a proprietary Neuralgesia treatment protocol to administer pain relief and health restoration in patients with chronic peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain. Neuralgesia treatment protocols may effectively ease patient numbness, burning, cramping, and many other conditions because of peripheral neuropathy. 

Neuralgesia, a non-invasive therapeutic treatment program that uses a combination of high-pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy to relieve pain and restore health and ultimately avoid or put off surgeries, invasive procedures, and endless medications.

Patients report being able to return to the workforce, performing daily activities they used to enjoy, and overall enjoying the benefits of living a life without chronic pain in their extremities. 

Sometimes, patients report pain relief and improved quality of life after just one treatment. Neuralgesia is the next generation of chronic pain management, and Neuragenex is bringing this protocol to thousands of patients across the nation.

Our mission is to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify the quality of life without medications, surgeries, or invasive procedures. We believe that Neuragenex will be the first thought, first choice, and first step in the journey of chronic pain management.

Treat Peripheral Neuropathy Safely And Effectively

If you have received a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy, the chances are that you are now facing the prospect of living a life reliant on medications. And, in severe cases, you might start to believe that surgery is the only option left.

But that’s where learning more about alternative treatments can help you find a treatment that is best suited to your needs. The Innovative regenerative medicine treatments offered at Neuragenex provide a non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical option that can help you ease pain and magnify your life.