By Lea Wojciechowski Ross, Blogger for Troy Neuropathy and Chiropractic Center ~ June 7, 2017

Dr. Tony Paternoster of the Troy Neuropathy and Chiropractic Center is a Functional Neurologist who specializes in clinical neurology with a focus in treating neuropathy.  Most of us have some idea of what a traditional chiropractor does and when we might go visit the chiropractor for an adjustment, and in fact many of us have probably visited a chiropractor when we experienced headaches, neck pain, mid/low back pain, injuries, whiplash, etc.  Neuropathy is another story.  Many people do not know what neuropathy is.  This post will teach you about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of neuropathy.

What is Neuropathy?

Difference between a normal foot and a foot at diabetic risk

Neuropathy is a disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness mainly in the extremities (hands and feet).  It is a progressive dying of a nerve.  Neuropathy is a sub-specialty of functional neurology (a field which studies the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves).  Treating neuropathy requires an alternative and holistic approach to increasing patient wellness.

Causes of Neuropathy

Neuropathy is primarily caused by:

  • Chemotherapy (or any kind of chemical/radiation poisoning or exposure to toxins)
  • Diabetes (or some other metabolic disorder)
  • Compression injury (physical trauma)

A person who has had cancer and gone through chemo, a person who has diabetes, or a person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury or concussion (such as from a car accident or a sports impact) may start experiencing several symptoms of neuropathy.

Symptoms of Neuropathy

Typical symptoms of peripheral neuropathy

The symptoms of neuropathy may be sensory, muscular, or whole body.  A person who has neuropathy will likely experience some type of uncomfortable burning or tingling sensation or sharp jabbing pain in the back, face, feet, thighs, hands, and/or fingers.  Please note if you experience any of the following symptoms of neuropathy:

  • Sensory:
    • Numbness
    • Hypersensitivity
    • Pins and needles
    • Tingling
    • Freezing
    • Burning sensation
    • Loss of feeling
    • The feeling of wearing gloves
    • Stabbing
    • Blister/callus
  • Muscular:
    • Lack of coordination

      Typical symptoms in the hands

    • Slow reflexes
    • Difficulty walking
    • Cramping/muscle pain
    • Weakness
    • Muscle loss
    • Poor circulation
  • Whole body:
    • Lack of balance
    • Weakness
    • Trouble sleeping

How to Treat Neuropathy

Visit a neuropathy specialist if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.  To increase patients’ overall well-being, the specialist may propose one or more of the following treatments:

  • Specific chiropractic treatments or manipulation
  • Certain exercises with your eyes to improve your vestibular system and balance (the cerebellum and cortex of your brain, which help control your balance, may have been affected by a compression injury)
  • Detox treatments and allergy treatments (the brain and gut are connected; they employ the same neurotransmitters)
  • Dietary supplements and dietary plans (such as avoiding gluten)
  • Topical gels and creams
  • Acupressure (electro nerve stimulation (TENS) unit) or acupuncture
  • Vibration
  • Laser
  • Neuromuscular exercises

Dr. Tony collaborates with podiatrists, physical therapists, dieticians, cardiovascular surgeons, vascular surgeons, medical neurologists, and neurosurgeons to identify and treat patients with neuropathy.  Dr. Tony’s patients have experienced successful treatment.  Just a couple patient testimonials follow:

“I have degenerative discs in my neck causing pressure sensation in my neck and numbness in my right arm.  Dr. Paternoster provided a thorough initial exam diagnosing the cause of my discomfort and he designed a treatment plan to correct the problem.  After six weeks of adjustments the pressure ​and numbness are gone!  I highly recommend a consultation with Dr. Paternoster if you are experiencing neck or back pain or discomfort.” -Terry Datsko, Integrated Cashflow Services

“I had soreness in my right heel, which I used insole cushions to relieve.  I had Dr. Paternoster take a look.  The diagnosis: my type 2 diabetes had caused some nerve damage and I had to change the way I walked to compensate.  It turned out we had two things happening: neuropathy and a secondary effect on my back muscles.  Dr. Paternoster used electrical nerve stimulation to increase blood flow and add some ‘padding’ back to my heel.  He also used manipulation on my back to relieve the muscle soreness.  This two pronged approach has allowed me significant relief in my heel and a much more normal ‘gait’ when I walk.  I highly recommend Dr. Paternoster for people experiencing chronic foot and/or back pain.” -Tom B.

To learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of neuropathy, call Dr. Tony Paternoster at (248) 885-9377.