Neuropathy or neuropathic pain is a result of damaged nerves. It can be a single nerve or group of nerves within the body that causes a tingling, burning or shooting pain. It can cause a great deal of discomfort and prevent many from doing everyday tasks like getting out of bed.
Nerve damage affects your nervous system. The nervous system comprises two primary systems, known as the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. Your central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system is the rest of your body.
It’s common for individuals experiencing nerve pain to feel pain in the hands and feet as most damaged nerves are found in the peripheral nervous system.
Did You Know?
An estimated 20 million people in the U.S. have some form of peripheral neuropathy.
There is no definite cause to neuropathic pain. However, there are common illnesses or conditions that can trigger neuropathic pain, this includes:
- Spinal cord injury
- Sports injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Herniated disc or arthritis
Signs & Symptoms
The signs can vary for each patient depending on the level of pain felt and where the pain is located. For some individuals, the pain may only be felt in the hands, while others can experience the entire body. Nerve pain, for the most part, is chronic. It can be felt 24/7. Some of the signs and symptoms can include:
- Stinging or burning pain
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Sharp or dull sensation
- Numbing or tingling feeling
- Trouble standing
- Difficulty walking due to pain in the feet
- Trouble picking up items such as a fork or knife
You may have experienced one of these symptoms as a result of neuropathic pain. If the pain persists and you are unable to resume your normal activities, consult a physician. Be sure to describe where the pain is and the level of pain you to your physician. The more specific you are, the better it is for them to properly diagnose and recommend treatment.
Yes, there is a treatment for neuropathic pain beyond medication. Intraneural Facilitation or INF™ is available at Loma Linda University Health Neuropathic Therapy Center.
INF™is a safe and effective therapy to treat patients with neuropathic pain. It’s the first of its kind and only available at Loma Linda University Health. The treatment involves 10-20 one-hour physical therapy sessions over four to eight weeks. This unique and innovative new therapy restores blood flow to your damaged nerves and eliminates the burning and tingling pain.
How does it work?
INF™ uses three physical holds to stretch specific nerve areas. It begins with the Facilitation Hold that puts pressure on the nervous system. Next, the Secondary Hold stretches the nerves to allow pressurized blood flow into the targeted nerve. Lastly, the Tertiary Hold is used to move blood flow farther up the neural tissue and improve vascular pathways into the nerves.