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Peripheral Nerve Injury
An injury to your nerve can cause pain and difficulty in using your hands or feet. This will reduce your ability to participate and carry out normal activities. Physical therapy is an effective treatment for peripheral nerve injury and eliminates the need for pain medications or surgery. If you are wondering how physical therapy can effectively restore strength and functionality to your muscles and relieve nerve injury symptoms, contact us now to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.
What are Peripheral Nerves and What Do They Do?
Nerves are bundles of fibers that send and receive messages to and from the brain. They are just like the body’s telephone wiring system that sends and receives signals from the brain to the body and vice versa. Peripheral nerves send messages from the brain and spinal cord to the body that tells the body what to do. For example, These nerves help you coordinate your muscles so you can grab an object, or makes you sense that your feet are cold. When a nerve becomes injured or damaged, this limits the brain’s ability to communicate signals or messages effectively to your organs and muscles. Nerve injury or damage is called peripheral neuropathy
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
here are several causes for peripheral nerve injury. Some of which includes:

Injury from a fall or an automobile accident can cause the nerve to be crushed, cut, or compressed

Some medical conditions such as diabetes

Side effects of medications such as chemotherapy

Overuse of the area where the nerve is located. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive motion of the wrist

Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis

Symptoms  Peripheral Neuropathy?
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy vary, and symptoms largely depend on the type of nerve affected. There are three nerves that could be affected in this case. They include

Motor nerves

These nerves control the muscles that enable you to grab objects, walk and talk. It is basically the nerves for movement. Symptoms include:

  • Muscles weakness
  • Difficulty in the
  • coordination of the
  • affected limbs
  • Clumsiness
  • Falls
  • Muscle twitching
  • Decreased balance

Sensory nerves

These nerves regulate and send information about what you feel (temperature, touch, pain, etc.) Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty in sensing temperature or pain
  • Tingling or numbness in your limbs (hand or feet)
  • Hypersensitivity to light touch

Autoimmune nerves

These nerves regulate the activities that you don’t consciously control. Examples include breathing, digestion, and thyroid gland function. Symptoms include:

  • Skin dryness or excessive sweating
  • Inability to tolerate certain temperatures
  • Bladder changes
  • Blood pressure changes

Since nerve damage may affect either or all three nerve class, you may experience mixed symptoms

How is Peripheral Nerve Injury Diagnosed?
At Polygon PT, we walk closely with your medical doctor to diagnose peripheral neuropathy. Your medical history will be reviewed, and a physical examination conducted. Your doctor may also perform a neurological examination using diagnostic tests which includes:
Treatment for Peripheral Nerve Injury
Physical therapy is effective for treating symptoms that have been limited by peripheral neuropathy. At Polygon PT, a physical therapist will create your specific treatment plan based on the causes and symptoms of your nerve injury. Treatments usually include
Your physical therapist may also require you to use braces or splints to limit movement while your nerve is healing. In very severe cases where your nerve is crushed, cut, or has been compressed for long, surgery is needed. This is why we advise patients to contact a physical therapist once they start noticing symptoms, so treatments can commence immediately, and the use of pain killers or surgery eliminated. After surgery, if your nerve injury is severe, post-operative rehab is important to restore overall function and mobility to the affected limbs.
Get Started on Physical Therapy for Peripheral Neuropathy Today!
Want to restore function to your hands and feet and relieve pain while avoiding surgery and those harmful pain medications? It all starts now. Request an appointment with one of our physical therapists today!