To effectively explain how diabetic neuropathy and how increasing blood flow to the area would be a great advantage, we need to understand the underlying cause.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is a result of nerve damage that often causes weakness, numbness and pain that’s usually in your hands and feet, but may occur in other areas depending whether the injury is infection related or metabolic. Although the most common cause is diabetes. Genetic factors may also cause certain people to be more susceptible to nerve damage.
Nerves that may be affected due to peripheral neuropathy include sensory nerves that receive sensations such as heat, pain or touch; motor nerves that control how your muscles move, and autonomic nerves that control functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder function.
Commonly, you start to notice issues with the longest of nerves which is the one that stretches right down to your toes. The symptoms vary but include numbness and tingling of feet and hands, a burning pain, sharp jabbing electric pain, extreme sensitivity to touch, skin hair or nail changes, lack of co-ordination, muscle weakness or even paralysis. You will notice that heat intolerance if the autonomic nerves are affected. Bowel, bladder or digestive problems or changes in blood pressure causing dizziness or lightheadedness.
There are multiple treatments that are out there, that will get rid of the pain, but not fix the problem. The most common treatments include medications such as anti-seizure, immunosupressive or antidepressants interfering with the chemical processes in your brain and spinal cord that cause the feeling of pain. Chemical treatments although efficient, are only masking the underlying cause. Many of these medications have side effects that are sometimes debilitating.
Another option for symptomatic relief is tens therapy. Depending on the severity of the neuropathy, it may help relieve symptoms as will plasma exchange. Again, only treating the symptoms may not be what most people are looking for.
To treat the underlying condition physical therapy is recommended to help improve muscle strength. Physical therapy greatly aides in the regeneration of nerve and muscle strength in people with diabetes. The way this works is by stimulating nutrient rich blood flow to aide in natural tissue regeneration. There are a couple of products on the market that help promote optimal blood flow, that paired with physical therapy will help aide in the healing of the muscles and nerves at a much faster rate.
It is important for diabetics to remember that when increasing the blood flow to any part of the body, that blood sugar levels are at an optimal level. If your sugar levels are high during this treatment period, positive results may not occur at all.
Damaged nerves depend on the exchange of nutrients and other material that the blood supplies, having optimum blood flow levels achieved along with a regulated blood sugar level will greatly benefit the reproduction of nerve cells.