Definition of Peripheral Neuropathy

The term peripheral neuropathy can be broken down to uncover its meaning. Peripheral refers to something beyond, and in this instance, beyond signifies a condition beyond the spinal cord and/or brain. Neuro implies something to do with nerves and the ending -pathy indicates a disease process, so peripheral neuropathy is those conditions present when damaged or diseased nerves signal and carry specific information to and from the patient’s brain and/or spinal cord throughout the body.

Types of Peripheral Neuropathy

Medical experts estimate that there are over 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy that will each have different symptoms, causes, and prognoses. One common theme amongst them is that over 80% of peripheral neuropathy cases have a spinal component exacerbating the condition. To make things a little easier, these types of peripheral neuropathy are typically broken down into various classification categories.

These categories include:

  • Sensory neuropathy
  • Motor neuropathy
  • Autonomic nerve neuropathy
  • Combination neuropathies

Sensory Neuropathy

Sensory nerves are considered the feeling nerves, and they control what the body feels such as touch levels, pain and discomfort and temperature. Sensory neuropathy involves these nerve groups.

Motor Neuropathy

Motor nerves control muscle groups responsible for body movements. Motor neuropathy could hinder the ability to speak or move the hands as well as cause balance problems.

Autonomic Nerve Neuropathy

Autonomic nerves are responsible for important body functions that individuals are not consciously controlling. Autonomic nerve neuropathy can hinder life-sustaining bodily functions like heart rate and breathing. These neuropathies can be life-threatening and serious.

Combination Neuropathies

Combination neuropathies refer to having 2 or 3 combined neuropathy types like motor sensory.

Possible Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

There are many possible causes of peripheral neuropathy. These include inherited health conditions, infections, traumatic injuries, chemotherapy, certain medication side effects, compression on spinal nerves, exposure to toxic substances, tumors, certain cancers, autoimmune disorders and metabolic problems including diabetes a common cause.

Risk Factors for Development of Peripheral Neuropathy

Risk factors include:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Uncontrolled diabetes or other health condition
  • Vitamin deficiencies or poor diet
  • Repetitive movements – usually related to work
  • HIV, Lyme disease or other infections
  • Thyroid, kidney or liver disease
  • Exposure to toxins

There are many other risk factors as well.

Symptoms Related to Peripheral Neuropathy Explained

Symptoms that are generally seen with peripheral neuropathies vary depending on the type of neuropathy and the specific involvement of nerves.

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain that may be sharp, jabbing, sudden, throbbing or burning sensations
  • Gradual loss of feeling, tingling or numbness in hands, feet and spreading up towards arms or legs
  • Increased discomfort when moving
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue and sleep problems
  • Extreme sensitivities
  • Balance problems that may cause falls, dizziness or decreased mental focus
  • Paralysis if motor nerves are impacted

There may also be gastrointestinal issues, excess or inability to perspire, heat and cold intolerance, decreased blood pressure and symptoms related to inflammation and the body’s inflammatory responses.

Home Remedies for Easing Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

It is crucial to seek out qualified care for treating peripheral neuropathy and any underlying health conditions. Certain medications may help alleviate some of the most troublesome symptoms but they will not fix the underlying problem.

There are some effective home remedies for easing and even reversing peripheral neuropathy symptoms and/or preventing the progression of disease and complications. Dr. Shane Kurth D.C., BCN at Apex Chiropractic has his Board Certification in Neuropathy from the American College of Physical Medicine and has a full at-home treatment plan that has shown over a 90% success rate in reversing neuropathy.

The Importance of Healthy Lifestyle Choices to Prevent & Alleviate Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

The best at-home measure to prevent and alleviate unwanted peripheral neuropathy symptoms is to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes and choices into your everyday living routine.


Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a common cause of peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Eating a healthy diet full of lean sources of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains can help immensely.

Choose low-fat dairy products, fish, eggs, lean cuts of meats, vitamin-fortified cereals and whole grains. There are some good vitamin B-12 supplements as well.

Healthier eating choices can help to ensure healthy nerves and improve their functioning abilities.

Avoidance of Trigger Factors

The avoidance of trigger factors is key to successfully managing peripheral neuropathy.

Examples of common trigger factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use excessively
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor diet high in fats, sugars and calories
  • Uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid issues, heart/circulation problems
  • Wearing tight or unsupported shoes and other footwear
  • Kidney disease
  • Some medications
  • Infections – Lyme disease, Aids or Shingles among others
  • Poor or absence of diligent foot and skin care
  • Rare inherited health disorders and autoimmune issues
  • Cancers and cancer treatments
  • Stress
  • Untreated injuries
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Vitamin deficiencies

Avoid those non-medical triggers and pay attention to what increases or decreases your symptoms.


After getting the go-ahead from your doctor, be sure to incorporate more exercise into your routine. Try to walk, stretch or engage in healthy exercise pursuits at least three days a week in sessions of 30 minutes to an hour.

Getting up for frequent breaks and active stretching (no static stretching) during long periods when sitting or standing still can also help reduce symptoms and promote increased nerve health.

Getting outdoors in the fresh air can also help your circulation, keep your heart healthier, increase better digestion and triggers the release of “feel good” hormones that can decrease body discomforts, improve mood and encourage better sleep habits.

Obesity is bad for health in general, and more exercise can keep your weight at a healthy and stable number decreasing the excess strain that obesity causes on the musculoskeletal system and vulnerable joints.

Be Diligent About Managing Underlying Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

The need for ongoing and diligent management of underlying causes of your peripheral neuropathy symptoms is crucial to maintaining your health and well-being throughout life.

More Home Remedies for Easing Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

There are other simple home remedies that can help patients better manage peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

Take good care of your feet especially if you have diabetes and/or other underlying health conditions. Inspect your feet and lower legs daily to catch any sores, rashes or injuries. See a podiatrist regularly to help prevent ingrown toenails, infections and injuries to the feet, ankles and lower legs.

Keep blood sugar levels under control if diabetic, and take medications as prescribed for regulating your thyroid, heartrate or blood pressure.

Stop smoking and avoid excessive use of alcohol.

Avoid unnecessary toxin exposure and/or wear protective clothing and gear if required to work in such environments.

Wear supportive shoes that fit comfortably, are breathable and provide adequate cushioning and protection for your vulnerable feet.

Get more rest and seek treatment for ongoing insomnia and/or sleep apnea.

Consider stress reduction and relaxation techniques and activities like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, biofeedback, therapeutic massage, physical therapy, and mental health counseling or inquire about alternative procedures and therapies for pain relief like acupuncture, chiropractic care or other pain management treatment.

Peripheral neuropathy doesn’t have to be the end of comfortable and healthy living and well-being. Getting the proper medical, chiropractic and therapeutic care can help to stabilize your health status, reduce or prevent bothersome and sometimes serious symptoms and help to get you back to living at your best potential every day. Apex Chiropractic’s advanced neuropathy treatment can even reverse this devastating condition.

Try these easy-to-do peripheral neuropathy relief measures in the comfort of your home. Learn more or schedule a consultation appointment at Apex Chiropractic located in Louisville, CO. Phone (720) 328-1790 or visit us online for more information.