Do Damaged Nerves Heal?

Can damaged nerves heal? If you’re searching for answers to this question, you’re probably suffering from symptoms like stabbing pain or burning, tingling sensations, muscle weakness or numbness. These symptoms can be debilitating and interfere with your ability to remain active and enjoy life. Here at Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy, we help patients who are suffering from nerve damage with an array of treatment options. At our Oakland, Wayne, Closter and Fair Lawn, New Jersey locations, we’re able to use innovative techniques to provide relief from symptoms and give patients their lives back.

What is nerve damage?

To understand nerve damage it’s important to have general knowledge of what nerves are and how they work. Nerves throughout our body, beyond the spinal cord and brain, are known as peripheral nerves. The peripheral nervous system includes nerves that you may be family with, such as radial, median, and sciatic. These nerves are categorized as motor, sensory and autonomic.

There are many issues and incidents which can cause nerve damage. These range from injuries, such as a laceration, fall or car accident or can be caused by medical condition, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

What are the symptoms of nerve damage?

Your symptoms will vary depending on which nerve fibers have been damaged. Because specific nerves affect certain systems of the body, identifying symptoms can be helpful.

Motor nerves: These are the nerves that are responsible for voluntary muscle movements. When these are damaged, you can experience trouble walking or talking for example. You might also experience muscle weakness or twitching that you can’t stop. Some patients even deal with painful cramps.

Sensory nerves: Think of the five senses, these are the areas affected when sensory nerves are damaged. You may experience numbness, tingling in your extremities or issues with sensing touch or temperature.

Autonomic nerves:  While motor nerves control muscles we can consciously control, autonomic are our “automatic” nerves, regulating the actions of our body that we don’t have to think about, such as breathing, our heartbeat and food digestion. Problems with these nerves can result in sweating, blood pressure fluctuations and digestion problems.

Sometimes nerve damage can feel like “pins and needles” or a feeling that a limb has “fallen asleep.” This is known as paresthesia. Another frustrating sensation that patients experience can feel like an itch that is impossible to resolve, a shocking pain or tightening in the affected area. This is known as dysesthesia.

Can Damaged Nerves Heal?

If nerves are injured from overuse, an accident or injury, they should be able to heal. This process on its own however can be slow. For some nerve fibers, it can take years for full function to return and symptoms to end. However, if there is an underlying condition, such as diabetes or arthritis, left untreated, these conditions may not improve. Many times surgery is recommended for nerve damage, however there are alternatives to invasive surgery that patients should consider before going under the knife.

How Can Chiropractic Help Heal Nerves

Some nerve damage can actually be caused by joint dysfunction or a misalignment (which is known as a subluxation) of the bone. In these instances, a chiropractic adjustment can provide immediate relief from the pain of nerve damage.

Another instance when chiropractic care can offer relief is for cases of trapped nerves (also known as entrapment). These are nerves that can cause pain because they’ve become irritated when passing through muscles, often referred to as peripheral nerve entrapment. This often leads to the formation of scar tissue and adhesions. We’ve seen success using Active Release Technique also known as ART, which applies manual pressure and moving the body part around within its range of motion. This movement helps to release the nerve from any adhesions affecting it. Again, with a therapy like this, patients often enjoy immediate relief.

The experienced team of chiropractors at Oakland Spine use a variety of high-tech and long-established methods to provide relief from nerve pain and healing. This includes ice and cold therapy, electrical stimulation (TENS), as well as deep tissue laser therapy.

How Does Physical Therapy Improve Nerve Damage

Many times doctors recommend physical therapy to patients who experience nerve damage. And that’s for good reason. Physical therapy, using techniques such as strengthening exercises, soft tissue manipulation, stretches and range of motion exercises, help to reduce the pain and increase the function of your muscles and joints.

Hope for Neuropathy Patients

Neuropathy can be an especially hard-to-treat nerve condition. It’s seen in patients with conditions such as diabetes and arthritis, as well as nutritional deficiencies and alcohol-dependence. Pain, numbness and weakness can go on without any promise of relief. However, we offer patients new opportunities for care, such as chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, massage therapy, and nutrition counseling to strengthen the body, reduce inflammation and reduce the instances of pain.

Help for Nerve Damage in North Jersey

If you suspect you have nerve damage, it’s always best to seek out care as quickly as possible. Non-invasive therapies can help heal nerve damage and reduce symptoms. Even for old injuries and chronic conditions, it’s always best to get started on your therapy as soon as possible. This way you can get back to a pain-free life and resume the activities you couldn’t do previously.

With Oakland Spine, you can find the relief you want from nerve pain without drugs that carry side effects or risky surgery. Our therapies use no drugs and no surgeries. Instead we do extensive testing to identify the source of your pain and use the most effective treatments available. We have four convenient North Jersey locations offering chiropractic care and physical therapy with weekend and evening hours. Reach out to find out how economical and efficient our approach to nerve damage is and how we can help you live pain-free again.