Is It Possible to Regenerate Damaged Nerves?
Nerve regeneration is a subject of great interest to many patients who suffer from nerve damage. Are you curious to find out if nerve damage can be reversed and nerves regenerated? Unlike other parts of the body, nerves can be notoriously challenging to heal. But there is some hope and options that are important to understand. At Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy in North Jersey, our offices help patients with a variety of nerve issues and injuries. Before considering nerve damage surgery, it’s worth exploring non-invasive therapies and treatments.
Nerves Play an Important Role in the Body
Nerves radiate from the spinal cord and brain out into the rest of the body to provide vital functions, such as providing the link between the nervous system and the outside world. Nerves are responsible for our senses, such as seeing, taste and smell, along with involuntary functions such as breathing, digestion and heartbeat.
What is Nerve Damage?
Nerves are like the fiber optic cables that transmit signals from the brain to muscles and other organs of the body. When a nerve gets damaged, it can be quite painful and at times debilitating. From numbness or tingling in the extremities, to muscle weakness and feelings like burning or electric shock, a damaged nerve can seriously affect quality of life and the ability to function normally. Many conditions can cause nerve damage, which include:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Lyme disease
One type of common nerve damage is a pinched nerve. This happens when pressure gets applied to the nerve by bones, cartilage or muscles in the region. This can result in symptoms like pain and weakness. This is often experienced in a herniated disk of the spine. When pressure is applied to these nerves, the pain can radiate down the leg. Another area where a pinched nerve often causes issues is in the wrist. Here, pressure on a nerve in the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome in the fingers.
Can You Regenerate Nerves Naturally?
It is possible for nerves to regenerate, but it is dependent on many variables such as the extent of the nerve damage and the root cause. For some types of nerve damage, for instance, sensory nerves can repair themselves more quickly than motor nerves. You can expect it to still take several months to years after nerve damage for this regeneration to occur. Sometimes regeneration can be accompanied by feelings of tingling, a “pins and needle” sensation or electric shock experiences.
Diet can also affect nerve health and there are numerous vitamins that are essential to proper nerve function. B vitamins along with vitamin C and E support a healthy nervous system. Foods high in magnesium and potassium are also beneficial as well as ginger and antioxidant-rich foods. This is why it is important to consult a healthcare provider who takes a holistic view of your care. Here at Oakland Spine, our chiropractors and physical therapists work individually with patients to provide guidance on the right lifestyle and eating habits to support your nerve health.
Can Damaged Spinal Cord Nerves Regenerate?
It’s important to make the distinction between nerve damage and a nerve being severed. When a nerve is completely cut in the spinal cord, it is not able to regenerate or repair itself. Nerves that have the ability to regenerate are still notoriously slow to heal. Because it can take months or years for nerves to regenerate, it’s important to seek help for pain management and proper healing during this time. Particularly when it comes to the back and spine region, proper healing, with physical therapy, therapeutic treatments and lifestyle changes can make a positive impact on how quickly and effectively nerves heal.
Experiencing Nerve Damage? You Have Options
Many times people don’t realize that the root cause of their pain is a pinch or damaged nerve. But issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and sciatica are best treated by addressing the underlying nerve damage. This is a much better alternative than taking pain medication regularly to numb nerve pain and it does not carry the risks associated with nerve repair surgery. Physical therapy can also be incorporated into a treatment plan. Not only does this strengthen the muscles around a nerve to provide additional support, but it also is good for overall health and healing.
At Oakland Spine, our team of highly-experienced chiropractors can provide the spinal adjustments necessary to relieve compression and pressure which is often the source of nerve pain and discomfort. We offer a variety of non-invasive treatments from spinal decompression to deep tissue laser therapy, physical therapy and massage, all of which are beneficial for reducing pain caused by nerve damage and encouraging nerve healing.
With locations in Oakland, Wayne, Fair Lawn and Closter, Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy provides patients in pain with non-invasive solutions that help them get back to the activities they once enjoyed and experience reduced pain and greater functionality. Our convenient office hours allow patients with busy lives to seamlessly fit appointments into their busy schedules, with evening and weekend availability.
If you suffer from a pinched nerve or other types of nerve damage and pain, reach out to our office for help. We are experts in treating nerve damage and can provide a holistic approach that identifies the underlying cause of your pain and provides non-invasive therapies to address it. Reach out to schedule a consultation and accelerate your healing.