Are you looking for nerve pain relief in California? As chiropractors with a specific focus on functional neurology, we take an in-depth look at the myriad of reasons that behind the pain and other neurological symptoms that a patient is experiencing.
No two patients are alike, which is why the process requires a very thorough history taking and neuromuscular examination as we look for clues, patterns and extremes that are out of the norm.
Each person is like a combination lock with a number of tumblers (problems). When we provide nerve pain relief in California, our goal is to find all the tumblers and get them into the correct combination in order to unlock the problem and regain optimum health for the patient.
If you don’t get to the root cause and only hit symptoms, the problem will persist.
Diving Deep into Nerve Disorders
Every time a patient turns to us for nerve pain relief, we discuss the different factors that may be behind their pain. What are some common causes of nerve pain or numbness in the legs and feet including sciatica and peripheral neuropathy?
In doctor terms, we’re looking for the ‘level of the longitudinal lesion’ which is a long way of saying “at what level or levels in your nervous system does a problem exist.”
Let’s examine this through the analogy of a garden hose. Imagine a person whose toes are going numb to be akin to a garden hose that isn’t delivering water out the end. Somewhere between the toes and the brain the nerve flow is getting blocked and somewhere between the end of the hose and the main, the water is not getting through.
Sometimes the hose is plugged at the end with a dirt clod. This would be akin to a nerve receptor problem on the skin in the toes. The hose may instead be crimped which would be like pressure on the nerve as it exits the spine.
Trouble could also be further ‘up stream’ at the spigot or even at the main, which neurologically would be a problem with the central nervous system or in the brain.
A patient is also vulnerable to multiple problems and even multiple levels of the same problem. Often times an initial problem will create a domino affect. We call this transneural degeneration.
Nervous System Overview
As an overview to better understand this concept and neurology in general, let us give you a very basic overview. The nervous system has nerves that carry information from the periphery towards the brain (afferent). These include your sensory nerves. If someone touches your toe, the signal must travel from your toe to your brain, at speeds up to 275 mph in order for your brain to perceive the event.
The left brain controls the right side of your body and vice versa.
Once you ‘feel’ your toe, you may decide to wiggle it, in which case the signal leaves the brain and goes the opposite direction (efferent) through motor nerves until it reaches the toe, telling it to move.
We like to explain transneural degeneration like ‘garbage in, garbage out’.
If a good signal from the toe isn’t getting to the brain, then the brain isn’t getting good information to process. Eventually, bad information will come out and other bad things can begin to happen like loss of muscle strength in the foot, loss of balance, etc. This is how symptoms can domino if things are left unresolved or simple masked by only treating those symptoms.
Finding A Solution
As you can see, we take a science-based approach when providing nerve pain relief. With these basic analogies in hand, let’s take the example of patient who comes in with a loss of feeling in their toes, increased pain in their legs and loss of balance. This is a very common scenario in someone with peripheral neuropathy and we see this all the time.
An increasing loss of feeling in the toes can actually lead to an increase in pain in the feet and legs. Most people don’t realize that roughly 60% of the nervous system inhibits the other 40%.
All our nerves are firing all the time and that’s part of what keeps them healthy. Our body is designed so that as certain nerves fire, part of their job it to step on the brakes to slow down or inhibit other types of nerves. This is the case with large sensory nerves inhibiting smaller pain fibers in the feet and legs.
When someone begins to lose feeling in their feet, that often means the large sensor nerves in the legs and spine are not working properly, not delivering the information from the feet to the brain. As they start to go ‘offline’, not only will the lack of sensation increase but so will the pain because they’re not hitting the brakes on the pain fibers which will the naturally begin to fire more. Upstream, balance can also be affected.
We get balance in three main ways:
- from our eyes, seeing our environment
- from the vestibular system, including the 3 semicircular canals in our inner ear, which is what gets us sick on a roller coaster
- from feeling through our feet.
It’s like a three legged stool and we need all three legs to be stable. Often times, patients find once they stop getting good sensation through the feet they become much less stable, especially when it’s dark out. This is because without good information through the feet and the eyes, it’s just not enough info for the nervous system to work with to generate good balance.
This is a great scenario to demonstrate how an initial deficit can snowball into multiple compounding health issues. But this is just the ‘nuts and bolts’ behind the problem.
What’s really important is how these problems affect people where it matters. While not feeling your feet or having some leg pain is disappointing, it’s a game changer to lose your balance and fall down and break a hip.
Any person over 70 will recognize what a major problem that could become. We have older folks coming in all the time who admit they can’t feel the gas and brake pedal under their feet as well as they should. We even had a patient who said he reclined his seat way back so he could visually confirm his foot was on the gas. It would be a terrible shame to injure someone in an avoidable traffic accident. And no one want’s to lose their license and become dependent on others to get around.
Let’s make sure you’re not in such a position; trust us to provide effective nerve pain relief in California. At Chronic Conditions Chiropractic, we’ll look at all of the causes of your nerve pain, and ensure that the domino affect nerve pain and neuropathy don’t ruin your life—or someone else’s.
Please contact us today at (805) 540-2010 or fill out the form below to schedule your appointment today.