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Understanding Nerve Damage: Diagnoses and Treatment Options

Nerve damage is a condition characterized by dysfunction or injury to the peripheral nerves, affecting their ability to transmit signals. It can lead to various symptoms, including pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, and sensory disturbances. In this blog, we will explore what nerve damage is, how it is diagnosed, and various treatment options available.

  1. Understanding Nerve Damage:

    Nerve damage occurs when the peripheral nerves are injured or impaired due to various factors such as diabetes, trauma, infection, toxins, or underlying health conditions. It can affect the nerves throughout the body, resulting in localized or widespread symptoms.

  2. Diagnosing Nerve Damage:

    Proper diagnosis of nerve damage is crucial for effective treatment. We employ several diagnostic methods:

    1. Medical history and physical examination: We will discuss your symptoms and medical history while performing a thorough physical examination.
    2. Electromyography (EMG): This test performed in-house measures the electrical activity of muscles and the nerves controlling them to assess nerve function and detect damage.
    3. Nerve conduction studies (NCS): NCS measures how quickly electrical signals travel through nerves, helping determine the severity and type of nerve damage. This test is performed in-house.
    4. Imaging tests: Tests such as MRI or CT scans may be used to visualize the affected areas and identify potential causes of nerve damage.
    5. Blood tests: Blood tests can help identify underlying conditions contributing to nerve damage, such as diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, or autoimmune disorders.
    6. ENFD Testing:  This minor in-house test is a diagnostic tool used in neurology to assess the density of nerve fibers in the skin. It involves taking a small skin biopsy, usually from the leg, and examining it under a microscope to measure the density of nerve fibers. ENFD testing is often used in the evaluation of peripheral neuropathies, such as small fiber neuropathy, where there may be damage to the small nerve fibers.
  3. Treatment Options for Nerve Damage:
    1. Topical Compounded Pain Prescription Medications: These customized medications, prepared by compounding pharmacies, target specific nerve damage-related pain and discomfort.
    2. Topical CBD (SOOTHE) and (RECOVER) ointments from Modern Podiatrist: These products can help alleviate nerve damage symptoms, providing relief from pain and promoting comfort and well-being. SOOTHE, infused with CBD, offers potential anti-inflammatory effects, while RECOVER is a non-CBD alternative.
    3. RELAX: Infused with lemongrass and Epsom salts, can help soothe nerves and muscles affected by damage, promoting relaxation and potentially reducing discomfort.
    4. NeuRX: This oral supplement is designed to enhance the efficacy of any oral medications you may already be on. However, if you’re not taking any medications this is a first line therapy to improve the overall nutritional value of your nerves.  Available exclusively available at doctor's offices, it combines various therapies tailored to individual patients, aiming to address nerve damage and enhance neurological function.
    5. MLS IV Laser Therapy: This non-invasive procedure utilizes targeted wavelengths of light to stimulate damaged nerves, promote nerve regeneration, reduce pain, and alleviate inflammation. MLS IV laser therapy may offer potential benefits for nerve damage treatment. Only 9 treatments performed over 3 weeks to determine your response to this treatment method.  All of our patients have some sort of improvement.  This is covered for those who have HAS/FSA coverage.
    6. Oral Medications: Depending on the severity and nature of nerve damage, we may prescribe oral medications such as gabapentin, cymbalta, lyrica, and other medications to manage pain, reduce nerve sensitivity, and enhance quality of life.
    7. Balance Braces: Those that suffer with nerve damage can suffer with gait and balance issues. We custom fit you with balance braces specifically designed to help you become more confident performing daily activities.

Nerve damage can significantly impact a person's well-being, but with the right treatment approach, symptom management and improved quality of life are possible. From topical and oral medications to innovative therapies like MLS IV laser therapy, a range of options is available.