What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is the condition in which there is a breakdown in the communication system that is our nervous system. The result is that the hands and feet are overly sensitive, numb and tingling. Some people describe the condition of peripheral neuropathy as a burning sensation and weak feeling in the limbs. It is a little bit like when your hands or feet fall asleep – that pins and needles feeling that is momentarily debilitating. While peripheral neuropathy varies from case to case and ranges from mild to disabling, peripheral neuropathy is a non life-threatening nuisance and said to affect 20 million people in the United States.¹
How Does Peripheral Neuropathy Occur?
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when there has been damage to the nerves outside of the brain or along the spinal cord. The most common causes of peripheral neuropathy are diabetes and physical injury. Other causes include: Blood problems and exposure to toxins such as chemotherapy. In fact, 30 to 40 percent of people that endure chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer report peripheral neuropathy as a symptom. Less common causes of peripheral neuropathy include: Autoimmune diseases, tumors, alcoholism / vitamin deficiencies and infections.
The good news is, that peripheral nerves continue to grow and throughout one’s life. In most cases, the condition of peripheral neuropathy will improve over time or go away completely. In some cases, such as those that have peripheral neuropathy as a result of diabetes, management is the best option. More than half of the people diagnosed with diabetes experience neuropathy.
Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy
The first step in treating and managing peripheral neuropathy is to determine the cause. The cause will often point to whether management is temporary or life long. Doctors have many pharmaceuticals and pain relievers that can be prescribed to treat the discomfort of peripheral neuropathy. Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals also come with side effects. If one chooses to manage the symptoms naturally, there is a government study that shines favorable on capsicum applied topically to reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.² Capsicum has been used as a topical analgesia for centuries. Our Restore Heat is a topical used for pain management that includes capsicum – feedback reports a lessening of neuropathic pain when used every three to four hours.
A randomized controlled trial with 29 people who suffered from peripheral neuropathy of the lower extremities was conducted in 2020 and published in Pubmed.³ The results are encouraging: The study population included 62.1% males and 37.9% females with a mean age of 68 years. There was a statistically significant reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, cold and itchy sensations in the CBD group when compared to the placebo group.
In addition to topical application of CBD and capsicum for neuropathy pain, B Vitamins are useful because of the role B vitamins play in the health of the nervous system.
A lot of people report that their peripheral neuropathy is worse at night. This is simply because the brain experiences less distractions at night and the sensitivity of neuropathy is heightened. Before heading off to sleep, a warm bath or a massage with Restore Heat can assist in preparing to rest. Some people find icing the hands and feet and help. If heat is more soothing than ice, we suggest going to sleep with a hot water bottle on your feet or hands.
Feel free to reach out or comment with questions or tips if you have experienced neuropathy relating to any of the conditions mentioned above.