How Physical Therapy Helps with Nerve Damage

November 24, 2020 12:22 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When your nerves are damaged, it can affect everything from how you move to whether you can grasp objects without pain. It’s a painful, inconvenient way to live. If you have a nerve injury, physical therapy in Napa County, CA can help. Whether the nerve damage is from an injury or a health condition, physical therapy can help take pressure off the damaged nerves, increase circulation, improve your balance and coordination and more. Although it takes some time to solve, physical therapy works to eliminate the problem at its source.

Here’s how physical therapy works to improve nerve damage.

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is the term that describes peripheral nerve pain—that is, pain in any of the nerves in your body outside the spine and brain. This can be due to health conditions like diabetes, infections, inflammation, exposure to chemicals or injuries. Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome are an example of peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy may feel like numbness or stabbing, tingling pains. You might notice loss of sensation, sensitivity to touch, weakness or paralysis and a lack of coordination. If left untreated, peripheral neuropathy can lead to a lack of bladder or bowel control, falling, poor wound healing and other severe symptoms.

How can physical therapy help?

Depending on the type of peripheral neuropathy you’re experiencing, your physical therapist may help you in a number of different ways. Here are the most common methods:

  • Exercise: Your physical therapist can help you through a series of moderate-intensity exercises, which are designed to improve your physical strength and motor function. They may also help reduce pressure and inflammation, depending on your injury.
  • Nerve gliding activities: Nerve gliding activities are designed to nourish and heal the nerve. That’s because your nerves need blood, space and movement to work properly. “Nerve gliding” movements are designed to give your nerves just that. It helps manage peripheral neuropathy symptoms, like pain and weakness or numbness.
  • Bracing: Sometimes bracing helps heal nerve injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. By immobilizing part of the body, you can protect the nerve while ensuring you’re able to move it safely. This gives your nerve space to heal and prevents you from worsening the injury.
  • Coordination and balance exercises: Since peripheral neuropathy can make it difficult to keep your balance, your therapist may guide you through exercises designed to help improve both. This reduces your risk of falling or stumbling.
  • Education: Finally, your physical therapist will educate you about peripheral neuropathy, with information specifically tailored to your injury type. This can help you make smart lifestyle changes (especially if yours is caused by illness like diabetes) and carry out your exercises at home.

Peripheral neuropathy can be painful and inconvenient, but physical therapy is a good way to address the problem. If you’re looking to enroll in physical therapy for nerve damage in Napa County, CA, Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy is happy to help. Call today to learn more and schedule your first visit with our team.

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