Acupuncture For Neuropathy Therapy

Nerves convert information from your body into signals that travel to your brain. Peripheral neuropathy therapy can disrupt those signals and cause you to feel tingling, burning pain or numbness.

Therapy for neuropathy can involve treating the underlying condition and managing your symptoms. Treatment options include medications (like NSAIDs or lidocaine cream), low-impact exercise, and mind/body techniques like meditation, yoga or tai chi.

The nervous system enables communication between your brain and the rest of the body. The brain regulates your heart rate, lungs and digestive tract, and controls all of the vital functions in the body.

A health care professional who specializes in the nervous system (neurologist) will take a complete medical history and do a physical and neurological exam, checking for weakness, numbness, poor reflexes and other symptoms of neuropathy. Blood tests can check for diabetes, vitamin deficiencies and other diseases or conditions that can cause nerve damage. Imaging tests, such as a CT or an MRI scan, can help find out what is causing the neuropathy by looking for herniated disks (pinched nerves) or other problems in the bones and blood vessels.

Medications can be used to treat the underlying condition that causes neuropathy. For example, if you have diabetes, your doctor may prescribe medication to control your blood sugar. Pain medications can relieve some types of neuropathic pain, but over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are often ineffective at relieving nerve pain. Newer drugs, such as alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine, may ease pain in some people with diabetic neuropathy by changing the way nerves respond to pain signals.

Physical Therapy

When nerves are damaged, they send inaccurate signals that affect balance, posture, movement, gland and organ function. Some of these symptoms can be quite severe and disabling. But luckily, the underlying condition that is causing neuropathy can often be treated or corrected.

A health care professional will start by reviewing your medical history, which includes your symptoms, lifestyle, exposure to toxins, drinking habits and family history of nervous system, or neurological, diseases. Your doctor will then do a physical and neurological exam, including checking your tendon reflexes, muscle strength and tone and ability to feel sensations. Blood tests may detect diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, infections and other conditions that can cause neuropathy. Imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans, can look for herniated disks, compression of nerves and other abnormalities affecting nerve function.

Exercises that strengthen muscles reduce pain and improve flexibility and balance in patients with peripheral neuropathy. Mind/body practices like deep breathing, meditation, yoga and tai chi can also help with symptom relief.


Acupuncture is a traditional practice that stimulates pressure points. When performed by a licensed acupuncturist, the technique can alleviate pain and improve nerve function. It also promotes blood flow and can help prevent further neuropathy damage. Unlike medications, which have the potential for negative side effects, acupuncture is a safe, natural treatment.

Acupuncture treatments can significantly reduce numbness and tingling by increasing blood flow to the affected area. The treatment can also improve the way patients feel by boosting their mood and helping them manage symptoms of neuropathy. As a result, quality of life improves for many patients once their pain is reduced and they are able to participate in daily activities again. Other treatment options include managing the condition that causes neuropathy through medication or plasma exchange or immune globulin therapy, and physical therapy to strengthen muscles. Acupuncture can also be paired with these other treatments to maximize benefits. Medications for neuropathy are effective, but they can have side effects and might require regular monitoring.


Your nerves allow your brain to communicate with the rest of your body and help you move and function. They also carry sensory signals that your senses transmit to the brain to give you information about your environment, including pain, temperature and touch.

When you have neuropathy, these signals can be disrupted and you may not be able to feel sensations in your feet or hands. You might have a hard time walking, climbing stairs or standing for long periods of time.

To diagnose neuropathy, your health care professional will do a physical exam and ask you about your symptoms and past illnesses and treatments. You will have blood tests to check for diabetes, low levels of certain vitamins, liver or kidney problems and other conditions that can cause nerve damage. Imaging tests can look for herniated disks, pinched nerves (also called compressed nerves) and other growths that might be causing your symptoms. These can include MRI, CT scan or an x-ray.

Additional Resources:

Advanced MMC, Inc
8401 Chagrin Rd Suite 20A Chagrin Falls OH 44023.

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