How long does Neuropathy take to heal?

In order to understand whether neuropathy can be healed and how long this should take, you must first have a general understanding of neuropathy and all it entails.

Neuropathy is the disease of, or damage to one or more of the peripheral nerves that typically causes symptoms of pain, numbness or weakness. The pain that is associated with neuropathy is pain that comes from problems with signals from the nerves. This pain, often called neuralgia, is different for each individual and the level of pain will depend on the type of injury sustained. There are three categories of neuropathy, mononeuropathy which occurs when only one nerve is affected, multiple mononeuropathieswhich occurs when two or more nerves are affectedindividually and polyneuropathy which occurs when generalised nerve damage has occurred over many affected areas, this mainlyaffects diabetics and people with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. As well as categories of neuropathy there is also five types of neuropathy; Peripheral neuropathy, Cranial neuropathy, Proximal neuropathy, Autonomic neuropathy and Focal Neuropathy.


The most common form of Neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy although there are many other varieties. This develops in the body when the nerves in extremitiessuch as hands, feet, legs, arms and so forth are damaged. It is estimated that one in ten people over the age of 55 will suffer from neuropathy of some kind. The most common cause of neuropathy is having the condition Diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2 where individuals suffer a lot from neuropathic foot pain, with other causes such as an accident or injury that causes damage to the nerves, shingles, too much alcohol consumption and sometimes a reaction to some medication. Additionally, it can be caused from environmental toxicants, nutrient deficiencies, and delayed food sensitivities.


In order to understand Neuropathy and how it can be treated it is first crucial to understand the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is an extensiveand complicated network of nerves that are situated outside of the central nervous system of the brain and spinal cord.  This network of nerves include a variety of different nerves that all have their own individual specific functions that include autonomic nerves which are responsible for monitoring and regulating the automatic functions of the human body such as bladder function and the regulation of blood pressure, sensory nerves that are responsible for the transmissionof sensations such as pain, itching and touch and motor nerves that are responsible for the control of muscles within the human body.


The treatment of any neuropathic pain no matter what category it comes from or what type of neuropathy it is notablydifficult to treat with an approximation of only half of the patients suffering globally can get partial pain relief from treatment. Treatmentsfor neuropathic pain are varied although a lot of them show little or no difference. Favoured initial treatments include certain anti-depressants in the tricyclic antidepressant group and the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, anticonvulsants and topical lidocaine. Opioid analgesia can be useful however it is not often seen as beneficial as a first stage treatment. Another effective pain reliever in neuropathic pain is the use of cannabis or a cannabinoid receptor antagonist such as CBD. Integrative therapist have many tools to use to support nerve recovery. Treating the root cause is part of a comprehensive approach.

Integrative health professionals that Nutrients, via mouth or IV, diet, and Naturopathic treatments may also work.


So can these nerves ever repair or heal, in short,yes they can but it is a lengthy process. We do know, that Nutritional support is critical to promote nerve growth. In order to understand fully how a nerve heals or the length of time,it is essential to know about the nerve in the first instance.


It depends on a variety of things, for instance,it depends on the nature of the damage itself and whether the injury is close to the spine/spinal cord or close to the nerve. A nerve in the human body is a complicated structure containing neurons, Schwanncells and support structures such as connective tissues that create channels around the nerve cushioning it almost in the same way as an electric cable. This cushioning connective tissue has the job of offering support to the nerve and preventing any injury occurring to the neuron. However,sometimes injuries occur so after an injury to the nerve has occurred that connective tissue effectively formspathwaysin which the growth cones of the neurons have the freedom to move.


The Schwann cells are also critical as they produce growth factors that the growth cones of the neurons can target and attach to. The cell’s corefunction is to support the neuron through its everyday, normal functioning, this is done by feeding the neuron, performing certain functions for the neuron and so forth. A neuron is a highly specialised and complicated cell and therefore, requires a sizeable amount of support in order to be able to function as far away from the cell body as it does. However when the nerve gets damaged due to injury or illness then these also support the neuron thatis now without trophicsupport from the organ it has originally been targeting, such as skin, muscle and so forth. Schwann cells then can help keep the nerve active until it can reach the intended target.


That’s the science part finished and you breathe a sigh of relief.

It is estimated that injuries to the nervous system affectover 90,000 people each year with approximately 10,000 of those aloneeach year being injuries to the spinal cord. With peripheral nerves,it really does dependon the of the type of injuryand the level of damage that has been caused as these will all react differently, for example, a contusednerve will react differently to a compressed nerve which will act differently to a crushednerve and so forth. Another determinant of how long the nerve will take to heal is whether the individual has had surgeryto repairthe nerve damage or not, as is the age of the individual, as younger individualsare thought to be ableto make a full recovery due to having a quicker rate of nerve tissue regeneration than old people who may only partially recover. Nerves typically take one month to grow one inch with recovery taking a different amount of time depending on where it is, for instance, if an arm has nervedamage in the fingertips then it can take up to a year to repair itself. Research has also indicated that mindfulness techniques can also aid in recovery.


So in short neuropathy can be healed, however,the time it takes varies and patients that are suffering from neuropathy should take every opportunity they have whether homoeopathic, nutritional, medical or mindfulness in order to assist their recovery.




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