Roughly 2.4% of the population suffers from some type of neuropathy, and in older populations, that number jumps to 8%. Although the percentages may seem small, neuropathy is very common; it affects over 20 million Americans.
This disorder directly affects the peripheral nervous system, the comprehensive network of neurons that initiate and manage the majority of the body’s overall function. People of all ages can show symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. The risk increases as we age and naturally wear down our bodies, making it essential to understand how this disorder develops so we can take better care of our health.
In this blog, we'll be talking about nerve compression syndrome, a type of neuropathy that affects 85 out of every 100,000 Americans.
What Is Nerve Compression Syndrome?
Also commonly known as nerve entrapment syndrome, compression neuropathy, or entrapment neuropathy, nerve compression syndrome is the discomfort that occurs when a peripheral nerve is constricted by its surrounding tissue due to excess pressure.
Nerve compression syndrome can affect many different types of peripheral nerves. It usually develops in joints and limbs that we use often. Some of its most common types include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Occurs when tissue swelling in the wrist or hand compresses the median nerve that connects the upper arm to the thumb.
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – When the posterior tibial nerve, which helps control the muscle movement of the leg, gets compressed.
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – Also known as ulnar neuropathy, this type of nerve disorder occurs when the ulnar nerve, which ferries signals between the hand and forearm, is compressed.
Nerve compression syndrome can affect various peripheral nerves, most commonly in areas such as the torso, limbs, and extremities—as such, its symptoms vary widely. However, common symptoms usually include:
- Muscle weakness
- Pain in the compressed area
- Reduced movement and flexibility
Most cases of nerve compression syndrome are caused by overuse injuries from everyday activities such as work or sports-related use.
However, as with all neuropathic disorders, preexisting health conditions can increase the risk of developing nerve compression syndrome. These risk factors include:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Pituitary disorders
Diagnosis And Treatment
To determine the underlying cause of the disorder, patients usually undergo a series of tests and symptom analyses, in addition to a review of their medical history.
For natural remedies to conditions caused by overuse injuries, muscle trauma, and preexisting health conditions, health providers will often recommend lifestyle changes and preventive measures such as treating underlying discomforts or taking essential breaks from repetitive motions and activities. However, these natural remedies are usually preventative, rather than therapeutic.
Prescription medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids are the standard treatment options. In more serious cases of nerve compression syndrome, patients usually undergo physical therapy or surgery.
Although these solutions are effective in alleviating the symptoms and reducing discomfort, they can pose risks of infection and further nerve damage.
Fortunately, new medical research and developments have paved the way for alternative and regenerative treatments that can help patients avoid these risks. These alternative solutions treat the root causes of their nerve issues and stimulate regeneration and repair by using the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
Here at Beyer Functional Wellness, Dr. Beyer offers Stem Cell and PRP Therapy for neuropathic diseases. If you want to learn more, click here