One amazing things that I’ve discovered while working with Dr. David Phillips is that in many types of peripheral sensory neuropathy cases, regardless of the cause, the common link appears to be Hypoxia.
Hypoxia is a word used to describe loss of oxygen. This is a condition where in whole body or part of the body is deprived of an adequate amount of oxygen. It often occurs at what are called neuronal junctions (synapses), an area in the human body where nerve cells communicate with each other.
The neuronal junction is where nerve impulses pass through. This is a form of electrochemical communication of nerve cells. Theoretically, if a patient is suffering from neuropathy because of hypoxia, the neuronal gap between cells widens and this widening is theoretically considered to be responsible for the common symptoms experience by the patients such as the burning sensation, tingling and shooting pain.
According to Dr. Phillips, “Neuropathy and chronic pain is characterized by pain, numbness, loss of tactile feedback, and poor tissue perfusion. These may be an indication that oxygen is not reaching all the cells and thus causing dysfunction.” In his work, he says that 90% of neuropathy and chronic pain is a result of the impaired transmission of nerve signals between nerve cells due to not enough oxygen which is needed to support nerve cell metabolism.
So it appears that hypoxia may be a factor in neuropathy and chronic pain. The shrinking of the synaptic junctions due to the demineralization of the synaptic fluid that causes the gap between nerve cells to widen may be another factor. The widening of the gap between cells makes is hard for normal signals to propagate.
The causes of Hypoxia may be due to many situations that patients experience throughout their lives. As you read further Dr. Phillips work, you’ll learn that among the reasons behind the loss of oxygen could be due to trauma, chemotherapy, diabetes or mechanical such as compression on a peripheral nerve. This compression can happen in the median nerve found at the wrist (carpal tunnel), in the sciatic nerves such as that at the hip and lower back, (sciatica) as well as in the ulnar nerve at the elbow (cubital tunnel).
Anyone who suffers from these condition often times feels devastated. Because the pain greatly affects their quality of living, patients often try to use pain medication to reduce the pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, pain medications do not cure the condition. They mask it. Eventually, some drugs can lead to a more serious complications with side effects such as mental confusion or intestinal problems.
The good news is, advancements have been made in the treatment of neuropathy.
Patients can now undergo better treatments, rather than just settling with reducing the pain and discomfort that they have.
There are combined methods of treatment that are now used to help patients. Our clinicians find these approaches are holding the most promise.