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Neuropraxia - El Paso Chiropractor
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Nerve injuries can be the result of numerous conditions, disorders, or dysfunctions. From direct trauma from an injury to an underlying condition such as diabetes or arthritis, the central nerves of the body, the peripheral nerves are most frequently at a higher risk of experiencing damage or injury. Nerve injuries require a gradual process of treatments and healing time in order for the nerve to regenerate. The regeneration of the nerves depend on whether the nerve suffered irritation or was partially or completely severed as well as the type of injury that caused the nerve injury.

Each nerve within the peripheral nervous system consists of Schwann cells and axons. There are two types of nerves: myelinated and unmyelinated. In the myelinated nerves, the Schwann cells cover each axon, into what is known as a sheath formation, while in the unmyelinated nerves, the Schwann cells only cover the grouped axons. The axons protected by the sheath formation are also covered by a second layer, known as the endoneurium.

There are several types of nerve injuries that can be classified according to the level of severity but one type of nerve injury, considered to be the least severe of nerve injuries, can still present discomfort in the affected individual.

Neuropraxia is a mild form of nerve injury where the nerve impulses are completely blocked or interrupted while the nerve fibers, including the axon and protective sheath that make up the nerve, remain intact. The major causes for neuropraxia are bone fractures or dislocations which cause the nerve to stretch suddenly. Least likely, this type of nerve injury can also occur as a result of blunt injury or pressure on the nerve for extended periods of time. The most frequent symptoms of neuropraxia include impairment or loss of regular motor or sensory function, weakness or paralysis of the muscles, unusual sensations such as numbness, tingling, or burning sensations, and pain along the affected region of the nerve.

When it comes to nerve injuries where the nerve has not been severed, such as neuropraxia, the healing process is gradual and can regenerate over the course of time. It is also possible to reduce the symptoms of the condition.

Physical therapy can be an important treatment option for individuals recovering from nerve injuries. Before beginning therapy, a specialist might prevent active movements surrounding the affected extremity, following with a set of focused, passive movements to maintain the normal range of motion and avoid the atrophy of the muscles that could result from a damaged nerve. As the nerve begins to heal, the physical therapist will progressively increase the level of activity until the individual can confidently move to more active movements until the damaged or injured nerve heals completely and the symptoms disappear.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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