Joel Tyack

June 01, 2017
Diagnosing Neuropathy.jpg

Numbness, weakness and tingling in the arms and legs are a common problem that can be caused by numerous different conditions. Some are related to the spine, or to metabolism such as diabetes, yet others are related to nerves in the limbs. At Tyack Health we have professionals on our team who can help each of these broad categories.

Thankfully, conservative options exist. Quite often surgeries such as Carpal Tunnel Release can be avoided. The first step is to identify where the symptoms are coming from. Careful history and examination are very important. Sometimes tests need to be ordered such as MRI, Nerve Conduction or blood tests. There are also questions that you can answer by paying close attention to your symptoms at home.

  1. How long have you had the problem? This is very important. The longer a nerve is compressed the less chance of a full recovery. So always take persistent tingles seriously and have them investigated and treated early.
  2. What are you doing when your symptoms feel their best? What are you doing when they feel worst? Body position, posture and activity give clues as to the cause of the problem and how best to treat it. In general, symptoms that only occur in certain positions, or that resolve with changing activity are great candidates for conservative treatment. Symptoms that are constant and not modified by activity, movement or rest can be more complicated.
  3. What changes your symptoms more – moving the affected limb - or moving the spine? This simple question helps to arrive at the cause of the problem. Is it peripheral nerve or spinal?
  4. Do you have any other health problems? Diabetics and people with low Thyroid hormones are more susceptible to peripheral nerve injuries. They are also slower to recover. So make sure your sugar and hormone levels are well controlled.

Answering these questions can help to point you to the type of intervention which is best. If you are unsure whose help you need, we will help direct you.

One of our staff chiropractors, Dan Nalborczyk, has a special interest in treating Peripheral Neuropathy. Dan is originally from Canada and has trained overseas in New York. He started his career as a sports chiropractor and has worked with athletes from the recreational to professional level. He has also worked as an industrial injury management consultant and helped corporations across Australia to better manage occupational injuries. He developed considerable knowledge and skill in the diagnosis and treatment or Peripheral Neuropathy which is often stubborn and costly to treat and traditionally ends in specialist consultation surgery.

He will treat Peripheral Neuropathies with a combination of an advanced set of soft tissue stretching and mobilisations called Active Release Techniques and combine it with home based exercises and sometimes electro-acupuncture. This system of treatment relies on extensive knowledge of human anatomy and movement to accurately isolate nerves from surrounding tissues which are pressing on them. Under the right conditions, astonishing results can be obtained. It is not uncommon to see a 30% increase in grip strength with a single treatment.

As a rule, if your examination suggests that you are a good candidate, Dan will undertake a trial of 3 treatments to determine how you will respond. In many cases your symptoms will be greatly improved. In the cases which are not progressing as expected, other professionals from within our team, or outside specialists will be asked to help.