Your body has an incredible ability to heal itself after injuries and from the effects of chronic conditions. Did you know that your nerves can actually heal themselves just like other tissues and elements in your body? We can show you how this works and why it happens!
Your nerves are amazing tools your body uses to send and receive messages from both inside and outside your body. Everything you come in contact with using all the 5 senses involves the use of different nerves working together to make a connection with your brain. Without nerves, you couldn’t learn about the world around you, nor could your body perform its proper functions. Your nerves are a type of cell, but they are a very long cell. That is why if you damage a nerve in your arm, it can cause a loss of feeling and other symptoms all the way down the arm. One nerve end can be inches or more away from the other nerve end of a nerve cell.
Your brain and spinal cord perform some of the most important tasks in your body. They are heavily made up of nerves and are so important that you have a thick skull and vertebrae protecting them. These important central nervous system nerves can be damaged through injury, and unfortunately, these nerves can’t heal. In all trials and studies, there has been minimal healing—if any—when it comes to the central nervous system nerves. However, the peripheral nervous system has an amazing capability to heal itself when injuries and chronic conditions happen. This nervous system is comprised of all the nerves, their cells and parts that branch off from the central nervous system.
Scientists started studying the peripheral and central nervous systems back in the 1950s to see if there was a way to help nerves heal once they were damaged. Even though the central nervous system nerves cannot heal themselves, the peripheral nervous system proved to be different. Augustus Waller was a British physician who studied nerve regeneration extensively in animals to better understand how nerves heal in the human body. As nerve death affects animals and humans the same, the opposite should be true when it comes to nerve regeneration.
Dr. Waller called his observations on nerve regeneration “Wallerian Degeneration”. When a nerve becomes damaged by injury, disease or chronic conditions, it can shrink or die. However, studies showed that nerves that become dead and stump-like can start to regrow areas that once were there. Stem cells that occur naturally in the body can help tissue regeneration start up again. These and other cells help nerve cells to build up new parts. Soon, finger-like sprouts form on the damaged peripheral nerves, on each end of the nerves, that eventually grow together. This can happen anywhere between 6 and 9 months after nerve damage has happened.
If a patient invests their time in neuropathy treatments and therapies, they can experience nerve regeneration. Helping nerves heal through proper diet, exercise, therapies and treatments can restore feeling back to an area of the body that previously lost it. However, not every patient will experience full tissue regeneration and nerve healing in their body.
Sometimes, medical professionals can’t even determine the cause of your neuropathy symptoms or the nerves that are damaged or defective. This type of neuropathy is known as “idiopathic”, which is neuropathy without a cause. About 30% of neuropathy cases are idiopathic. When the cause isn’t known and treatments don’t cure the neuropathy symptoms, then your nerves might not be able to heal. Therapies can simply reduce neuropathy symptom intensity.
Natural methods are always great to try when it comes to helping nerves heal and regrow. Surgery can help facilitate nerve growth in a patient with nerve damage, but only in certain cases. However, many natural methods can help speed along the process of nerve regeneration as well without surgery. Natural methods are actually a better option, as surgery requires cutting, which can cut and damage even more nerves. You never want to damage or kill more nerves in the process of helping other ones.
Diabetic neuropathy treatments will slightly vary from patients who have non-diabetic cases of neuropathy. However, many treatments and therapies are helpful for most peripheral neuropathy cases such as:
No matter what treatment option you seek, choose to do something! You don’t have to live with damaged nerves and their side-effects if you take an active role with helping your nerves heal.