Neurology Services in Suwanee
The health of your brain and nervous system affects your entire body, and it’s interconnected with the health of the spine because all the nerves that connect with your brain run through the spinal cord. As a result, chiropractors often see patients with pain or other issues that intersect with neurology. We have the diagnostic capabilities to discover if you have a pinched or compressed nerve and the skills and technology to provide multiple methods for pain relief.
How Can Suwanee Neurology Services Help You?
If you’re having continued pain after a car accident, sports injury, or for no identifiable reason, neurology services can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms.
Unfortunately, car accidents are a common cause of pain. Many patients go to the emergency room or urgent care after a car crash, and a doctor usually takes X-rays. If there are no broken bones, the physician will often diagnose the pain as a strained muscle, whiplash, or another soft tissue injury and predict that it will resolve on its own. Sometimes it does, but sometimes the pain continues.
Frequently, pinched nerves and other neurological sources of pain aren’t as simple to diagnose as a broken bone. They don’t show up on X-rays but can be diagnosed with other tests – if a healthcare provider decides to run them. Many general practitioners are not experts in treating persistent pain, so we recommend seeing a chiropractor if you develop lingering pain after a car accident or any other injury or illness.
Symptoms of nerve pain or damage include:
- Specific types of pain. Nerve pain is often described as a burning sensation or an electric shock, while other types of pain might feel more like throbbing or a dull ache.
- Numbness. Conversely, sometimes a lack of pain or any other sensation can indicate a nerve problem.
- Tingling. This is the middle ground between numbness and pain. If you’ve ever had a dentist numb your mouth for treatment, you might recall a tingling sensation when the medication wore off and the nerves in your mouth started to work again. The same thing can happen if you have a compressed or pinched nerve – sometimes the compression can ease up temporarily due to a change in position or blood flow, and when this occurs, you may feel tingling as the area goes from numb to feeling again.
- Pain that doesn’t respond to other treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medications or even surgery to correct a bone or muscle injury.
- Loss of fine motor control. If you find yourself dropping items more than normal, struggling with doing normal tasks, or feeling “clumsier” than usual, a nerve or neurological issue is possible.
Here are some neurology services that may help you recover from pain:
Nerve Conduction Studies
These tests help us to identify if you have nerve damage in a particular area. We’ll place two electrodes on your skin near your pain, then pass a low-voltage current from one to another. By measuring how quickly the current moves from one electrode to the other, we can learn if your nerves are functioning correctly or are having difficulties. A “slow” result usually means there is an issue with the nerve, which may include:
- Axonopathy, which refers to disease or deterioration of the long area of a nerve cell
- A conduction block, which indicates a blockage somewhere along the nerve path
- Demyelination, or a deterioration of the fatty lining around a nerve cell
Once we’ve learned that there is an issue with one or more nerves, we will use other diagnostic criteria to determine why. Common causes of nerve damage include:
- Spinal or joint misalignment. When the vertebrae slip out of line, they can put pressure on nerves, causing pain and, eventually, nerve damage. We can correct these vertebral issues with a quick chiropractic adjustment, but you may also need physical therapy (another neurologic service) to help prevent future issues.
- An acute injury. Like muscles and bones, nerves can be damaged by any significant impact. An injury from a car crash, slip and fall, or another incident can also cause spinal misalignment. In some cases, we may be able to treat a nerve injury with regenerative therapies, which have a higher likelihood of success if used early, so we recommend seeing a chiropractor as soon as possible.
- Certain illnesses, like diabetes or autoimmune conditions, can contribute to neuropathy or increase the risk of nerve damage.
- Poor nutrition. Sometimes a deficiency of B12 or other nutrients can make it impossible for your body to maintain healthy nerves. At Optimum Health Rehab, we also offer nutritional testing and counseling, so we can run additional studies if we believe a nutritional deficiency contributes to your nerve damage.
Physical therapy is used for multiple purposes, including reducing pain, helping to prevent recurrences of misalignment issues, strengthening various muscle groups, and helping the patient recover any lost function. For example, if back pain has been preventing you from bending down to tie your shoes, your physical therapist may work with you to recover this ability.
Adding physical therapy to other treatments for a nerve or neurological condition is incredibly helpful. Your physical therapist may show you exercises to shift pressure off a compressed or damaged nerve, reducing pain and allowing the nerve to recover. Physical therapy and chiropractic care are often used together for this reason.
At the same time, a physical therapist can help you retrain your muscles and nerves to work together after an injury or a prolonged convalescence stops you from doing your typical activities. Your therapist will help you through exercises that build muscle, boost blood flow, and stimulate the nerves in the area.
Neurological physical therapy is also used to help patients who have suffered strokes or have other brain or neurological conditions such as Multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s. The focus is on helping the patient adapt to challenges, regain as much function as possible, and improve mobility and balance. Your therapist may ask you to begin with small tasks like standing on one foot or getting up from a chair.
In some cases, we may identify an opportunity to heal local nerve damage with regenerative medicine, including plasma-rich platelet (PRP) injections.
What is platelet-rich plasma? Plasma is a light yellow liquid that can be separated from whole blood. We simply draw your blood, remove the plasma using a centrifuge, then separate the plasma into two samples – platelet-rich and platelet-poor. The platelet-rich plasma is filled with bio proteins and growth hormones, including several components that encourage tissue and nerve repair. Remember that when the platelet-rich plasma is simply a part of the whole blood, these components are diluted. But when the PRP is isolated, they are concentrated and better able to promote healing.
Once we have the PRP, derived from your blood, we use an ultrasound to inject it into the area surrounding the nerve. This delivers a high dose of healing components to the source of your pain. Most people have no side effects other than mild pain or discomfort near the injection site.
Research has shown that PRP injections can be beneficial for many patients with nerve pain or damage. One study found that patients with carpal tunnel syndrome – caused by a compressed nerve in the wrist – gained more symptom relief from PRP injections than glucocorticoid (steroid) injections, one of the leading treatments for that condition.
Electrical stimulation has multiple uses in treating nerve pain and damage. It can be used in physical therapy to stimulate blood flow and attempt to “wake up” an injured nerve, especially if the patient suffers from numbness or loss of sensation.
Sometimes, despite trying various treatments, nerve damage simply isn’t reversible. This is more likely if your nerve pain has been present for a long time, which is why we urge you to see a Suwanee neurology specialist sooner rather than later for your pain. However, if your nerve damage is permanent, there may still be options for controlling your pain. In some cases, we use a TENS unit or other electrical stimulation devices to help patients relieve their discomfort. These typically work through the placement of adhesive electrodes on the back or another area of the body where you feel pain. Connected to a TENS unit or other device, the electrodes deliver low-voltage currents at a frequency that interferes with local nerve signals, essentially jamming pain signals to the brain. As a result, you can achieve pain relief without taking strong medications that may have unpleasant side effects.
Get Help with Suwanee Neurological Services Today
It can be difficult to know if your pain is caused by inflammation, a spinal misalignment, muscle damage, or nerve damage. Fortunately, the pain management experts at Optimum Health Rehab are skilled in helping you to figure out the cause of your pain and prescribing the right neurological services to help with your difficulties. Please contact us online today or call (678) 546-0550 to set up a consultation about your symptoms.