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Chiropractic Research Review

Peripheral Neuropathy: Chiropractic Evaluation and Management

Data from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners' Job Analysis of Chiropractic lists peripheral neuropathy as the second most common neurological condition treated by U.S. chiropractors.

Peripheral nerve entrapment is most likely the variety of peripheral neuropathy most frequently seen by chiropractors. An understanding of the pathophysiology and symptomatic picture of peripheral neuropathy is essential for clinicians in choosing an appropriate treatment and outcome measure.

This article addresses chiropractic management of entrapment syndrome-type peripheral neuropathies resulting from musculoskeletal abnormalities. The authors provide a review of peripheral nerve anatomy; pathophysiology; pain characteristics and perception; mechanisms of entrapment; outcome measures; and treatment. The outcome measures section provides numerous low-cost, low-tech methods for clinicians to use when assessing peripheral nerve entrapment.

Treatment options include:

* ischemic compression;
* muscle energy techniques;
* myofascial release technique; and
* manipulation.

The authors note that precious little data exists to support the largely anecdotal evidence reported on the effectiveness of chiropractic methods for peripheral entrapment neuropathy.

Perle SM, Schneider MJ, Seaman DR. Chiropractic management of peripheral neuropathy: pathophysiology, assessment, and treatment. Topics in Clinical Chiropractic, Dec. 1999:6(4), pp6-19. Reprints: (800) 638-8437

Chiropractic Research Review

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