Stop Nerve Pain and Regain Function
Neuropathy is a general medical term for sick or dysfunctional nerves. Nerves can get injured through a wide variety of mechanisms such as compression, chemical abnormalities, lack of nutrients or even toxins. Nerves can also get attacked by infections or our own immune system. Often, a combination of factors are involved. Neuropathy causes a variety of symptoms such as pain, weakness and numbness. It can also cause a feeling of thighness, heaviness and coldness of the extremities as well as swelling and skin changes.
Luckily for neuropathy sufferers, advanced nerve injection treatments can ease the pain and help the nerves come back to health.
How Do We Treat Sick Nerves?
Nerve Hydrodissection (Nerve Release Injection)
Nerve Hydrodissection is a nonsurgical injection technique used to free up inflamed and injured nerves. The word hydrodissection comes from two words: “hydro” fluid and “dissect” to open up or separate. Even slight compression of the nerves can cause them to swell and function abnormally. Tissues such as fascia, scars, muscles and tendons can congest the nerves on their path in the extremities. Freeing up the nerves with hydrodissection allows the nerves to regain normal function and heal.
For the procedure, the course of the nerve is mapped using a high resolution ultrasound. Next, under ultrasound guidance, a thin needle is used to carefully inject solution around the nerve, separating it from the surrounding tissues. Once the nerve is released, nerve inflammation resolves and symptoms quickly improve.
Dextrose, PRP or a combination of the two are the preferred solutions used for hydrodissection.
Nerve Injections with Dextrose
Dextrose is a type of sugar solution that has been used therapeutically in various ways. Dextrose diluted in sterile water is used to decrease nerve inflammation and improve nerve function.
Nerve inflammation does not adequately respond to arthritis anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen, nor does it fully respond to steroids. Recent research has shown that injection of 5% dextrose around nerves very quickly turns off neurogenic inflammation. A series of repeated injections delivered to the proper location along with a hydrodissection technique can actually heal inflamed nerves and provide a long term cure for chronic pain and numbness.
Are You a Candidate for Nerve Injections?
Nerve Injections with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
When a stronger response is needed, Platelet Rich Plasma (aka PRP) may be used for the hydrodissection treatment. PRP is made by spinning the patient’s own blood with a centrifuge to concentrate platelets in a plasma solution. Platelets are packed with growth factors that stimulate a regenerative response.
PRP has been shown to stimulate nerve healing and improve nerve function in multiple human and animal studies. PRP can be injected around the abnormal nerve at the site of injury, above and below the injury and into the muscle bellies where the nerves connect to the muscle.
PRP Can Initiate Nerve Healing Through the Following:
- Promotes sprouting and growth of nerve fibers (axons)
- Promotes myelin production (protective sheath around nerves)
- Improves growth of blood supply to the nerve
- Decreases scar formation within and around the nerves
- Decreases inflammation of the nerve and surrounding tissue
- Improves Schwann (nerve helper) cell survival, multiplication and activation
- Mobilizes and stimulates fibroblasts and stem cells to heal the nerve
- Increase muscle growth and recovery of muscle function
Complimentary Non-Injection Treatments
To improve the effects of the treatment, injections are often followed by energy medicine modalities, nerve specific physical therapy and nutritional support.
- Laser & LED Therapy can further decrease nerve inflammation, stimulate nerve regeneration and increase muscle growth.
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) Low intensity electromagnetic waves pulsed at the earth’s natural frequencies can increase cellular energy, improve blood flow and nutrient utilization and stimulate tissue healing.
- Microcurrent Electrical Stimulation uses small currents to help reset the electrical impulse in the nerve and stimulate nerve growth.
- Nerve Specific Physical Therapy is started early on after the injection, nerve stretching and “nerve flossing” are used to keep the nerve free and moving, neuromuscular re-education of the muscles and joints is used to promote the proper function of the nerves and muscles.
- Diet and Nutritional Support is often added to optimize the healing environment within the body. Nutritional deficiencies may also be addressed by high quality nutritional supplements.
Dr. Sebastian shows how the median nerve can be released with an ultrasound guided nerve hydrodissection. This is an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome as well as other nerve compressions and neuropathies.
With a series of Nerve Hydrodissection treatments, Deb was able to fully recover from her foot drop. Nerve Hydrodissections free up sick nerves, decrease nerve pain and allow the nerves to heal!
What to Expect with Your Nerve Injection Treatment
Some conditions may improve with 1-3 treatments and some may require 4 or more. Dextrose injections are spaced 1-4 weeks apart while PRP injection may be spaced further (2-6 weeks) to allow adequate time for healing. Between injections, patients are enrolled in specific physical therapy the above mentioned healing modalities and nutritional support.
On the day of your procedure, the medical staff will first collect your blood for processing if PRP is used. Next, Dr. Sebastian will map out the nerve path with an ultrasound and may anesthetize the nerve and injection site with lidocaine. Once everything is ready, Dr. Sebastian will inject the solution along the course of the nerve and into the target muscles under ultrasound guidance. The injection area will be covered by a dressing. After the procedure, there may be some soreness, bruising and swelling which is normal and expected. Often, patients feel significant improvement of their symptoms within 15-20 mins, but sometimes it may take several hours to days.