4 Ways Stress & Anxiety Are Causing Your Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be caused by a number of different things. Certain medical conditions, injuries, and excessive alcohol consumption can all cause the nerve damage behind neuropathy. But what about stress and anxiety? Can stress actually cause neuropathy? If so, how, and what can be done to treat it? If you’re suffering from symptoms of neuropathy, you will want to seek out Broomfield neuropathy treatment to determine the exact cause of your condition. Once you know if it’s related to stress, you can begin addressing the problem.

Can Anxiety Damage Your Nerves?

While anxiety and stress can play into neuropathy, they can’t actually damage your nerves. This means that stress isn’t a root cause of neuropathy. Even if you’re incredibly stressed every day for months, that by itself won’t cause damage to your nerves. However, that doesn’t mean stress won’t play a part in the symptoms of your neuropathy.

Anxiety Can Cause Neuropathy-Like Symptoms

Anxiety and stress do affect the body in many different ways. A few of the most obvious symptoms of stress include numbness, burning, tingling, and pain or discomfort when moving. These symptoms are very similar to what you might feel with neuropathy. That’s why it’s very easy to think you have neuropathy when you actually don’t. If you assume that’s what you’re dealing with and never confirm it with your doctor, you won’t be able to address the actual problem (your stress).

Your Nerves May Be Over-Firing

Studies have also provided evidence that anxiety and nerve firings are related. Specifically, researchers believe that high anxiety may cause nerve firing to occur more often. This can make you feel tingling, burning, and other sensations that are also associated with nerve damage and neuropathy. Anxiety may also cause muscles to cramp up, which can also be related to nerve damage.

Hyperventilating Is Another Concern

Anxiety can make you hyperventilate. When you do, it makes the blood vessels in your body constrict. This reduces the amount of blood flow to your lower legs and arms. That, in turn, can cause burning, tingling, and other sensations similar to what you would experience with neuropathy.

Being Too Aware of Your Body Can Actually Cause Problems

When you’re dealing with anxiety and believe you may have peripheral neuropathy, you may be more aware of your body. You’re always checking for signs of neuropathy, and every odd muscle twinge or odd sensation is noticeable. This over-awareness can actually make it more difficult to move naturally. You’re always taking stock of your body, so you notice more oddities. You also pay more attention to things you’d normally do without thinking, such as walking or reaching out for something. This can make those movements more difficult or more awkward. This, in turn, spikes your anxiety because the movement feels off. The worse your anxiety gets, the more you’ll experience symptoms similar to neuropathy.

You Need to Get a Diagnosis

If you believe you have neuropathy, don’t try to treat it on your own. Instead, you need to get a diagnosis. There are several conclusive methods that will tell you if you truly do have neuropathy or if the symptoms you’re feeling are caused by something like anxiety.

An electromyograph uses electric stimulation that will show if there’s something affecting the nerves. If you haven’t had any injuries that could have caused nerve damage, this test can be used to determine if there’s another medical condition affecting your body that you don’t know about.

A CT or MRI can be used to look for physical damage. These scans can determine if your nerves are under pressure from misaligned bones or have been crushed from pressure. Often, surgery is required to relieve this pressure.

Ready to Get to the Bottom of Your Nerve Pain?

If you believe you’re dealing with neuropathy, but aren’t sure what’s causing it, contact Fox Integrated Healthcare today. We will determine the cause of your neuropathy and help you treat it, whether that means physical therapy, other forms of treatment, or working to address your anxiety.