There are many different types of neuropathy. The Neuropathy Association identifies more than 100 possible types of neuropathy. Your medical doctor can help you get an accurate diagnosis from a western medical perspective. Some common types of neuropathy are:
- Autonomic Neuropathy
- Injury related neuropathy
- Cancer-Related Neuropathies
- Compressive Neuropathies
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Drug-Induced and Toxic Neuropathy
- G.I. and Nutrition-Related Neuropathies
- Hereditary Neuropathies
- Immune-Mediated and CIDP
- Infectious Diseases and Neuropathy
- Neuropathic Pain
- Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy
The common symptoms of neuropathy include:
- Tingling in the lower legs and feet
- Numbness in the lower legs and feet
- Burning in the lower legs and feet
- Occasionally itching in the lower legs and feet
As far as evidence based medicine goes, there are various levels of evidence…at the bottom is expert opinion, second from the top are randomized controlled trials…and at the very top of the pyramid…the gold standard of evidence in medicine…are systematic reviews.
In my expert opinion, I have seen multiple cases of neuropathy improve with acupuncture treatment. I have treated both diabetic neuropathy and injury related neuropathies with acupuncture. As a general rule, the quicker a person begins acupuncture treatment when they first notice the very first symptoms of the neuropathy, the better and faster is the result.
Let’s take a look at the research and see what evidence is out there for using acupuncture for neuropathy.
A study published in 2014, demonstrated that acupuncture was very helpful in treating diabetic painful neuropathy. The authors of the research study concluded:
“We have demonstrated the practicality and feasibility of acupuncture as an additional treatment for people with DPN. The treatment was well tolerated with no appreciable side effects.”
Interestingly electro-acupuncture has also shown promise as a treatment for diabetic neuropathies.
Acupuncture has also shown results for chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, and you can see the research at this link from pubmed: