What is Neuritis?
Neuritis is a condition of the nervous system and is characterized by an inflamed nerve or group of nerves. There are two types of neuritis, optic neuritis and peripheral neuritis.
Types of Neuritis
Optic Neuritis is also known as retrobulbar neuritis. It occurs when the optic nerve at the back of the eye becomes inflamed. The optic nerve consists of fibers that transfer visual information from the nerve cells in the retina to the nerve cells in the brain. If these fibers become inflamed, visual signaling to the brain may be disturbed.
Pain is often felt when trying to move the eye and distinguishing colors with the affected may also be difficult for the individual suffering from optic neuritis. It is often a sign of an underlying disease or illness such as multiple sclerosis. If left untreated, optic neuritis can lead to permanent damage and loss of vision.
Peripheral neuritis is also known as peripheral neuropathy and occurs as a result of damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system. The nervous system is divided into two categories, the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord while the peripheral nervous system refers to all the other nerves in your body – sensory nerves, motor nerves and automatic nerves.
This condition is also a sign of several underlying diseases such as diabetes, pressure or trauma to the nerve, vitamin deficiencies, alcoholism or autoimmune and hereditary disorders. Numbness, tingling in the hands and feet, burning pain and lack of coordination are some of the symptoms of peripheral neuritis.
The diagnosis of neuritis is based on a thorough physical examination as well as medical history. Your doctor would most likely refer you to a neurologist. Certain tests such as various blood tests, x-rays, EMG, nerve conduction tests or nerve biopsy may be performed to determine the cause of neuropathy.
Symptoms of Neuritis
The most common symptoms of neuritis include:
- Tingling, burning, pins and needles sensations and stabbing pains in the affected nerves
- Tremors and numbness
- Wasting away of muscles
- Feeling of heaviness
- Imbalance in gait
- Loss of sensation or paralysis in muscles
What Causes Neuritis?
There are several causes of neuritis, and they include:
Help for Neuritis
In order to reduce permanent nerve damage, it is necessary to treat the underlying cause such as controlling diabetes or chronic renal failure. There are various treatment options that can help relieve the symptoms of neuritis and include medication, injection therapy, vitamin supplements, physical therapy and acupuncture. In some cases, surgery may be required to treat certain causes of neuritis such as carpal tunnel syndrome or radiculopathy.
Many of these prescribed medications may bring about unwanted side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, drowsiness, low blood pressure and weight gain. Often people have difficulty coping with this condition and support groups can help to deal with feelings of frustration and depression, as well as improve quality of life.
More and more people are leaning towards a more natural and holistic approach to health. Natural treatments such as herbs and tissue salts are highly effective for relieving nerve inflammation and pain as well as to promote systemic balance in the brain, spinal cord and the entire nervous system. These treatments are safe and gentle on the body’s system, and also enhance the therapeutic effects of other remedies by promoting brain efficiency.
If used regularly, a combination of ingredients used found in tissue salts promotes nervous system health. Herbs such as Zanthoxylum clava herculisis (Toothache Tree) have antispasmodic properties and are highly effective in stimulating the circulatory system while Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile) is widely used as a gentle anti-inflammatory and soothes muscular pain in the lower back. In addition, Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil's Claw) and Arctium lappa (Burdock) are excellent treatments for arthritis, lumbago, rheumatism and sciatica.