Stem Cell Therapy for Peripheral Neuropathy

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy and What Causes It?

Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is an umbrella term that refers to conditions of neuropathic pain experienced in part of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system includes all of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, which are considered to be part of the central nervous system. PN may be caused by 1:

  • Diabetes complications (diabetic neuropathy)
  • Chemotherapy or drug side effects
  • Trauma to a nerve
  • Nerve compression, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Autoimmune attack of a nerve, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • HIV complications
  • Vitamin deficiencies affecting nerves, such as a vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Dental surgery
  • Exposure to certain toxins, poisons, or chemicals
  • Disorders or damages of the mitochondria, part of the cell that produces energy 2.

PN is most common in patients over 50, but it can occur to anyone at any time depending on the cause
1. Some causes of PN are temporary or can be reversed, while others, namely physical trauma, can be more difficult to treat.

Types of Peripheral Neuropathy

There are over 100 types of peripheral neuropathy. However, they can be broadly categorized into four groups, including motor, sensory, autonomic, and combination neuropathies, depending on the types of nerves affected. The type of nerves that are impaired will determine the symptoms. It is possible to experience symptoms from two or all three nerve categories depending on the cause of the PN 3.

Motor neuropathy

Motor neurons control movements like walking and lifting items. Therefore, symptoms of motor PN can include:

  • Involuntary muscle twitches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle shrinking 
  • Muscle weakness

Sensory neuropathy

Sensory nerves allow us to feel touch, temperature, and vibrations. Therefore, symptoms of sensory PN involve sensations from nerve damage that doesn’t have an ongoing cause, such as 4:

  • Pain (without ongoing harm being inflicted), such as phantom limb pain
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Burning sensation
  • Increased or decreased reaction to touch 
  • Numbness or lack of sensation

Autonomic nerve neuropathy

The autonomic nerves carry signals for processes in our bodies that we do not consciously think about, like sweating, breathing, and gut functions. Autonomic nerve neuropathy can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of autonomic PN can include:

  • Increased sweating
  • Increased or decreased intestinal function
  • Difficulty regulating blood pressure 
  • Abnormal gut movement, including some types of irritable bowel syndrome, difficulty swallowing, and gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying)

Combination neuropathy

Combination neuropathy refers to the combination of two to three types of the above.

Stem Cell Therapy for Peripheral Neuropathy FAQ

The Scientific Rationale Behind Stem Cell Therapy for Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy (PN) can make daily life difficult. Current treatment options may include pain medications with the risk of addiction or other side effects. Other options may also require a frequent return to office appointments for maintenance. 

Stem cell therapy is a novel and effective treatment option for PN. It may require fewer visits and provide a longer duration of relief than conventional treatments for neuropathic pain.

How much does stem cell therapy cost for peripheral neuropathy?

The cost depends on the specific treatment you will be undergoing and how many treatment sessions you need. Book a consultation with us today to get your personalized stem cell therapy treatment plan.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Typically, you will need 1 – 2 treatments, depending on the plan of care established between you and your doctor. All treatment appointments are in person, but the initial consultation and follow-up can be done by phone.  

Some people do come back for additional treatments over the course of months or years. This largely depends on the stage of your disease, how well you respond to the treatment, and what your treatment goals are.

Your Patient Journey with Stem Cell Therapy for Peripheral Neuropathy

Step 1: Application and initial consultation

Our questionnaire and initial consultation help us determine whether you’re a good candidate for stem cell therapy, along with the best treatment plans for you. Our patient advocate will walk you through the process, pricing, and payment plans.

Step 2: Physical exam

You’ll come in for a physical exam in preparation for the treatment and also to assess your current symptoms and health status.

Step 3: Stem cell collection

Your procedure will begin where we harvest cells from your bone marrow or fat tissues. We will then isolate the stem cells from these tissues in the clinic before administering your first treatment

Step 4: Stem cell culture

If applicable, we will send your stem cells to the lab to expand them in numbers. 

Step 5: Future treatments

Your future stem cell treatments will be done using your cultured stem cells. 

Step 6: Follow-up appointments

Our team will keep in contact with you to monitor your treatment progress and support you through your recovery.

Advantages of Stem Cell Therapy vs Standard Treatments and Other Alternative Treatments for Lyme Disease


Regenerates new neurons instead of merely treating the symptoms of neuron damage.

Minimal Side Effects

Peace of mind knowing you won’t experience the downsides of traditional treatment approaches.

Deeper Approach

Treats a fundamental underlying mechanism of the disease.

Results May Last Years

By combatting neuron loss and reducing inflammation, benefits may last many months to years.

No Daily Pill To Take

Nothing to do after your in-office treatment except let your body do its job.

Harnesses Your Own Healing Power

Use the power of your own stem cells and biology to do the healing.

Current Standard-of-Care Treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy and Their Shortfalls

Treatments for peripheral neuropathy are typically classified under the treatment for neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain includes the pain caused by nerves and can include both the peripheral and central nervous systems. While some treatment options are specific to the cause of peripheral neuropathy, many overlapping options exist for general peripheral neuropathy.


Chronic pain and nerve pain often result partly from the brain perceiving the pain sensations. Antidepressants are often the first-line pharmaceutical therapy for peripheral neuropathy. They are used for their ability to regulate the brain, which may impact how pain is perceived.  Side effects from antidepressant medications can include:
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth 
  • Sedation
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Anorexia
  • Weight gain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Blurry vision
Tricyclic antidepressants may regulate pain at doses 20-30% lower than those used for depression. This indicates that the use of antidepressants is for pain relief and not exclusively for their antidepressant properties. The drawback is that they can have an impact on mood and weight as a side effect 15.

Botox injections

Aside from helping to keep you looking younger, botox is also used for pain. Botox injections contain concentrated botulinum, a bacterial toxin, that causes paralysis in the area injected. The paralysis helps reduce pain signaling in the nerve and reduce pain sensation.

The major drawback of botox injections is that the benefit only lasts weeks to months. So, you will need regular injections to keep the pain at bay. Frequent botox injections can also destroy nearby tissue over time 12.


Gabapentinoids like gabapentin and pregabalin are often prescribed for peripheral neuropathic pain. These medications work by reducing nerve signals. If there are fewer signals to the brain, then there is a reduced sensation of pain overall 15. Side effects from gabapentinoids can include:
  • Tremors
  • Stomach upset
  • Vision changes
  • Weight gain
  • Edema or swelling of the limbs
  • Sedation
  • Dry mouth


Opioids have been used for centuries for pain relief. Opioids like morphine and fentanyl can make excruciating pain bearable. 

They are currently not considered first-line by most prescribing physicians due to their strongly addictive nature. The increasing opioid crisis is also raising alarm bells over their use as a prescription medication without adequate screening and follow-up.

Unpleasant side effects of opioids include: 

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Allergic reactions 
  • Addiction
  • Sedation

Over-the-counter painkillers

Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are readily available and often abused. The pain experienced with peripheral neuropathy can be excruciating. It is easy to reach for the bottle of painkillers found in most household medicine cabinets.

While painkillers are helpful for minor injuries, they may not be enough to ease the pain of peripheral neuropathy. This leads to an increased dose in an attempt to find relief.

Acetaminophen can damage the liver, especially with chronic use or over four grams (4000 milligrams) per day 16. Most tablets range between 325-600 mg.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy aims to improve peripheral neuropathy by using exercise and manual work on the muscles, joints, and nerves. This type of therapy often requires regular clinic visits. While physical therapy may improve pain and overall well-being, it doesn’t directly repair the damaged nerves.

Physical therapists may use the following techniques:

  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise
  • Massage 
  • Osteopathy
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
  • Yoga

Physical therapy may be even more helpful when combined with stem cell therapy.


Currently, there is no objective test or measurement for pain beyond the patient’s self-reported. Therefore, the medical industry has often considered it a psychiatric condition. Often, chronic pain happens due to the brain rewiring to become more sensitive to pain (central sensitization). So, the pain may not correspond to the physical damage. This type of brain rewiring is worse with more severe stress. Peripheral neuropathy can cause stress that makes the brain more likely to rewire for more pain sensations 17. Thinking negatively about the pain can also make it worse. Psychotherapy helps patients understand and cope with their pain. Psychotherapy can also reduce the central sensitization and change patients’ mindsets toward overcoming their pain limits 18. Psychotherapy generally includes one or more of the following therapy types 18:
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Therapy
  • Operant Behavioural Therapy
  Patients experiencing chronic peripheral neuropathy may also experience anxiety, depression or PTSD as a result of their lived experience with pain. Psychotherapy is useful in addressing these comorbid mental health concerns 19.

Spinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation involves the implantation of an electrical device along the spinal cord. The device then emits low-level electrical currents to help mitigate the pain nerve signals that the damaged nerve sends to the brain 15. This relatively new therapy can come with the following complications 20:
  • Infection at the site of implantation 
  • Device breakage from a fall or intense physical activity
  • Device migration away from the site of implantation, requiring follow-up surgery
  • Further injury to the spinal cord

Topical treatments

There are several different options for topical treatment, including topical lidocaine, which numbs the area. While these treatments generally carry only minor full-body side effects, they can still cause topical reactions like rashes. The problem with these treatments is that they generally do not last very long and therefore require frequent application 15.

Meet The Doctors

Bringing years of experience in the emerging and innovative field of interventional and regenerative orthopedics to the Nashville, Tennessee area.

Dr. Ethan Kellum, M.D.

Dr. Hemal V. Mehta, M.D.

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