Nerve damage from COVID vaccine

Nerve damage from COVID vaccine

We have been seeing more and more glimpses of normality now that the world is coming out of the COVID pandemic, but those of us in the healthcare community are seeing what is suspected to be adverse effects of the vaccine. Yes, there is controversy about the vaccine, and yes, many question the risk of the vaccine versus the benefits – especially in younger individuals. Unfortunately, there are multiple data points indicating early death due to heart issues for men in the 18 to 39 age range as an example 1.  This risk is far less in the senior population where risk of getting COVID was considered greater. However, this blog is primarily to share what I’ve seen in my practice when it comes to neuropathy and COVID. As a podiatrist who specializes in lower extremity peripheral nerve surgery, I feel it’s important to share my experience and what I’ve seen. It’s important for those who are now suffering from nerve problems potentially related to receiving the vaccine, to feel a sense of reassurance, as I’d like to provide some solutions for them. Before the mrna vaccines for Covid, it was known that various vaccines may cause Guillain Barre Syndrome – a condition that causes the immune system to attack the nerves in the legs and arms. The occurrence of this was rare. Also, it’s important to consider the potential risk when considering further booster vaccines for others who may have noticed some mild nerve symptoms. This could save some from further nerve damage by electing not to get a booster.

For some who are experiencing nerve symptoms, they may be told they have neuropathy, so let’s define what it is. Neuropathy is a medical term used to describe nerve damage that results in the patient having symptoms of burning, tingling, and numbness. It may also lead to weakness in some cases. This weakness may present as drop foot in the lower extremity. It’s important to understand that neuropathy does not indicate what the cause is from. It simply means your nerves are not functioning normally.

  • Conventional Medicines View: Conventional medicine has been telling doctors and the public that neuropathy in the lower extremity and feet are caused by damage to nerves from metabolic issues or from the back.
  • Metabolic Issues: This would mean anything that would have a negative effect on the nerves. Examples of this could be diabetes, as high sugar levels may damage the nerves. Alcoholism; again this has a negative effect on nerves and your general health. Some autoimmune diseases and chemotherapy treatments may also be a cause. Finally, if the patient is healthy and has none of the above, they are said to have idiopathic neuropathy, neuropathy of unknown cause.
  • Back Issues: many doctors will look at the back as a possible cause. A pinched nerve in the low back may be treated with surgery, cortisone injections, physical therapy or chiropractic care. There are also some reports of patients having transverse myelitis, an inflammatory condition in the spinal cord. This could also cause symptoms in the lower extremity.

What We as Peripheral Nerve Surgeons are Saying and WHY it’s Important if You Have Nerve Damage From a mRNA Vaccine.

What I routinely share with my patients is that those trained in peripheral nerve surgery are 30 years ahead of the curve in treating lower extremity nerve conditions. Why? Because we are simply looking at the lower extremity similar to what hand surgeons have been doing for decades. We evaluate and treat nerve tunnels that may become tight just like carpal tunnel syndrome – If so, we can surgically decompress, and open the nerve tunnel involved, and reverse the nerve symptoms. Most doctors are poorly trained in evaluation and treatment in this way.

Evidence That Nerve Damage From COVID Vaccine is Reversible.

Consider this: before Covid and the potential adverse effect of the vaccine, patients with other secondary conditions, metabolic (as was mentioned early), have gained relief by treating the nerve tunnels in their legs and feet that had become tight. This is the case with diabetics. The diabetic state causes nerves to swell as sugar molecules called Sorbitol get into the nerve and attract water to the nerve. The nerve then swells, and this leads to compression as the tunnel size does not expand where it passes through. This causes increased volume since there is no stretch. Patients with chemotherapy induced neuropathy have also had reversal of their neuropathy from decompression. The concept is that before chemotherapy patients may have had preexisting tight nerve tunnels. The chemotherapy damages the nerve tissue making the nerve more sensitive to any preexisting compression. So when pressure is released symptoms improve.

The same could be argued for those suffering from nerve damage from the Covid vaccine. Have I seen a lot of this in my practice? No, and many have mild symptoms, but the question is: Will they progress over time? The other consideration is that patients are reluctant to bring it up to their doctor. From my experience with these patients, doctors are reluctant to consider the vaccine as a possibility. This frustrates patients as the symptoms usually start soon after the vaccine or symptoms increase with each subsequent vaccine. One particular patient had severe symptoms after having two vaccines and a booster. She also had a drop foot causing weakness and an inability to move her foot upwards. Here is her testimonial video:

Don’t lose hope If you suspect you had neuropathy from the MRNA vaccine. We have had an overwhelming response to the YouTube video of Kim whos’ neuropathy and drop foot symptoms were reversed. So, if you’ve been told that nothing can be done, consider seeing a doctor who specializes in peripheral nerve surgery.

Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons-logo

They will examine the nerves in the lower extremity and see if compression of nerve tunnels is present. This may allow for the option of surgical decompression surgery and reversal of the symptoms. If symptoms aren’t severe, other options such as laser treatments and estim may be considered. Most doctors will tell you it’s irreversible, and put you on medication to look to the back for treatment – instead, give us a call today!


1 October 07, 2022. State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo Issues New Mrna COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance. Florida Health.

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