Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to the peripheral nerves, which are the nerves located outside your brain and spinal cord. It usually results in numbness, pain, and weakness in your hands and feet but could also affect other parts of your body. Of all the causes of peripheral neuropathy, including infection, exposure to toxins, and traumatic injuries, diabetes is the most common.
If you believe your symptoms indicate peripheral neuropathy, contact John Huffman, MD, an Arlington neuropathy specialist, to discuss your treatment options.
What Causes Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is not one disease but rather nerve damage resulting from a number of conditions. Some of the conditions that could cause neuropathy include:
- Diabetes, about 50 percent of people with diabetes develop a form of neuropathy
- Hereditary disorders
- Viral or bacterial infections like shingles and Lyme disease
- Bone marrow disorders
- Other diseases like liver disease and kidney disease
- Growths, benign tumors, and malignant tumors that develop or press on the nerves
- Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis
Neuropathy can also result from exposure to poison, alcoholism, certain medications, and vitamin deficiencies. Idiopathic neuropathy refers to neuropathy with no identifiable cause.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
Because every nerve in your peripheral system has its own function, the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can vary depending on the nerve affected. Some of the signs to look out for include:
- Extreme pain sensitivity
- Muscle weakness, lack of coordination, and falling
- Experiencing pain during activities that should be painless such as being under a blanket
- Feeling like you are wearing socks or gloves, even when you are not.
- Paralysis, where the motor nerves are affected
- Burning, jabbing, or throbbing pain
- Tingling or prickling sensation on the feet or hands
- Gradual onset of numbness in your hands and feet, which may spread to your arms and legs
In cases where the autonomic nerves have been affected, you may experience excessive sweating, an inability to sweat, heat intolerance, or digestive problems, among other issues.
It is possible to protect yourself from peripheral neuropathy by managing the conditions that put you at risk, like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. You should also consider changing your diet to include more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Additionally, an exercise regimen of 30 minutes at least three times a week can strengthen your nerves.
Neuropathy Treatment Options
As with many medical conditions, neuropathy treatment will depend on the symptoms, particularly the affected nerve. The team at Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists offers a wide range of treatment options to prevent nerve damage and control your symptoms. The procedures are non-invasive and try to veer away from over-reliance on pain medication.
If you visit the center, you may discuss your symptoms and the following treatment options with a neuropathy specialist:
- Vibration therapy
- Low-level light therapy (LLLT)
- Strengthening and stretching exercises
- Anti-inflammatory nutrition plans
Talk to a Neuropathy Specialist Today
Did you know that over 20 million people in the United States live with neuropathy? Although this condition is chronic and has no known cure, Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists in Arlington provide a wide range of treatments that help manage your pain and increase your life quality. Contact them today to discuss your symptoms with John Huffman, MD.