Peripheral Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a potentially serious condition which can lead to long-term medical complications. When nerves become damaged, they can relay incorrect messages – or no messages – to the brain and spinal cord. In some cases, these damaged nerves result in pain with no known source or widespread numbness. In others, patients may have trouble performing regular muscle functions. There is a wide range of symptoms tied to neuropathy, many of which can benefit from medical attention.
Peripheral neuropathy covers a considerable range of symptoms and affected areas, and there are many common types of peripheral neuropathy. These are generally classified based on the impacts they have on the body, and the intensity of their harm. Most classifications fall into one of two categories:
As with most conditions, the first step to diagnosing peripheral neuropathy is recognizing the symptoms. If you are feeling pain, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet, you may be experiencing neuropathy.
A physical exam can quickly confirm whether this is the case. During the exam, you can expect any (or all) of the following:
Getting diagnosed is an important step in the process: untreated peripheral neuropathy can result in a host of other health complications. Nerve damage in the hands and feet often results in numbness or lowered sensitivity to pain. In these instances, common incidents that would warn your body that something is wrong – pain from a small cut, for example – no longer register. Infections and muscle atrophy are both common side-effects, best prevented by seeking medical care if you have noticed symptoms.
There are a few options when it comes to treating peripheral neuropathy. The most important part of treating neuropathy is taking care of whatever is causing the nerve damage. This can be as simple as slight lifestyle modifications: wearing a cast or changing your desk setup to treat carpal tunnel, for example.
In other cases, medication can relieve the symptoms and help control the underlying condition. In the case of diabetes, medication is often necessary and can help control blood glucose levels, preventing the worst side effects of the disease.
Neuropathy is an irritating condition with serious side-effects, especially when caused by diabetes. Seeking proper medical attention can go a long way in protecting and mending your nerves. Here at Pain Control Associates, LLC we can quickly ascertain the underlying cause of your nerve damage and recommend the most effective path to treat your peripheral neuropathy. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule your first appointment. We look forward to speaking with you.
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