FAQs of Peripheral Neuropathy

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Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment San Diego

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy occurs due to nerve damage leading to numbness in the feet and hands. Patients describe a painful burning or tingling sensation. Many experience loss of sensation as Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment San Diegoif a thin sock is wrapped around the hand or foot.

Peripheral neuropathy can be caused due to injuries, infections and exposure to chemicals.The most common cause is diabetes. Treating the underlying condition can mitigate the symptoms of neuropathy.

What are the Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?

The peripheral nervous system sends information to and from the brain and spine to the body. Symptoms may include increased sensitivity to pain and touch in:

  • Nerves that control muscle movement
  • Nerves that control blood pressure, heart rate, and digestion (autonomic nerves)

Peripheral neuropathy generally begins in the longest nerves that godown to the toes. Nerves gradually become worse over time if the underlying condition is not treated. Symptoms may include:

  • Numbness in the feet and/or hands
  • Numbness in the legs and arms
  • Painful burning sensation
  • Jabbing pain
  • Hypersensitivity to touch and/or light
  • Loss of coordination
  • Paralysis or weakness in the muscles (motor nerves)
  • Bladder and bowel issues (autonomic nerves)

When Should I see a San Diego Pain Management Doctor?

It is essential to seek a San Diego pain doctor immediately if symptoms described above have begun to set in. The sooner is the better so that the pain can be minimized and potentially eliminated. Early diagnosis and treatment will also prevent permanent damage to nerves.

What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?

Diagnosis may be difficult since several factors that can cause neuropathies. Risk factors include:

  • Excessive alcohol:Excessive alcohol: Alcoholics may develop peripheral neuropathy due to poor nutrition, vitamin deficiencies and the effects of alcohol on the body.Diabetic Neuropathy San Diego
  • Autoimmune diseases: diseases such as lupus, arthritis and Guillain-Barre syndrome can cause peripheral neuropathy.
  • Diabetes: Almost half of the people suffering from diabetes experience some nerve damage caused by a neuropathy.
  • Exposure to harmful toxins: Metals and some chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of developing peripheral neuropathy
  • Infection: Infections such as Lyme disease, hepatitis C, shingles and HIV/AIDS can lead to neuropathy.
  • Injury: Motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries can cause damage to peripheral nerves.
  • Tumor: Malignant and benign tumors on nerves can cause damage by increasing pressure on surrounding nerves.

What are Possible Complications of Peripheral Neuropathy?

Complications include inability or reduced ability to feel and increased risk of infection. The inability to sense temperature and pressure makes one susceptible to skin injuries such as burns. Diabetics should treat even minor injuries immediately before they become infected because it takes them longer to heal.

How is Peripheral Neuropathy Diagnosed?

Peripheral neuropathy is really a symptom of many potential causes. Diagnostic tests and methods typically include:

  • Medical history: Your symptoms, lifestyle, habits, family medical history and personal medical history.
  • Neurological examination: Testing reflexes, muscle tone, strength, coordination and ability to feel physical sensations.
  • Blood test: : Identification of vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, blood sugar, and organ function.
  • Diagnostic imaging: X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs toidentify tumors, disk problems and other abnormalities.
  • Nerve testing: To identify if the cause of weakness is associated with muscular damage or nerve damage (Richardson et al., Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2006).

How is Peripheral Neuropathy Treated?

Treatment includes treating the root cause as well as symptoms. To treat painful symptoms, a variety of medications are used:

  • Pain relievers: for mild to moderate pain, over the counter and commonly Spinal Cord Stimulator San Diegoprescribed pain medications are usedincluding NSAIDs, codeine, and hydrocodone.
  • Seizure medication: Prescription drugs originally used to stop seizures have been found to minimize nerve pain.
  • Antidepressants: Antidepressant medications including Aventyl and Cymbalta can significantly reduce pain (Tuchman, et al., Dallas Diabetes & Endo Research Center, 2004).
  • Spinal Cord Stimulator: Research shows that SCS implants can relieve pain considerably and decrease the need for narcotic medications. SCS implants can restore the ability to feel one’s feet in over 75% of patients!

Chronic pain associated with peripheral neuropathy can be treated with conservative physical therapy pain relief treatments. Neuropathy Doctor San DiegoChronic pain associated with peripheral neuropathy can be treated with conservative physical therapy pain relief treatments. Active and passive physical therapy can be beneficial for the patient. Passive therapy includes application of heat packs on the affected areas. Active therapy means that the patient exercises and strength trains (lightly) at home and at the pain clinic. Exercise is extremely beneficial to slowing the progression of peripheral neuropathy.

If you or a loved on is suffering with peripheral neuropathy (diabetic or otherwise), let the California Pain Network get you connected with the best pain management San Diego and Los Angeles has to offer. Simply fill out the form or call us at (619) 500-1573 to get started today!