September is National Pain Awareness Month, and the team at Clearway Pain Solutions wants to help relieve your pain, restore function and renew your life. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing a wealth of information about pain awareness and treatment. This week, we will be focusing on neuropathy.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
People with peripheral neuropathy generally describe their pain as stabbing, burning or tingling, typically felt in the hands and feet. Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins, but one of the most common causes is diabetes. Symptoms can improve, especially if they are caused by a treatable condition, and medications are available that can reduce the pain of peripheral neuropathy.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can vary, depending on what group of nerves are damaged. Patients with peripheral neuropathy generally describe the pain as a gradual onset of stabbing, tingling, burning or pricking sensations in the feet and hands. Peripheral neuropathy also can have the following symptoms:
- Sharp, throbbing, jabbing, freezing or burning pain
- Lack of coordination
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
The peripheral nervous system is the vast communications network that transmits information between the brain and the central nervous system (spinal cord) to the rest of the body. When the peripheral nervous system is damaged, it can cause pain and numbness, usually in the hands and feet and sometimes in other parts of the body.
Several issues can cause peripheral neuropathy, including:
- Diabetes – the most common cause
- Infections – viral or bacterial, including Lyme disease, shingles, hepatitis C, leprosy, diphtheria and HIV
- Autoimmune disease – Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and necrotizing vasculitis
- Trauma or pressure to nerves
- Tumors – growths that are cancerous or noncancerous that can develop on the nerves or press on nerves
- Bone marrow disorders – abnormal protein in the blood, osteosclerotic myeloma, lymphoma and amyloidosis
Clearway Pain Solutions Can Help
There are effective ways to treat peripheral neuropathy. If you are diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, your pain physician will first address any underlying condition that may be causing your pain. Treating the underlying condition often helps the nerves recover and regenerate on their own. Your pain physician also may treat your peripheral neuropathy with:
- Therapies – TENS or physical therapy
- Surgery – to reduce pressure on the affected nerves
Your Clearway pain physician also will encourage you to embrace a healthy lifestyle which includes: maintaining an optimum weight, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, avoiding toxins when possible, limiting alcohol and correcting any vitamin deficiencies with supplements. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s vital to control your blood sugar, because high blood sugar levels can damage nerves.
Our Clearway Pain Solutions team can help create a plan to relieve the pain caused by peripheral neuropathy. If you are experiencing pain of any kind, schedule a consultation now. Call us at 855-527-PAIN or click here to request an appointment.