Peripheral neuropathy is a common condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the feet and hands. In the United States, it is estimated that 20 million Americans suffer from this condition. Though there is no known cure for peripheral neuropathy, there are a variety of treatments and strategies for managing pain and symptoms.
In this article,we will explore some of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy, the potential treatments and strategies for managing pain, tips for living with the condition, and how to work with your doctor to ensure you get the best care possible.
The term “neuropathy” means “nerve damage”, and peripheral neuropathy is a condition that occurs when the peripheral nerves, which carry information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body, become damaged. These nerves are responsible for how you sense touch and feel pain and temperature, as well as controlling your muscle movements and how your body functions autonomously. If any of these nerves become damaged, it can make it more difficult for them to send and receive signals.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. It can also cause balance problems and bladder and bowel difficulties.
Depending on the affected nerves, some of the most common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:
Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:
Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, leading to numbness and pain in the hands and feet. People with diabetes should make sure to keep their blood sugar levels under control in order to prevent this condition.
Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause peripheral neuropathy. These diseases cause the body’s immune system to attack its own nerves, leading to nerve damage.
Vitamin deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin B12, can also contribute to peripheral neuropathy. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage, leading to numbness and pain in the hands and feet.
Physical trauma, such as a car accident or a fall, can also lead to peripheral neuropathy. The trauma can cause nerve damage, leading to numbness and pain.
Toxins, such as lead or mercury, can also cause peripheral neuropathy. These toxins can damage the nerves, leading to numbness and pain.
Certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs and antiviral drugs, can also cause peripheral neuropathy. These drugs can damage the nerves, leading to numbness and pain.
Here are some of the most common treatment options and their efficiency in managing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy:
There are home remedies you can use to relieve the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. You can take warm baths, use ice packs, and get regular exercise.
Taking pain medications can help reduce the pain associated with peripheral neuropathy, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), tricyclic antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.
Physical therapy can help increase strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the muscles and joints affected by peripheral neuropathy.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective procedure that helps relieve body pain, including symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
A change in diet can have huge benefits for improving peripheral nerve health and reducing inflammation. To do this, cut down the intake of processed foods, sugar, and refined grains. Instead, eat more fruits and vegetables.
If you think you may have peripheral neuropathy, it is important to see your doctor to determine the cause. If this condition is left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment from reliable and licensed specialists right away if you suspect you may have the condition.
Our team of board certified pain management doctors in Broward County at Pain Care Specialists of Florida is here to help you find the best treatment plan that works for you. Our treatment approach to pain management includes interventional pain treatments to help reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.
Contact us today, or visit our clinic near you, and take the first step towards a life free of pain.
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