Neuropathy, now commonly known as peripheral neuropathy, is a disorder of the peripheral nerves.
The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral nerves manage three functions: sensory, autonomic, and motor functions.
Peripheral nerves are responsible for recognizing touch, temperature, and pain. They are also responsible for muscular strength and voluntary and involuntary movement.
Peripheral neuropathy symptoms generally start with pain or loss of feeling in the fingers and toes. As the condition progresses, the legs and arms might become less sensitive to sensation, making walking or maintaining balance difficult.
The cause of peripheral neuropathy is not always known, though the condition is frequently a symptom of other health issues. There is also a genetic component -- if a parent has a history of neuropathy, the children are at greater risk.
Peripheral neuropathy is most commonly caused by diabetes; over time, high blood sugar weakens nerves. Several other conditions can also cause peripheral neuropathy, including:
Peripheral neuropathy can manifest gradually. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Your risk of peripheral neuropathy is first assessed by obtaining the following information:
Additionally, your physician will conduct a physical examination to check your ability to sense touch, pain, and temperature. If additional screenings are necessary, your physician will order a series of tests that check the function of your nerves. These tests might include the following screenings:
You will also undergo blood screening to check for diabetes, vitamin deficiency, or infections that can cause peripheral neuropathy.
CardioVascular Health Center offers peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS), an outpatient neuromodulation therapy that provides targeted pain relief for chronic or neuropathy patients. PNS is an alternative to the traditional medication or treatment options used to treat neuropathy or chronic pain, especially for patients for whom conventional therapies have not been successful or optimized for adequate pain relief. Traditional medication therapies have many drawbacks and side effects, including limited replacement and the risk of dependency. Medication can also tire patients, interfering with their lifestyle and overall quality of life.
To learn more about peripheral neuropathy treatment options or to schedule a consultation with a neuropathy doctor, please get in touch with our helpful representatives today.
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