Neuropathy is an extremely common condition that affects more than 20 millions of Americans each year. Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that stems from damage to the Peripheral Nervous System, which is the system responsible for sending signals to and from the brain and the rest of the body. The common symptoms associated with this condition include extreme pain in the hands and feet, along with weakness and the sensation of pins and needles. The hands and feet are the most commonly affected areas, but areas such as the legs, back, and face may also experience symptoms.
What are the Causes of Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is ultimately caused by damage to the nerves, but this nerve damage does not always come from a previous injury or trauma. There are several underlying conditions that can cause Neuropathy. One of these is diabetes, which actually make up about 60% of the total cases of neuropathy. Other causes of this condition include cancer, HIV, autoimmune diseases, liver and kidney disorders, nutritional imbalances, and hormonal imbalances. Some cases of neuropathy can also be inherited genetically, but these are very rare.
There is also a type of neuropathy that is diagnosed as “idiopathic neuropathy”. Idiopathic neuropathy is diagnosed when there is no known cause. It is estimated that between 30-40% of neuropathy cases are idiopathic. Because of this statistic, it’s safe to say that even though you may not have any of the mentioned conditions, there is still a chance that you might have neuropathy. Despite the number of people who suffer from neuropathy each year, many people do not search for treatment options. If left untreated, the symptoms and pains of neuropathy get worse over time.
The Most Common Neuropathy Symptoms
When it comes to neuropathy, there are several different kinds. This is because the symptoms of this condition are associated with the kinds of nerves that are affected. There are three categories of nerves which are motor nerves, sensory nerves, and autonomic nerves. Listed below are the most common symptoms associated with each kind of nerve damage:
Motor Nerve Damage
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle shrinking
- Painful muscle cramps
- Fasciculations (muscle twitching)
Sensory Nerve Damage
- Extreme pain to light touches
- Loss of feeling or sensation (usually in the hands and feet, feels like you’re wearing gloves)
- Loss of reflexes
- Pain in extremities
- Feeling of pins and needles
Autonomic Nerve Damage
- Excessive sweating
- Heat intolerance
- High blood pressure
Getting a Diagnosis
Diagnosing neuropathy can be tricky because it can be anywhere in the body, and has a wide range of symptoms. There are several ways that your doctor will make a diagnosis for this condition. Typically, your doctor will ask you for your medical records, and ask about the symptoms that you are experiencing. They will likely conduct a physical exam, along with neurological exams to look for any signs of nerve damage.
There are additional tests that can be done to help ensure an accurate diagnosis. These can include MRIs, CT scans, genetic tests, EMG tests, and more. Once you receive a neuropathy diagnosis, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you to find the best fit for you and your needs.
Choosing Select Health for Your Neuropathy
At Select Health, we strive to provide you with the safest and most effective treatment for your neuropathy and chronic pain. We specialize and take pride in the cutting edge and regenerative medicine treatment options that we offer. Our treatments have been proven to drastically reduce the pains and symptoms associated with neuropathy. Our treatments are also completely non-invasive, drug-free, and have little to no downtime.
If you are suffering from the symptoms and pains of neuropathy, click here to learn more and schedule an appointment with one of our professionals to determine our best treatment plan for you! Visit our Facebook page for all of the latest updates about our practice and what we have to offer you.