Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment
Neuropathy Treatment in Peripheral Nervous System
Peripheral neuropathy treatment can involve many treatment options, including medication, exercise and lifestyle changes, and surgical intervention.
This condition causes pain, numbness, and discomfort, but you shouldn’t feel alone.
Understanding the peripheral neuropathy treatment options available can make it much easier to start on the path toward pain relief and better health today!
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy, also known as PN, or PINN, is a set of symptoms caused by a disorder of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The peripheral nervous system contains sensory nerves and motor nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of the body.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the peripheral nervous system is damaged in some way, such as nerve injury, inflammation, demyelination, or dysfunction.
Peripheral Neuropathy: Causes and Symptoms
Damage to peripheral nerves can be caused by several factors, but diabetes is the most common one. Sometimes peripheral neuropathy is inherited, while other times, it develops after an injury.
Peripheral neuropathy also often results from other problems, such as a kidney condition and hormonal imbalances.
Peripheral neuropathy symptoms vary widely depending on which nerves are affected. These include:
Tingling or pain in the feet and hands
Difficulty walking or climbing stairs
A loss of reflexes
Other symptoms include dizziness, difficulty walking, difficulty controlling bowel movements, and autonomic nerve damage, which affects blood pressure and sexual function.
Many factors can cause peripheral neuropathy, but diabetes is the most common cause. Symptoms of this condition may progress rapidly if you do not seek medical attention right away.
Types of Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathies come in more than 100 different forms, each with different symptoms and prognoses. Doctors often use the following categories to classify them:
- Motor neuropathy: Basically, this is damage to muscles and nerves in the body that enable you to move your arms, hands and talk.
- Sensory neuropathy: Sensory neuropathy affects the nerves that control sensations such as pain, temperature, and light touch.
- Autonomic nerve neuropathy: The nerves in your autonomic system control functions that you are not aware of, such as breathing and heartbeat, and can be severely damaged. Nerve damage in the autonomic nervous system can have serious consequences, such as the inability to breathe and heartbeat.
- Combination neuropathies: It is possible to have a combination of different types of neuropathy, such as sensory-motor neuropathy.
Is There a Cure for PN?
Typically, peripheral neuropathy is not curable, but you can take steps to prevent it from worsening. Before treating the neuropathy symptoms, your healthcare provider will treat the underlying cause, such as diabetes.
Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment
Treating neuropathy aims to alleviate pain, regenerate nerves, and manage chronic pain. As a result, the symptoms are reduced, and the condition causing them is managed. Your doctor may advise you to observe your neuropathy for a while to see if it improves if there is no underlying condition.
Medications that relieve peripheral neuropathy signs and symptoms can be used to treat conditions associated with peripheral neuropathy, including:
- Pain relievers: You can relieve mild pain with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Your doctor might prescribe painkillers if you have more severe nerve pain (neuropathic pain). Opioids, such as tramadol or oxycodone, can cause dependence and addiction. Generally, these drugs are only prescribed when other treatments fail.
- Anti-seizure medications: Gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin, Horizant) and pregabalin (Lyrica), medications developed to treat epilepsy, may relieve nerve pain.
- Topical treatments: Capsaicin cream, which is found in hot peppers, can do some good for peripheral neuropathy symptoms. It can cause burning and irritation, but this usually goes away over time. Lidocaine patches can also provide pain relief.
- Antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, doxepin, and nortriptyline, have been found to reduce pain by interfering with chemical processes in the brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral neuropathy can be treated with a variety of therapies and procedures.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): TENS involves placing electrodes on the skin and applying a mild electric current.
- Plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin: Plasma exchange involves removing blood from your body and removing antibodies and other proteins from the blood before returning it to the body. Immunoglobulin therapy involves receiving high levels of proteins that act as antibodies (immunoglobulins). These therapies are helpful for people with certain inflammations because they help suppress immune system activity.
- Physical therapy: Muscle weakness may require physical therapy, hand or foot braces, canes, a walker, or a wheelchair to improve your mobility.
- Surgery: Surgery might be necessary if you suffer from neuropathies caused by pressure on nerves, such as pressure from tumors.
Yoga and Tai Chi, as well as many other forms of exercise, have been shown to be effective treatments for PINN. This is because they reduce pain, increase muscle strength, and regulate blood sugar levels.
It is essential to speak to your podiatrist before beginning any exercise program.
Foot Peripheral Neuropathy Diagnosis and Treatment
Peripheral neuropathy can be diagnosed by a podiatrist based on a physical examination, including reflex tests, blood tests, motor skill tests, and assessing circulation.
Initially, your podiatrist will recommend conservative measures to reduce your pain if your case is in the early stages. Surgery may be your next option for severe cases or cases that don’t respond to conservative measures. This includes managing diabetes better, pain medications, physical therapy, casting, acupuncture, and message.
Schedule a consultation with a Santo Domingo podiatrist to get started on your journey to good health.
Don’t Suffer in Silence – Get Help Today! Contact Dr. Ivan J. Silva
Podiatrist Dr. Silva is knowledgeable and trained to treat peripheral neuropathy symptoms in the feet and to consider underlying causes, such as vitamin deficiencies and diabetes.
If you need a peripheral neuropathy consultation or other foot-related services, call Dr. Ivan J. Silva today.