Neuropathy refers to nerves that don’t work properly due to injury or disease. When you have peripheral neuropathy, you can have a problem with:
- Motor nerves that run from your brain to your body, where they control conscious muscle movement
- Sensory nerves that run from your body back to your brain, delivering sensory information like pain signals
- Autonomic nerves that control body functions that keep you alive, such as your heartbeat, metabolism, and digestion
Peripheral neuropathy can affect one, two, or all three types of nerves at the same time.
About 30% of all peripheral neuropathies are caused by diabetes. When blood glucose levels stay higher than normal, the sugar damages small nerves throughout your body.
These are a few other conditions that lead to peripheral neuropathy:
- Pressure on a nerve
- Autoimmune diseases
- Viral and bacterial infections
- Kidney disease
- An underactive thyroid
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Blood vessel disease
Certain genetic disorders and chemotherapy medications can also cause neuropathy.
The type of peripheral nerve affected determines your symptoms:
- Motor nerve neuropathy: can cause muscle weakness, cramps, and muscle atrophy
- Sensory nerve damage: can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and hypersensitivity to touch
- Autonomic nerve damage: can cause an irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and excessive sweating
This list gives you just a few examples of the numerous symptoms caused by the different types of peripheral nerves.
Receiving treatment for underlying health conditions can relieve your neuropathy. Additionally, several prescription medications are available to relieve your symptoms, but they often have limited success and they pose the risk of side effects.
When you need better treatment options for peripheral neuropathy, the team at Spinal Diagnostics can help. They offer many treatments that target the affected nerves, such as epidural steroid injections, spinal cord stimulation, and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation.
Interventional treatments target a specific nerve or cluster of nerves, but they work differently. When steroids and local anesthetics are injected near nerves in the spine, they relieve pain by blocking nerve signals and reducing inflammation. Spinal cord and DRG stimulation use a technique called neuromodulation, which blocks pain signals by delivering a mild dose of electricity to the nerves.
If you need to find better treatments for peripheral neuropathy, schedule an appointment online or call Spinal Diagnostics today.