Peripheral Neuropathy

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy results from some type of damage to your peripheral nervous system’s network of connections.

The peripheral nervous system relays messages from your brain/spinal cord to the rest of the boy via a network of paired motor and sensory nerves. It is responsible for functions such as sensation, movement, and motor coordination.

When any of these relays gets damaged – from metabolic problems, infections, traumatic injuries, genetic predispositions, toxin exposure, or other internal or external influences – it can affect the brain’s communication with your muscles and organs, resulting in peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy can result in stabbing or burning pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, or other discomfort. These symptoms can occur anywhere throughout the body, but are most common in the hands and feet. For example, a common manifestation of peripheral neuropathy is the numbness and/or pain people with diabetes experience in their feet.

How can peripheral neuropathy affect daily life?

Peripheral neuropathy affects daily life differently from person to person. It is dependent on many factors: the cause and location of the nerve damage, the overall health of the individual, the medical interventions taken to address an underlying health issue, and so on. Each case of peripheral neuropathy is different, and the effectiveness of treatments and duration of symptoms that affect daily living vary from person to person.

In general, three categories of peripheral neuropathy have been identified, and each type usually manifests in different kinds of symptoms.

Damage that affects the motor nerves can cause problems with walking, grasping and holding things, or talking. If the sensory nerves are affected, individuals can experience problems with the sensations of touch, temperature, or pain that occurs from an injury such as a cut or fall. When autonomic nerves are affected, organ function can be impacted. Breathing, digestion, heart rate, and other functions not consciously controlled by the brain can be affected.

The severity and persistence of these symptoms can have a profound impact on daily living. Motor skill functions as basic as maintaining balance or walking around the house, or as complex as driving a car, can be impacted. An example of sensory nerve damage is the inability to sense skin irritants or recognize extremes in temperatures, both of which can lead to tissue damage. Autonomic nerve damage could cause something as minor as fatigue or as major as changes in heart or lung performance.

How can Dr. Schneider and the Hope Brain & Body Recover Center help?

When you come to us with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, our first and foremost goal is to alleviate some or all of your discomfort as quickly as possible. Many of our patients do notice some improvement after their first visit, which includes a comprehensive assessment of your overall health and pinpointing the cause(s) of the neuropathy. Subsequent visits allow you and Dr. Schneider to identify treatments that are most effective and to tailor a treatment plan for optimal benefit.

Once your discomfort has been addressed, we want to help you keep it at bay. During the corrective care phase, muscles and other tissues are allowed to heal more completely, thereby helping to prevent further injury and/or discomfort. This is done through follow-up visits to the office; close communication with Dr. Schneider and his staff; and a well-mapped plan of behavior modification (which can include diet, exercise, medication, and so on) and feedback.

Finally, once the desired outcome has been achieved, a program of wellness care will help you avoid similar issues moving forward. Dr. Schneider and his staff will work with you on a wellness plan that accommodates your lifestyle and goals.

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