While Peripheral Neuropathy is pretty common, many people are unaware that what they’re experiencing is diagnosable and treatable depending on the extent of it’s damage. At the Spine Center, we’re committed to helping our patients get treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy in our Charleston office. Before we can get started on describing treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy, it’s important to understand what it is and what causes it. Check out the following information to get to know this condition and get on the path toward treatment.
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Getting to understand this condition involves first understanding why it’s called Peripheral Neuropathy in the first place. In the medical world, the origins of the names of conditions can often tell us a lot about what they are. The word “peripheral” often refers to something ‘beyond.’ Most often the word is associated with vision and refers to what we can’t see directly in front of us, but in this case it refers to being beyond the brain—as in the spinal cord. “Neuro-” is a prefix that refers to the nerves, and the suffix “-pathy” specifically translates to “disease.” Put together, the name of the disease quite literally means “a disease of the nerves and spinal cord.”
To elaborate, Peripheral Neuropathy refers specifically to a disease of the nerves (most often occurring in the hands and feet) that causes them to lose feeling, or feel more pain than usual. This occurs when the nerve endings that carry messages to the brain throughout the body are damaged, sending mixed or no signals at all to the brain. This can result in things like slowed movement, or inability to move or control parts of the body that contain damaged nerves.
Symptoms & Causes
People who experience Peripheral Neuropathy often experience sensations of pain, numbness, or tingling in certain areas of the body. Most often, these feelings occur in the hands and feet. Most people experience the pins and needles sensation every now and then from poor circulation or sitting in one position for too long. But those with Peripheral Neuropathy will experience this feeling regularly, or it may be paired with numbness or pain as well. These physical symptoms may also be paired with loss of muscle control and poor coordination, depending on where on the body you’re experiencing the symptoms.
There are two types of Peripheral Neuropathy: Mononeuropathy and Polyneuropathy. The two different kinds describe the extent of the damage, and are caused by different things. Mononeuropathy refers to the damage of a single nerve ending. It includes conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, which is linked to an overuse of muscles in the fingers (most often).
Polyneuropathy, on the other hand, refers to the damage of multiple nerve endings and is often caused by things like diabetes and other health concerns. Most often, this type of neuropathy can be the result of poor health choices such as a poor diet and living a sedentary life, or the result of exposure to toxins like alcohol. It can also occur as a complication of chronic illnesses such as kidney failure and cancer.
Treatment At Charleston Spine Center
For the above reasons, it’s important to understand the causes of your Peripheral Neuropathy as you’re being diagnosed. Treatment will depend greatly on what caused the problem and whether or not it involves treatment of some other health problem first. However, the Spine Center of Charleston can aid in treating these symptoms greatly with the proper diagnosis and care. If you think you have Peripheral Neuropathy, check with your doctor or a specialist today.