If you are suffering from peripheral neuropathy, then contact PC Medical Centers in Cape Girardeau, MO and get treated with the help of our specialized professionals for pain and numbness. For more information please call us or schedule an appointment online.
While there are several different types of nerves in the body—including sensory, motor, and relay—nerves are generally categorized into two main groups: central and peripheral. Central nerves comprise the brain and spinal cord, whereas peripheral nerves comprise nerve groups in the rest of the body, including the limbs, organs and tissues. Damage to the peripheral nerves can result in neuropathy, a chronic condition characterized by weakness and numbness.
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy results from damage to the peripheral nerves (nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord), and often causes symptoms of weakness, numbness and pain. It most commonly affects the hands and feet, although it can also affect other areas of the body as well as certain functions, including digestion, urination and circulation. Peripheral neuropathy can result from exposure to toxins, traumatic injuries, infections, and metabolic diseases, and can also be passed down genetically. One of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes due to the restriction of blood flow. People with peripheral neuropathy generally describe the pain as stabbing, burning or tingling, and also report feelings of weakness and numbness in the affected area. Symptoms improve in many cases, in particular if peripheral neuropathy is caused by a treatable condition.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
There are several known causes of peripheral neuropathy, including:
- Autoimmune Diseases — Autoimmune diseases are a common cause of peripheral neuropathy, and include lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.
- Diabetes — The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy, diabetes often leads to nerve damage due to poor blood flow. In fact, more than half of people with diabetes will develop some type of neuropathy.
- Infections — Certain viral or bacterial infections can also lead to peripheral neuropathy, including shingles, Lyme disease, diphtheria, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C, HIV, and leprosy.
- Inherited Disorders — Peripheral neuropathy can also be passed down genetically, which is seen in hereditary types of neuropathy such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
- Tumors — Growths both malignant (cancerous) and benign (noncancerous) can develop on or nearby the nerves and cause excess pressure. As a result of some cancers related to the body’s immune response, polyneuropathy can arise, which is also a form of a degenerative disorder called paraneoplastic syndrome.
- Bone Marrow Disorders — Bone marrow disorders that can lead to peripheral neuropathy include monoclonal gammopathies (an abnormal protein in the blood), myeloma (bone cancer), lymphoma, and amyloidosis.
- Other Diseases — Other diseases that can cause peripheral neuropathy include connective tissue disorders, kidney disease, liver disease, and hypothyroidism.
Can peripheral neuropathy go away on its own?
As the peripheral nerves have an amazing ability to heal themselves, in some cases Peripheral Neuropathy can go away on its own. As this is a slow process, the self-healing of peripheral neuropathy may take months to years but recovery in some cases is possible. The chances of the nerve healing itself are high, albeit slow, in many cases, including if the peripheral nerve is damaged as a result of: a trauma or injury; a gunshot wound or a stabbing injury; or a motor vehicle collision.
How is peripheral neuropathy treated?
There are two main treatments for peripheral neuropathy: medication and therapy. Medications come in many forms, including pain relievers, anti-seizure medicines, topical treatments and even antidepressants. On the other hand, therapies may include physical therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and surgery.
At PC Medical Centers, we are dedicated to providing you with all of your peripheral neuropathy needs. Our professionals are experienced in treating peripheral neuropathy and can help you find relief. Call us today to book an appointment for peripheral neuropathy treatment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 5 Doctors Park, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703. We serve patients from Cape Girardeau MO, Oak Ridge MO, Scott City MO, Jackson MO, Chaffee MO, Shawnee Township MO, and Whitewater MO. We look forward to serving you!