Young man with hand pain

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Despite the fact that it is very common, peripheral neuropathy is not a household disease name. Not many people know of its existence, until it happens to them. Yet, more than three million cases of it happen year after year.

To help educate everyone on this medical issue, the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers are defining and discussing peripheral neuropathy below.

The Definition of Peripheral Neuropathy

The peripheral nervous system is a key component of your anatomy. It helps to send information from your brain and spine directly to the rest of your body. This is from where senses of pain and touch come.

However, when issues in this area happen, it’s called peripheral neuropathy. More specifically, having this disease means weakness, numbness, and pain due to the damage of nerves or the body’s communication system. Most commonly, this damage to the nerves happens to the hands and feet, but it can travel anywhere.

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

Most often than not, this problem is caused by something else, like another disease. Here is a broad list of some of the most common causes:

  • Diabetes.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Medications/Chemotherapy
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Vitamin deficiencies.
  • Exposure to poisons.
  • Tumors.
  • Bone marrow disorders.
  • Previous trauma or accidents.
  • Infections.

Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

The symptoms vary widely. This is because the physical effects depend on which nerves are affected. Here are some of the most common:

  • A slow build-up of numbness.
  • Spontaneous pain in the toes or fingers or in a glove or sock-like area.
  • Pain during normal activities, such as putting on a blanket or touching something soft.
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch.
  • The feeling of wearing gloves or socks even if none are on.
  • Heat intolerance.
  • Weakness.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Changes in blood pressure.
  • Dizziness.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Paralysis.

Treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy

In most cases, the treatment for peripheral neuropathy lies in the treatment for the disease or the issue that is causing it. Once that is fixed, it will begin to alleviate. However, certain medications can also help.

If you have any more questions, the pain specialists experts at Alliance Spine and Pain are here to help. Reach out to any of our pain specialists or give us a call at 770-929-9033.