What is Peripheral Neuropathy? Symptoms and Causes

What is Peripheral Neuropathy? Symptoms and Causes

Posted By Georgia Accident Rehab Centers || 16-Apr-2014

Peripheral neuropathy may not be the most well-known condition but it is more common than you might think. Peripheral neuropathy is a complication arising from nerve damage, which may be caused by a number of factors including infection and metabolic problems. Here are some facts about peripheral neuropathy, its symptoms and its causes.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Types

Peripheral neuropathy is the result of nerve damage and the symptoms of the condition depend on which nerves are damaged and how many nerves are affected. When only one nerve is damaged the condition is called mononeuropathy. When two or more nerves are damaged it is called multiple mononeuropathy, and when there are many different damaged nerves it is polyneuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Symptoms

As different numbers of nerves may be affected in different parts of the body, signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy vary from person to person. The common signs of this health condition include:

  • Numbness in the hands or feet
  • Burning or sharp pain
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Poor coordination
  • Skin, hair and nail problems

If motor nerves are affected the condition may cause muscle weakness or paralysis. If autonomic nerves are affected you may experience bladder, bowel, or digestive issues, or problems with blood pressure.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Causes

Certain health conditions and other factors make it more likely a person will suffer from peripheral neuropathy. These factors include diabetes, autoimmune disease, vitamin deficiency, alcoholism, chemotherapy, exposure to toxins or poisons, infection, trauma or injury, tumors, and liver or kidney disease. Poorly controlled diabetes is a common cause of peripheral neuropathy. Repeating certain physical actions over and over again may cause peripheral neuropathy, for example, typing.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Risks

It is important that peripheral neuropathy is properly treated because it causes loss of sensation in the hands and feet, which makes the patient more susceptible to burns and injuries. Small injuries to the feet like blisters or cuts can develop into serious infections if they are not spotted.

Peripheral Neuropathy: Treatment

As well as treating the underlying health condition that causes peripheral neuropathy, it is essential to treat the pain of the condition in order for the patient to live a normal life. Pain management techniques include massage, as well as physical therapy, foot care, exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes like stopping smoking and avoiding alcohol.

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