Neuropathy is damage to the peripheral nerves. The type of neuropathy someone has is determined by where the nerve damage occurs. Neuropathy can be diagnosed in several different ways, such as electrodiagnostic testing, needle examinations, blood test, etc. Neuropathy can be a long-lasting, even permanent experience for some, so it is important to speak with an expert on how to manage the symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Neuropathy?
Neuropathy doesn’t always have symptoms, but people living with neuropathy may experience the following:
- Sensory symptoms –
- Reduced sensation of touch
- Pins and needles
- Muscular symptoms –
- Difficulty walking
- Muscle weakness
- Issues with coordination
These symptoms can occur in the face, back or thigh, but most commonly occur in the hand or foot. Neuropathy may also affect other areas of the body and body functions including digestion, urination, and circulation.
What are the Different Types of Neuropathy?
Autonomic Neuropathy: When nerves of your involuntary nervous system are damaged, autonomic neuropathy occurs. Although other health conditions or infections can also initiate autonomic neuropathy, diabetes is the most common cause.
Cranial Neuropathy: The 12 cranial nerves that travel from your brain to the brainstem are the nerves that are affected by Cranial Neuropathy, and these nerves affect areas like the eyes and face. There are numerous types of cranial neuropathies.
Proximal Neuropathy: Proximal Neuropathy encompasses nerve damage in the hips, thighs, or gluteal areas of the body. This type of neuropathy is the second most common. It can spread to both sides of the body but it typically affects only one side.
Focal Neuropathy / Mononeuropathy: Focal Neuropathy is one of the least common types of neuropathy and only affects a single nerve in the body, typically in the wrist, thigh, or foot. This type of neuropathy is generally caused by diabetes or trauma.
Peripheral Neuropathy: The most common type of neuropathy is Peripheral Neuropathy. This will happen when there is damage to the peripheral nervous system, which is the communication network that controls the information between the central nervous system to every additional part of the body. Peripheral neuropathy affects the toes, feet, fingers, hands, arms, and legs.
What are the Treatments for Neuropathy?
A specialist will conduct functional exams on the nerves in the body to find out whether or not someone has neuropathy and whether it is at a point that it can be treated. The specialist will then assess the information to determine the best individual treatment program designed specifically for the person experiencing neuropathy. Treatments could include a laser light treatment to stimulate angiogenesis, horizontal electrical wave therapy, or platelet-rich plasma injections.