What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Definition of Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to nerves, and is characterized by weakness,  numbness or pain in the damaged areas. There is usually some identifiable disease process or physical condition which is the cause of the damage, and as such, peripheral neuropathy can often be reversed or improved once the underlying issues are addressed. For example, diabetes, other neurological diseases such as MS, and infections are common causes.

Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

  • Numbness and Tingling in extremities, like the  feet or hands
  • Burning, painful sensations
  • Sharp, jabbing or jolting pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis (when motor nerves are affected)
  • Bowel or bladder control issues (when autonomic nerves are affected)

Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy

Besides treating underlying issues, which can often cause a complete recovery from symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, there are a number of treatment options for ongoing symptoms:

  • Medications, such as pain relievers, antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs have proven to be helpful.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can help, but it must be performed frequently, and alleviation of symptoms is very temporary.

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We have information on several other neurological diseases, including Migraine Headaches.