What is Neuropathy?

Testing a patient's feeling in their foot to determine if they have Neuropathy

Have your hands or feet ever gone numb causing the sensation of pins and needles? This is a common phenomenon that happens to most people, however if the sensation persists, you could be suffering from peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. This results in weakness, numbness, and pain, usually starting in the hands and feet. Beyond the hands and feet, peripheral neuropathy can also cause issues in digestion, urination, and circulation.

Why does this happen? The peripheral nervous system sends information from your brain to the rest of the body. These nerves also take in sensory information such as temperature and vibration, and send this information back to the brain. When damaged, the signals from the nerves become distorted causing pain and irregularities.

There are various nerves that make up the peripheral system. This causes neuropathy symptoms to vary depending on the type of nerves affected. Peripheral nerves are classified into three categories: sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves.

Sensory nerves receive sensation such as pain, temperature, and touch. When these nerves become damaged it can result in the feeling of pins and needles in the hands and feet. It can also decrease feeling and the ability to perceive temperature.

Motor nerves control muscle movement throughout the body. When these nerves are damaged it can result in muscle weakness. The ability to perform small, everyday tasks becomes difficult or unmanageable. Other symptoms such as cramps and twitching can occur.

Autonomic nerves control involuntary functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, urination, sweating, and digestion. When these nerves are damaged, there is a more generalized range of symptoms. This includes issues like heat intolerance, high blood pressure and loss of bladder control.

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects over 20 million people in the United States. But this doesn’t have to be you! If you are suffering from this condition, contact us today so we can set you up on a specialized and personalized peripheral neuropathy treatment program to help reduce pain and restore your body!  

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