June 1

What is Neuropathy?

The Symptoms and Treatment for Neuropathy

It is estimated that approximately eight percent of people older than age 55 experience neuropathic pain. Neuropathy is a term that refers to general diseases or malfunctions of the nerves. Nerves can be damaged by injury or illness. There are several different types of neuropathy and treatments for them.

Types of Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a term used to describe a problem with the nerves in the body. These problems usually occur in the “peripheral nerves”, which controls the brain and spinal cord. This term covers many different nerves and nerve groups. The different types of neuropathy include:

  • Peripheral neuropathy: occurs when the nerve problem affects the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. These nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system. This type of neuropathy affects the nerves of the extremities like the toes, feet, legs, fingers, hands, and arms.
  • Cranial neuropathy: occurs when any of the twelve cranial nerves (the nerves that exit from the brain) are damaged. There are type different types of cranial neuropathy: optic, which refers to damage or disease of the optic nerve that transmits visual signals to the brain, and auditory, which involved the nerve that carries signals from the inner ear to the brain and is responsible for hearing.
  • Autonomic neuropathy: occurs when damage to the nerves of the involuntary nervous system. These nerves control the heart and circulation, digestion, bowel and bladder function, sexual response, and perspiration. Nerves in other organs may also be affected.
  • Focal neuropathy: a type of neuropathy that restricts one nerve or group of nerves, or one area of the body.

While 30% of neuropathies are “idiopathic”, or of an unknown cause, there are some conditions that may lead to peripheral neuropathy. These causes include diabetes, B12 or folate vitamin deficiencies, drugs like treatments for HIV and cancer, poisons, cancers, alcohol excess, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, injuries, infections, hereditary diseases, certain inflammatory conditions, and connective tissue diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Neuropathy Treatments

Treatments for neuropathy involves measures to control the symptoms as well as treatment to fix the underlying cause of the disorder. Medical treatments for many of these causes are varied and directed at the specific underlying conditions. In many cases, treatments for the causes can help to ease or eliminate the symptoms of the neuropathy.

For more information on treating the causes or treating your neuropathy, call Pain and Spine Specialists today!

Call Pain and Spine Specialists Today!

Pain and Spine Specialists treats many conditions and injuries of the back, neck, knees and spine by taking a whole-person approach to care. Our focus is getting you back on your feet in good health.

Call us in Maryland at 301-703-8767, in Pennsylvania at 724-603-3560, or in Virginia 540-433-1905 to make an appointment or use the form on our site to send us a message.

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Chronic Pain, Chronic Pain Conditions, Neuropathy

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