Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is a complicated name for something you’ve probably already heard of, and may even be suffering from. Most commonly associated with carpal tunnel syndrome or pain related to Diabetes, this chronic condition can involve a lot more than that.
Dealing with damage or disease of the peripheral nerves, which are those connecting the brain and spinal cord with the rest of the body, different symptoms can arrive with this kind of pain. The symptoms and causes depend on the type of peripheral neuropathy and, while there are many iterations, it usually falls into two main groups.
Symptoms and Causes of Mononeuropathy
This is when only one nerve is affected and usually results in a sharp stabbing pain, a burning sensation or tingling and/or numbness in the affected area. There may also be muscle weakness. These symptoms can occur more at night, or be more disruptive during certain movements. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is among the most widespread instances of this, targeting the wrists or shoulders. Someone with this syndrome may have more pain when twisting or raising these body parts.
Causes are usually related to the injury. This could be from a traumatic event like a major accident. Take for instance a broken bone, like the humerus, which is the bone of the upper arm. In this case, the radial nerve could be injured along with it, and that can lead to tingling or pain along the topside of the entire arm from the wrist to the shoulder.
Mononeuropathy could also stem from repeated stress to an area, such as with the aforementioned
Syndrome, which is related to repetitive motions like typing. It could also come about from not moving at all. An example of this is if someone was confined to a wheelchair or was under bed rest; the long-term pressure on one area of the body can damage the nerves there.
Symptoms and Causes of Polyneuropathy
This accounts for the majority of peripheral neuropathy cases and is defined as having several nerves affected, not just one. It results in tingling or burning feeling and numbness or loss of sensation, just like mononeuropathy. However, with polyneuropathy, there is a possibility for further consequences.
One widespread cause of this condition is diabetes. High blood sugar can damage multiple nerves at the extremities and in the kidneys. This can result in very serious developments including incontinence, amputation of the toe, foot, or lower leg, and even organ failure. It could also affect your ability to sweat, as well as digestive and sexual function.
Polyneuropathy can also come about from exposure to toxins. This could include everything from accidental ingestion of mercury, lead, or products like glue and antifreeze, to abuse of alcohol or nitrous oxide. It can also develop from vitamin deficiency, like lack of vitamin B.
At the onset of any symptoms like this, the first thing you want to do is seek professional help from a trusted doctor’s office. In the upper Marlboro area, contacting Maryland Care and Wellness will put you in touch with qualified professionals with a history of servicing the community for over 80 years.