Peripheral Neuropathy is a disease of the nerves that carry messages from the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system. There are two distinct parts of the nervous systems: Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) and Peripheral Nervous System (all the other nerves outside the central nervous system). The following are classifications of Peripheral Neuropathy:
- Motor (movement): affects nerves that carry impulses to move muscles (walking, talking, writing).
- Sensory (sensations): affects nerves that carry impulses for feeling sensations (touch, temperature, pain).
- Autonomic: affects nerves that carry impulses to organs that automatically control major life functions (heart, lungs, GI, thyroid).
The following are the most common signs of Peripheral Neuropathy:
- Burning/ hot pain.
- Electrical-like sensations.
- Pain from light touching (severe pain from bed sheet).
- Loss of touch/ numbness (gloves or socks distribution).
- Inability to feel vibrations or temperature changes.
- Paroxysmal pain (sudden attack or unexpected pain outburst).
- Muscle weakness, muscle spasms, muscle twitching.
- Loss of position sense (poor coordination or difficulty with buttons).
- Excessive sweating, heat intolerance, BP changes when rising.
There are an estimated 40 million cases of Peripheral Neuropathy in the U.S. and may be caused by any of the following:
- Diabetes mellitus – leading cause of neuropathy in US. Estimated 60-70% of diabetics have some degree of neuropathy.
- Chemotherapy drugs – estimated 30-40% of chemo. patients.
- Autoimmune diseases (Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus (SLE), Sjogren’s syndrome, Guillain-Barre syndrome, CIDP).
- Nutritional imbalances (low B12, high B6, alcoholism)
- Infections (varicella-zoster/shingles, HSV, West Nile, Leprosy, Lyme disease, HIV, cytomegalovirus.
- Chronic kidney and liver disorders (high amount of normally cleared toxins).
- Idiopathic (large amount has no known cause).
There are various treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy including medications, electrical stimulation, platelet rich plasma (PRP), IV Ketamine, and alternative options.
If you are interested in learning more or making an appointment with Oklahoma Interventional Spine and Pain, please call 918-728-8020 and ask for an appointment with Dr. Jeff Halsell who specializes in the treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy.