Recognizing the Signs of Neuropathy

Neuropathy, which is nerve damage, affects an estimated 20 million people in the United States, but experts believe the number may be far higher, as many individuals go undiagnosed.

At Magnolia Medical Center, our multidisciplinary team believes that the first line of defense when it comes to your health is education. To that end, we’ve pulled together the following information on neuropathy and how to recognize the signs of a brewing problem.

Neuropathy at a glance

To better understand the signs of neuropathy, it’s helpful to quickly review the problem and why it develops. The simplest definition of neuropathy is any damage to your peripheral nervous system, which is the vast network of nerves outside of your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).  Peripheral neuropathy most usually affects feet and hands.  As the condition worsens, symptoms can be felt in the lower leg and arms as well.

The causes of peripheral neuropathy

Neuropathy can occur for many reasons, including:

Of this list, diabetes is one of the more common causes, as neuropathy develops in 60-70% of those who have the chronic disease.

Recognizing neuropathy

As we’ve explained, nerve damage can occur in any of your nerve groups, which can lead to widely different symptoms.  However, Peripheral Neuropathy most usually impacts sensory nerves.

When nerve breakdown occurs in the sensory nerves, it alters your body’s sensations, which can lead to the following symptoms:

If the neuropathy affects your motor nerves, you may experience muscle weakness or issues with balance or coordination. 

Treating your neuropathy

Typical medical treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy is usually limited to medication.  Unfortunately, most medication for nerve pain only seeks to reduce the pain symptom and does NOT resolve the underlying nerve damage.  So, while the pain may be covered up in the short term, the nerves continue to worsen.  Most patients report limited or no results from medication.

When it comes to resolving neuropathic conditions in our office, our first step is to identify the cause of the problem. For example, if you’re diabetic and you develop peripheral neuropathy, we can work with you to help manage diet to prevent any more damage from sugar dysregulation.

Through our integrated approach, our goal is to halt the progression of your neuropathy and restore function to the damaged nerves, which we can best accomplish by treating the underlying cause.

If you suspect you’re developing neuropathy, early intervention is key. To get started, contact our office in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to set up an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What's Making Your Head Hurt?

The International Headache Society has identified more than 150 different types of headaches, and the odds are good that you’ve had one or more. If your head pain is a common occurrence, here’s a look at what might be behind the problem.

5 Tips for Combatting Knee Pain

There are few things that can hobble you like knee pain. If you’d rather not wince with every step, there are several ways that you can keep your knees functioning optimally, and we explore five of them here.

Are You a Good Candidate for Functional Medicine?

If you’re struggling with unexplained poor health and seemingly unrelated symptoms, functional medicine is the antidote to specialized medicine. By taking a broad view of your health, we can connect the dots and get you on the road to better health.

Your Posture Matters When It Comes to Back Pain

If you struggle with constant and nagging back pain, your posture may be a contributor. Here’s a look at how poor posture can lead to back pain, and -- you guessed it, how good posture can help bring you relief.

Understanding Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders are incredibly frustrating conditions in which your own body becomes your enemy. In the following, we review the more common autoimmune disorders and how we go about treating them.

4 Benefits of Preventive Chiropractic Care

One of the best ways to maintain great health is through preventive practices like regular chiropractic care. By ensuring that your body is aligned and functioning properly, we can help you avoid many health problems in the first place.