Peripheral neuropathy is a serious condition that can profoundly impact your quality of life. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and there is no cure. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, you can manage the condition and lessen the severity of symptoms.
Nerves are the pathways that send messages between your brain and body. They’re made up of fibers that are bundled together, and each nerve has a specific function. For example, some nerves control movement, others relay information about touch, and still others help regulate organ function.
There are three types of nerves:
1. Sensory nerves: Send information from your body to your brain, telling you about things like touch, temperature, and pain.
2. Motor nerves: Send messages from your brain to your muscles, telling them how to move.
3. Autonomic nerves: Control involuntary functions like heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion.
Signs and Symptoms
Numbness or Tingling in Extremities
One of the most common early symptoms of peripheral neuropathy is numbness or tingling in the toes or fingers. This is caused by damage to the nerves that send signals to the brain. As the condition progresses, numbness or tingling may spread up the legs or arms.
Damage to the nerves can also cause changes in your skin. You may notice that your skin is more sensitive to touch, temperature, or pain. You may also notice changes in color or temperature in your extremities. If you have diabetes, you may be at increased risk for developing skin problems related to neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause muscle weakness because the damaged nerves cannot send proper signals to the muscles, resulting in muscle weakness and atrophy. Muscle weakness can make it difficult to do everyday activities such as walking or climbing stairs.
Changes in Nail and Hair Growth
Another common symptom of neuropathy is changes in your nails and hair growth. Nails may become thickened or brittle, and hair may become thin or fall out.
Peripheral neuropathy can also cause digestive problems. The damaged nerves may interfere with the signals that control digestion, resulting in constipation, diarrhea, or other problems.
Sweating or Inability To Sweat
Damage to the autonomic nerves can cause problems with sweating, and this can lead to heat intolerance and an inability to regulate body temperature. In some cases, people with neuropathy may not be able to sweat at all, which can be dangerous in hot weather or during exercise.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause disruptions in sleep. The pain and other symptoms can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, leading to fatigue and further complicating the management of the condition.
If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible to begin treatment and manage your condition effectively. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can lessen the severity of symptoms and improve your quality of life despite living with peripheral neuropathy.
Shockwave Therapy for Peripheral Neuropathy
Shockwave therapy is a new and promising treatment for peripheral neuropathy. Shockwave therapy uses sound waves to stimulate nerve regeneration and improve blood flow. This can help to reduce pain, improve sensation, and restore function.
Shockwave therapy is done right here in our office. It typically takes several sessions to see results, but many people experience significant improvements after just a few treatments.
If you’re living with peripheral neuropathy, shockwave therapy is an option worth considering.
At Health Expression, we offer treatments for neuropathic pain, including shockwave therapy. If you are searching for pain management in Rockville, MD, or shockwave therapy in Pittsford or Maryland, NY, call (301) 244-4717 or complete the online booking form.