Only about 20 million Americans have peripheral neuropathy, and sometimes the symptoms can be completely debilitating. If you are struggling to find out why peripheral neuropathy happened to you, we can help determine the cause so it doesn’t happen to other parts of your body. After you’ve already developed neuropathy, we can also help you with treatment recommendations to help soothe your symptoms or take them away as best as possible.
Neuropathy is an interesting and tricky thing to have. Some patients sustain an injury, which leads to immediate peripheral neuropathy symptoms such as tingling and chronic pain. Others will notice an abnormal numbness that comes and goes, or that settles in more strongly over time. We say that neuropathy is “tricky” because the cause of peripheral neuropathy varies from patient to patient, and it can literally happen anywhere at any time.
Research suggests that the human body has around 100 billion different neurons. These neurons are the parts of your nerves that communicate with your body, especially your brain. In the nervous system, information is constantly sent to the brain through electrical impulses produced by your neurons. When you touch something hot or cold, you know right at the instant you do it what you are feeling. That’s all thanks to neurons! You can damage just one of those 100 billion neurons and you feel the effects in your body. Those effects are called neuropathy symptoms and they can include:
There are many people that will experience neuropathy that only lasts for a small amount of time. This can be due to an injury or something as simple as improper posture or wearing the wrong shoes. You will have to meet with a medical professional to know if your neuropathy is easily correctable or if it is treatable, but more long-term. If you have neuropathy, see if some of your daily habits before your diagnosis were the reason you have symptoms in the first place. Some things to consider changing:
Do you have peripheral neuropathy that has been around for awhile or that is from a chronic condition? After finding out you have neuropathy and why, these treatments are beneficial for relieving more long-term symptoms:
We can tell you all day about treatments to help your neuropathy, but it does you no good unless you actually try those treatments out. You may only have neuropathy symptoms in a small part of your body. Should you seek treatment for that neuropathy? Can you live with it? Sometimes runners will hurt a metatarsal in their foot, which causes numbness, chronic pain, or other neuropathy symptoms in their foot. Pain may make you seek treatment, but some don’t if they just have numbness. However, we urge you to seek treatment for your symptoms even if they are small.
Peripheral neuropathy symptoms happen so that you will know there is a nerve problem in your body. If you let symptoms continue, you can find yourself with permanent nerve damage that can no longer be fixed. However, if you start treatment right away (which is sometimes very simple such as changing a shoe insole), then you can fix the problem with no permanent damage. Bottom line: listen to your body, change habits that cause neuropathy, get early treatment for symptoms, and enjoy your life better.