Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist in Shrewsbury, Freehold, Wall, & Lacey NJ helps patients increase functioning and reduce pain associated with neuropathy.
Understanding Neuropathy: Causes and Symptoms
On a very basic level, the term neuropathy refers to any disorder or injury that affects the nerves or nerve cells of the body. The type of neuropathy discussed in this article is known as peripheral neuropathy, which can result from any sort of traumatic injury but is primarily caused by diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy can also be experienced by patients with peripheral vascular disease (which occurs in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients) or as a side effect from certain cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation.
The body’s nervous system is divided into two basic categories: the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nerves include sensory nerves, which experience sensations such as heat, pain, or touch; the motor nerves, which control the muscles; and autonomic nerves, those that control automatic functions such as heart rate, digestion, and blood pressure. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, then, can relate to any of these functions.
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy usually start in the longest nerves, such as the ones that reach the toes. Peripheral neuropathy may be experienced as numbness and tingling in the hands or feet that eventually spreads upward toward the legs and arms. This numbness/tingling may be accompanied by the following symptoms:
• Burning pain
• Sharp or stabbing pain
• Sensitivity to touch
• Bowel or bladder dysfunction
• Muscle weakness
• Coordination problems
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what exactly neuropathy is and the symptoms associated with this condition. Call our office for a FREE consultation or to schedule an appointment; 732-365-0301.