With peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), one of the major concerns is a loss of feeling sensation (numbness) that can lead to serious medical complications. Whereas numbness can be quite concerning, it is important not to dismiss painful symptoms. The good news is that we offer several treatment options here at Haro Podiatry & Laser Center to relieve peripheral nerve pain and allow you to perform your favorite activities.
The Body’s Peripheral Nervous System
The human body is comprised of several systems, including the nervous system. This particular system is further broken down into two separate subsystems: the central and peripheral nervous systems.
The central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord, and is responsible for processing information. The peripheral nervous system is a vast, intricate network of nerves branching out from the spinal column and reaching to various areas of your body. In part, this subsystem is responsible for collecting sensory information, which is important to know for understanding why neuropathy causes pain.
Both the central and peripheral nervous systems work in conjunction with each other and communicate via nerve impulses sent along peripheral nerve fibers. When the communication is disrupted, or severed, issues can arise.
Peripheral Neuropathy Explained
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition wherein nerve damage has been sustained and nerve fibers are unable to accurately convey messages back to your central nervous system. This can happen for an assortment of reasons, with diabetes being a particularly common one.
Other potential causes of nerve damage include exposure to toxins, certain medications, inherited disorders, autoimmune diseases, tumors (both cancerous and benign), and vitamin deficiencies. Individuals who struggle with alcoholism often tend to make poor dietary choices, which can lead to vitamin deficiency that triggers a neuropathic condition.
As noted earlier, physical sensations are some of the predominant symptoms of neuropathy. These include sharp, burning, freezing, and stabbing pain, but other signs of peripheral neuropathy include extreme sensitivity, impaired coordination, and a gradual onset of numbness. Symptoms can vary based on the affected nerve and root cause of the issue.
Diagnosing Peripheral Nerve Damage
When diagnosing the condition, Dr. Haro will likely review your medical history and conduct a neurological examination. Diagnostic tests might include:
Nerve Function Tests
These can include sensory testing, autonomic reflex screening, and electromyography. Electromyography is used to record electrical activity in muscles by sending an electric signal to a nerve and then recording the nerve’s response.
Tumors and other abnormalities can often be identified with CT and MRI scans.
We would use these to detect diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, abnormal immune function, and other conditions often responsible for nerve damage.
In some instances, a small portion of a nerve can be removed to look for any abnormalities.
Nerve Pain Treatment Options
There are several treatment options for peripheral neuropathy, with the goals being to manage the responsible condition and relieve symptoms. In some cases, doctors treat the condition with pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medication, and even topical treatments. We are pleased to offer a treatment option that is even better – laser therapy.
Lasers have been used for years now to treat injuries like sprains, torn ligaments, and cases of minor pain. The Class IV Laser—the result of intense research and development—is raising the bar with its’ ability to treat some of the most severe cases of pain, including neuropathic pain.
More than just addressing the symptom (pain), this advanced technology has also shown to decrease inflammation and aid in damaged nerve repair. Even better, the treatment is safe and painless. To find out more about this state-of-the-art treatment option, contact Haro Podiatry & Laser Center and we will be glad to answer any questions you might have.
Are You Suffering From Neuropathy?
If you are suffering from neuropathy you need to speak with an experienced podiatrist as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Clifton, New Jersey office directly at 973.777.5771 to schedule your appointment today.