What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral Neuropathy is damage or dysfunction to one or more of your nerves. Nerves make up the Peripheral Nervous System, while your brain and spinal cord make up the Central Nervous System. When nerve cells (neurons) are damaged, communications between each other and the brain are disrupted.
What causes Periperal Neuropathy?
There are many causes, including, but not limited to:
- Trauma, such as an auto accident
- Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus
- Medications and treatments, such as chemotherapy
- Poisons and toxic substance exposure, such as lead exposure
- Vascular disorders
What are the symptoms?
How is it diagnosed?
Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam and review your medical history with you. You can expect to undergo a neurological exam, which involves checking your reflexes, coordination, balance, and ability to feel sensations. Blood work, genetic tests, and imaging tests may be ordered.
You may also be referred to a specialist for a nerve conduction study (NCS). During an NCS, electrodes will be placed on your body and a brief pulse of electricity will be applied. The test then measures the size of the response to the pulse, as well as the speed in which the nerve carries the electrical signal.
How is it treated and managed?
Physical Therapy is a great way to manage Peripheral Neuropathy. Not only can it help to increase your strength, but it can also improve your coordination. Balance Therapy can be integrated into your program in order to address any balance issues that you may be experiencing.
We also have a Class IV laser at our facility that could help manage your pain. The laser emits photons which penetrate nervous tissue deep down at the cellular level. This light energy stimulates tissue and cell repair. To learn more about laser therapy, click here.