The central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system connects the nerves from those areas to the rest of your body. The primary job of the peripheral nerves is to deliver information about physical sensations from your body back to your brain.
Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves, which occurs when those nerves are damaged or destroyed. This interferes with their normal function, so they may send pain signals when there’s no cause for pain, or they may fail to send signals even while your body is hurt.
At Monroe Foot & Ankle Care in Jamesburg, New Jersey, Dr. Elliott Perel and his team are well aware of the debilitating nature of neuropathy and how it can increase your risk of sustaining foot injuries. They provide conservative but comprehensive treatment options for their patients and want you to understand the problem so you can get medical treatment before your condition becomes serious. Here’s what you need to know.
Neuropathy can come from a number of different causes, with physical trauma to the nerves being the most common. Injury can include everything from falls and car accidents to remaining in the same position for extended periods to repetitive motion. For example, typing, tool use, and assembly line work all require repetitive motions that increase pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Another major cause is nerve damage caused by the high blood sugar levels found in diabetes, which leads to numbness, pain, and a loss of sensation. According to the University of Chicago’s Center for Peripheral Neuropathy (UCCPN), almost 60% percent of diabetics have some degree of nerve damage.
Other chronic diseases that may lead to peripheral nerve damage include:
Symptoms vary but can include:
Complications associated with a lack of sensation include skin trauma, burns, and wounds, including of the feet, because your brain doesn’t receive important pain signals indicating something’s wrong. You can also suffer falls from a loss of balance.
Here at Monroe Foot & Ankle Care, we offer a number of different treatments for neuropathy, including:
OTC medications are usually only useful for mild cases of neuropathy. Some prescription antiepileptic medications may relieve nerve pain, while certain tricyclic antidepressants confer relief by interfering with chemical processes in your central nervous system that cause you to feel pain.
In addition, the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) duloxetine and the extended-release antidepressant venlafaxine may ease neuropathic pain caused by diabetes.
All these medications have side effects, so you should discuss them with Dr. Perel before you start taking any.
The patented and FDA-approved Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Therapy Laser uses multiple therapeutic energy wavelengths that produce an efficient and simultaneous effect on pain, inflammation, and edema (swelling). The system has shown an efficacy rate of 85-90%.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses your own blood components — specifically the platelets, which are responsible for healing and new cell growth — injected into the site of the damaged nerves to help regenerate the tissue.
Stem cell therapy guides your body’s store of undifferentiated cells, or stem cells taken from amniotic tissue, into becoming specific cells used to repair and regenerate diseased or damaged tissues, such as the peripheral nerves.
Are you dealing with pain or loss of feeling in your peripheral nerves? Monroe Foot & Ankle Care can help you get back on track. Call us at 732-328-6798, or schedule an appointment with us online.