Are you living with chronic pain? If you’re regularly experiencing things like pain, muscle weakness, and numbness, you could be suffering from an undiagnosed chronic pain disorder. Neuropathy is a very common chronic pain condition, particularly among adults with diabetes, people receiving chemotherapy, and people living with HIV.
If you’re not familiar with neuropathy, it’s important to know the warning signs. In this post, you’ll learn the beginning symptoms of neuropathy, how to manage neuropathy, and more about the condition itself. This information will empower you to seek help from a medical professional if you suspect that you have the condition or are currently struggling to manage the symptoms.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy, is damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves. Rather than a single condition, neuropathy refers to a variety of health problems and the resulting symptoms that involve peripheral nerve damage. Neuropathy can be caused by diabetes, chemotherapy, HIV, physical trauma, autoimmune disorders, vascular disorders, vitamin deficiencies, and more.
This condition is chronic, incurable, and can affect people of all ages. However, there are ways of managing its symptoms and slowing its progression. Unfortunately, many people that are living with neuropathy have no idea that they’re suffering from nerve damage. That’s why it’s so important to know the various neuropathy symptoms.
The beginning of neuropathy typically presents several symptoms, including tingling in the feet, burning sensations, hypersensitivity to touch or temperature, weakness, and balance issues. You may also have cuts or injuries that you don’t notice or aren’t healing properly, as neuropathy can affect your ability to feel pain.
Neuropathy is a slow-moving disease with symptoms that progressively worsen over months and years if left untreated. The worst symptoms of neuropathy, which tend to occur when the condition is untreated for too long, include foot ulcers and bacterial infections that can lead to gangrene.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from neuropathy, it’s essential to seek help from a medical professional today. Your doctor may then refer you to a neurologist to run tests for neuropathy, which include blood and imaging tests, nerve biopsies, and more. Once diagnosed, you can seek out a treatment plan for your condition from a chronic pain specialist.
If you manage neuropathy properly, you can lessen your symptoms and greatly slow the progression of the condition. Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to manage the pain, but there are things you can do at home to ease the symptoms. This includes eating a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein while being wary of foods that may trigger neuropathic pain, such as caffeine, nuts, and citrus fruits.
Taking care of your feet and engaging in regular exercise also make a difference. Though some fear that walking worsens neuropathy, it can actually help reduce your symptoms. Also, try to avoid excessive alcohol consumption, quit smoking, and monitor your blood glucose levels carefully if you have diabetes.
You can also seek out personalized treatment for neuropathy in legs and feet, as well as hands, with your nearest pain specialist.
Our Pain Specialists Can Help
Receiving proper treatment and managing neuropathy properly will make your symptoms much more tolerable, improving your quality of life. Now that you know the warning signs of neuropathy, you can determine if it’s necessary to reach out to a medical professional for help.
If you live in the Charlotte or Huntersville area, we encourage you to reach out to the Carolinas Pain Center. Our pain specialists serve patients dealing with all types of pain, including neuropathy. We’ll provide you with a personalized care and treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms and slow the progression of the condition.
To make an appointment with us, please call 704-500-2332 or fill out our online form. We will get back to you as soon as possible.