What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition or set of symptoms affecting the nerves outside the central nervous system called peripheral nerves, including all nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Neuropathy can affect either one or several nerves, usually starting in the hands and feet, but can affect other areas too.
Neuropathy symptoms include:
- Muscle cramps or spasms
- Loss of coordination
Neuropathy can affect your sensory nerves, which allow you to feel sensationlike touch or pain as well as those that control your muscles.
What causes neuropathy?
The leading cause of neuropathy is diabetes, a metabolic condition that causes glucose (sugar) to build up in your bloodstream. This increased blood sugar can damage the body, including your peripheral nerves. As a result, many people with diabetes may experience symptoms caused by neuropathy.
Diabetes is not the sole reason for neuropathy despite being the primary cause. Aside from diabetes, you may develop neuropathy due to:
- Traumatic injuries
- Certain medications
- Vascular disorders
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Autoimmune disorders
Your providers' at Knight Neurology explore the many possible underlying causes of your condition and the contributing factors.
What are my treatment options for neuropathy?
The team at Knight Neurology has specialty training in neuromuscular medicine, which allows them to perform diagnostic tests and evaluations for neuropathy. Specifically, they can perform electromyogram and nerve conduction studies (EMG/NCS) to find the location of your issues and evaluate their severity.
Once the team has your test results and understands your condition, they can recommend treatment options to improve your nerve function. If you have underlying issues like diabetes or infection, addressing them is an essential part of treatment for your neuropathy.
There are also prescription medications that can treat neuropathy and surgeries to treat structural causes of neuropathy, such as herniated discs compressing nerves. However, surgery is rarely necessary. You may be able to manage your neuropathy by adopting healthy living habits and engaging in physical therapy.