Neuropathy is the root cause of ongoing pain in up to 10% of the population. This is a chronic condition caused by damaged nerves in different parts of the body, especially the hands and feet. The Multiple Sclerosis and Neurology Institute of Austin is led by highly-skilled and trained neurological experts who perform specialized diagnostic tests to identify the root cause of neuropathy and curate a personalized treatment plan. If you have the signs and symptoms of neuropathy, please schedule a consultation with our neuropathy doctor in Austin.
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy refers to nerve problems that affect different parts of your body. You may suffer from nerve damage in any part of the body, but it’s extremely common in the hands and feet. Peripheral neuropathy, which occurs because of damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, is one of the most common types of neuropathy. You may develop neuropathy when your nerves are exposed to toxins and underlying health problems, such as diabetes, kidney disease, exposure to chemotherapy, and more.
What are the symptoms of neuropathy?
The symptoms of neuropathy vary from one individual to the next, depending on which specific nerves have been damaged. The symptoms range from mild to debilitating pain, and a tell-tale sign of neuropathy is burning or sharp sensations that radiate across the body. The pain may shoot along the arms or legs, depending on the affected nerves.
The following are the most common signs and symptoms of neuropathy:
- Painful sensations
- Tingling sensations
- Numbness and weakness
- Muscle deterioration
- Excessive sweating
- Swollen hands and feet
- Rapid heartbeats
- Gradual onset of numbness
- Prickling and tingling sensations
- Throbbing and burning pain
- Sharp and jabbing pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Feeling like you’re wearing gloves
- Paralysis (in extreme cases)
How is neuropathy diagnosed?
Our neuropathy doctor in Austin will perform a thorough evaluation to identify the damaged nerves responsible for neuropathy. They will review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, perform physical exams, and conduct neurological tests. They will also administer nerve conduction and electromyography, which will reveal the type and root cause of neuropathy.
What causes neuropathy?
Neuropathy is nerve damage that can affect various parts of the body. The following are some of the most common health conditions responsible for neuropathy:
- Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, lupus, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and vasculitis
- Viral or bacterial infections, such as HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease, hepatitis B and C, diphtheria, and shingles
- Hereditary neuropathy, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Cancerous and noncancerous tumors that press on the nerves
- Bone marrow disorders, such as lymphoma, amyloidosis, and myeloma
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Connective tissue disorders
- Certain medications, such as chemotherapy
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Exposure to toxic substances and poisons
What are the treatments for neuropathy?
The Multiple Sclerosis and Neurology Institute of Austin takes a comprehensive and personalized approach to the treatment of neuropathy. Instead of simply alleviating the superficial symptoms, our neuropathy doctor in Austin will also curate personalized treatments for the underlying root cause.
Depending on your unique condition, your neuropathy treatment plan may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Pain medications
- Corticosteroid injections
- Nerve decompression
- Epidural steroid injections
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Nerve block
- Physical therapy