Peripheral neuropathy refers to the many conditions caused by nerve damage along the path between the brain and the extremities. Conditions range from carpal tunnel syndrome to severe nerve damage. Symptoms generally manifest in the extremities, usually the hands and feet, and present as numbness, tingling, and sensitivity. Severe peripheral neuropathy symptoms can include sharp, burning pain, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
Peripheral neuropathy is caused by many different diseases and conditions. Common causes are diabetes, infections, tumors, genetic disorders, and other diseases. Alcoholism, certain poisons, medications, traumas, and vitamin deficiencies have also been linked to peripheral neuropathy. If you are feeling any tingling, numbness, or something more severe in your hands and feet you should seek medical attention immediately.
The best way to manage peripheral neuropathy is to prevent it in the first place. Eating a diet rich in whole foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein will ensure that you are receiving the proper micronutrients and protect agains vitamin deficiencies. Regular exercise and stretching will keep your nerves healthy. Be sure to not sit in cramped positions and move regularly to not put pressure on your nerves. And of course avoid toxic chemicals, smoking, and overindulging with alcohol.
At Elihu Institute for Pain Management, we have the most advanced treatment options available to help you manage your peripheral neuropathy. Our physicians will work with you to create a comprehensive treatment plan perfectly tailored to your specific needs. When conservative treatment with medication and physical therapy is not enough, we offer advanced therapies to find the root of your pain. Our treatment options include Sympathetic Nerve Blocks, Epidural Steroid Injections, and Spinal Cord Stimulators.
Sympathetic Nerve Blocks
Sympathetic nerve blocks have been shown to provide long lasting relief of peripheral neuropathy. The doctor will inject a numbing agent into the lower back, near the spine. This prevents certain pain signals from being transferred by “blocking” the nerve. Studies have shown that these nerve blocks have been incredibly effective at relieving pain and improving the quality of life for those living with peripheral neuropathy.
Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections are commonly used to relieve pain in the back, arms, and legs caused by damage in spinal nerves. The procedure is minimally invasive and only involves a small injection of steroid into the epidural space in the spine. If your peripheral neuropathy is caused by damaged nerves, an epidural steroid injection will provide lasting relief.
Spinal Cord Stimulators
Spinal cord stimulators deliver a low voltage electrical pulse into the spinal cord to block pain signals. The spinal cord stimulator is implanted near the spine in a minimally invasive procedure. Consult one of our physicians to see if a spinal cord stimulator is right for you.