The nervous system is a complex system that consists of the brain and spinal cord, as well as the nerves that branch out all over your body. Your nervous system controls three primary functions: sensory information, muscle movement, and autonomic functions, such as heart rate, digestion, and blood pressure.
When you have neuropathic pain, there’s a disruption in the communication pathway that connects the brain and spinal cord with the skin, muscles and other parts of the body.
As a result, you can develop several uncomfortable symptoms, depending on which nerves are affected.
At the practice of Edward Carden, MD, in Sherman Oaks, California, Dr. Carden and the rest of our expert team understand the complicated nature of neuropathy and how it can impact your quality of life. If you’re suffering from neuropathy pain, learn how we can help you find relief.
What symptoms indicate neuropathy?
When you have neuropathy, your senses, muscle control, and even some autonomic functions may be affected. Signs of neuropathy include:
- Increased sensitivity to touch or pain
- Burning, tingling, numbness, or stabbing pain, especially in the hands, arms, legs, or feet
- Intolerance to heat
- Sweating too much or too little
- Muscle weakness, lack of coordination, or paralysis
- Digestive issues
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Changes in blood pressure, leading to lightheadedness
You may also experience neuropathy that impacts just one nerve, several nerves in different areas, or multiple nerves throughout your body.
What causes neuropathy?
Dr. Carden first does a thorough exam and a review of your medical history to identify what’s causing your symptoms. This helps him determine which nerves are affected so he can create a customized neuropathy management plan.
He may look to the following common causes of neuropathy, including:
- Exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals and industrial chemicals
- Medications, especially chemotherapy for cancer treatment
- Nerve trauma, pressure, or repetitive motion
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Conditions like diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or bone marrow disorders
- Inherited disorders
In some cases, when Dr. Carden identifies the underlying cause and successfully treats it, your neuropathy symptoms lessen in severity, or perhaps resolve completely.
Likewise, without treatment, your nerve damage could worsen, which could intensify your symptoms and cause irreversible damage.
What can be done to manage neuropathy?
Here at the office of Edward Carden, MD, we offer individualized approaches for managing neuropathy. Parts of this approach may include eating a healthy diet high in B vitamins, exercising regularly, and avoiding things that could lead to nerve damage.
We may also suggest some of the following interventions, depending on the cause of your pain and its severity:
- Medications, such as pain relievers, anti-seizure drugs, or antidepressants
- Topical creams or lidocaine patches
- Trigger point injections
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Physical therapy
If you have neuropathy symptoms because of pressure on a nerve, we may also recommend spinal injections, spinal cord stimulation, or intrathecal pain pumps.
To learn more about how we at Edward Carden, MD can help improve your quality of life by easing neuropathy pain, schedule an appointment at our Sherman Oaks office today. You can book online or call 310-842-8668. Also, you can send a message to Dr. Carden and the team here on our website.