Neuropathy Doctor Questions and Answers
Numbness, prickling or tingling in your feet or hands are symptoms of neuropathy, but there are treatments available! Dr. Stephen Jankovic, DC and his team at Total Wellness Medical Centre offer neuropathy treatments in Claymont, DE. For more information, please call us today or simply request an appointment online.
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Neuropathy is a result of damage to the nerves outside of the spinal cord and brain and causes pain, normally in your hands and feet, and it also can affect other areas of your body. Your peripheral nervous system works by sending information to your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of the body, and the peripheral nerves also send sensory information to the central nervous system. Those who have peripheral neuropathy typically describe the pain as a stabbing, burning, or tingling feeling. In most cases, symptoms will improve, especially if it is caused by a treatable condition.
Neuropathy may be caused by a number of conditions which include diabetes, autoimmune diseases, infections, inherited disorders, tumors, bone marrow disorders, and other diseases, like liver disease, kidney disease, underactive thyroid, and connective tissue disorders. Alcohol, exposure to poisons, medication, vitamin deficiencies, or trauma or pressure on the nerve may also cause neuropathy.
Diagnosing neuropathy will require more than just a physical exam as it has many potential causes. Your doctor will review your medical history, including your symptoms, lifestyle, drinking habits, exposure to toxins, and will investigate closer if you have a family history of nervous system diseases. Your doctor may also order a number of tests for more answers: blood tests, imaging tests, nerve function tests, skin biopsy, and nerve biopsy. More importantly, you will want to communicate clearly how you are feeling. Symptoms may include the following: extreme sensitivity to touch; sharp, jabbing, burning, or throbbing pain; a gradual onset of tingling or prickling in your hands or feet, which may spread into the arms and legs; lack of coordination and falling, muscle weakness; pain that occurs during activities that normally shouldn’t cause pain; feeling as if you are wearing gloves and socks when you are not; and paralysis if your motor nerves are affected. If autonomic nerves are affected, then signs and symptoms might include excessive sweating or not being able to sweat, bowel, bladder or digestive problems, changes in blood pressure that cause lightheadedness or dizziness, and heat intolerance.
Treatment for neuropathy depends on its actual cause. Some treatments include surgery, physical therapy, and injections for increased nerve pressure. Other treatments center on reducing discomfort and pain with over-the-counter-painkillers, like aspirin or ibuprofen. There are all sorts of treatments that may help reduce symptoms of neuropathy: Vitamin B is important for nerve health, and a deficiency may lead to nerve damage; cayenne pepper may help reduce neuropathy pain; quitting cigarettes will help improve symptoms; warm baths help increase blood circulation and may help decrease symptoms of pain and weakness; exercise on a regular basis will help combat pain and is proven to reduce blood sugar, which may reduce or slow down nerve damage; essential oils help increase blood circulation and they also have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that may boost healing; meditation helps lower stress and decreases pain intensity; and acupuncture promotes healing by stimulating the body’s pressure points.
Other treatments available involve prescribed medications, surgery, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. It is best that you speak with your doctor who can work with you in providing the right treatment plan.
A doctor who specializes in integrative medicine that includes pain management, chiropractic care, and massage therapy is your best bet in helping treat neuropathy. You see, when you are experiencing neuropathy, a doctor who is focused on getting to the root causes of the problem is important, as opposed to a doctor who may help just focus on treatment. Doctors all have their own unique specialties, but a doctor who is focused on integrative medicine will look at the bigger picture of what’s going on with you and may help map out a more holistic plan that involves a better diet, more exercise, yoga, meditation, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
If you have the symptoms of neuropathy, talk to your doctor today about treatment options and how changing your overall lifestyle may help make a huge difference in your life. We serve patients from Wilmington DE, Claymont DE, New Castle DE, Greenville DE, Centerville DE, Elsmere DE, Hockessin DE, Chadds Ford PA, Garnet Valley PA and Kennett Square PA.