An Overlooked Condition - Peripheral Neuropathy
Numbness, tingling, burning and uncomfortable sensations following you around? You’re not alone. About 30% of the U.S. population suffer from these symptoms and many don’t realize the true cause of the issue.
A condition that is becoming more prevalent in recent years that causes these uncomfortable sensations is known as Peripheral Neuropathy. Everyone experiencing the condition can have varied symptoms and degrees of pain including pain in the back, feet, hands, and thighs, difficulty walking, muscle weakness and tingling, poor balance, loss of coordination, and sharp pains. The symptoms may not always be consistent and can intensify at various times – so it can be difficult to understand what is occurring and get a diagnosis early.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral Neuropathy occurs from damage to a group of nerves located outside the brain and the spinal cord. This causes pain signals and sensations to be continuously sent to various parts of the body – commonly the hands and the feet. It can be difficult to pinpoint the issue/recognize it right away as the pain and sensations felt can greatly vary day to day.
There are different forms of the condition, including Diabetic Neuropathy, which is brought on by diabetes and obesity. This can make diagnosis difficult as the symptoms and onset can be tricky and overlap with other conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis.
Who is at Risk for Peripheral Neuropathy?
Those who are diabetic are at a greater risk for peripheral neuropathy – about 7 in 10 patients with Diabetes also suffer from peripheral neuropathy. Other onsets can occur from autoimmune diseases, alcoholism, hereditary disorders and physical trauma or injury. While the condition can affect people of all ages, it is most commonly seen in patients who are 65+, which is why taking care of your body, health and mobility from an early age is essential in disease prevention.
Luckily, there are options to help cope with the symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy as well as treat the condition at the source of the issue. One of the groundbreaking treatments that has shown success in treating the condition is a procedure known as the Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS). This minimally invasive procedure allows the patient to continuously control the pain and symptoms felt, as well as increase or decrease the level of the treatment needed based on how it is at any given time. In addition to the SCS Treatment, there are various injection therapies that can help reset the nerves and injured area to provide symptom relief, and there are helpful medications available in managing prolonged symptoms.
If you are suffering from Peripheral Neuropathy and are interested in the Spinal Cord Stimulator Treatment, or think you may be suffering from the condition, visit www.pennpain.com or call (215) 395-8888 to request a consultation and learn about your options.
*Statistics provided by: Everyday Health and Mayo Clinic*