Peripheral Neuropathies


The body′s nervous system is comprised of two parts: the central nervous system which includes the brain and spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system which connects the nerves running from the brain and spinal cord to the arms, hands, legs, feet, internal organs, joints, mouth, eyes, ears, nose and skin. Peripheral neuropathies are a series of disorders that are caused by damage to the body′s peripheral nervous system. These disorders cause pain, numbness, muscle weakness and motor problems leading to difficulties with movement and muscle control.

There are a variety of types and causes of peripheral neuropathies affecting multiple nerves which is called polyneuropathy or affecting one nerve or nerve group which is called mononeuropathy. Mononeuropathy is typically the result of trauma, injury, local compression, prolonged pressure or inflammation. Most cases, however, suffer from polyneuropathy, and the specific cause is often unknown. Certain conditions may contribute to the development of these disorders such as diabetes, infections, alcoholism, heredity, exposure to chemicals and certain medications.

Symptoms include
– the sensation of wearing an invisible glove or sock
– burning, freezing, throbbing and/or shooting pain that is worse at night
– extreme sensitivity to touch
– difficulty sleeping due to pain
– loss of balance and coordination
– difficulty walking or moving arms
– muscle weakness
– not being able to hold something or not knowing where your feet are

Treatment typically includes medication, exercise, physical therapy and occupational therapy. AOK spine and pain physicians will help start treatment and dramatically improve the lives of those living with these painful disorders.

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