Peripheral Neuropathy

New Jersey Pain Management

Spine, Sports, & Pain Medicine Centers located in Morristown, NJ & Bridgewater, NJ

Damage to the peripheral nerves in your body can cause chronic pain, numbness, and weakness in your hands and feet. Alena Polesin, MD and Philip Rubinfeld, MD, at New Jersey Pain Management in Morristown, Bridgewater, and Rockaway, New Jersey, are available to help diagnose and manage your peripheral neuropathy pain, so you can enjoy life pain-free. Call or book an appointment online today for more information.

Peripheral Neuropathy Q & A

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy presents itself as weakness, numbness, and pain that typically occurs in your hands and feet after the peripheral nerve has been damaged. The peripheral nerve itself connects the spinal cord and brain to the body’s most important internal organs, muscles, and skin, so any damage can impair muscle movement.

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

Diabetes

More than half of people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy in their hands and feet.

Alcoholism

Vitamin deficiencies are prevalent in patients suffering from alcoholism, which can lead to nerve damage over time.

Autoimmune diseases

Several autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, and Guillain-Barre syndrome can cause nerve damage.

Trauma

Sports injuries, accidents, and major falls can damage peripheral nerves and lead to peripheral neuropathy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy and other medications used to treat cancer can cause peripheral neuropathy, as can malignant tumors and benign growths in the body.

Which peripheral neuropathy symptoms should I look out for?

The symptoms you experience from peripheral neuropathy depend on which nerves have been affected, such as motor, sensory, or autonomic nerve damage.

If you are suffering from motor nerve damage, you may experience:

  • Muscle shrinkage
  • Cramps and pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle twitching

If you are suffering from sensory nerve damage, you may experience:

  • Vibrations in the hands and feet
  • Lack of coordination
  • Problems with balance
  • Troubles with temperature changes

If you are suffering from autonomic nerve damage, you may experience:

  • Heat intolerance
  • Excessive sweating
  • Incontinence
  • Digestive problems
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Lightheadedness and dizziness

Any of these peripheral neuropathy symptoms are cause for concern, so it’s important to contact your doctor right away if you experience one or more for an extended period of time.

Do I have peripheral neuropathy treatment options?

There are several ways to treat peripheral neuropathy, depending on your symptoms. Some of the most common treatments include:

Medications

Over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended to relieve peripheral neuropathy pain. Other medications that your doctor may prescribe include anti-seizure medications, such as gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica), to combat dizziness, and antidepressants, which relieve pain in some patients.

Topical treatments

Topical treatments such as capsaicin cream have been shown to relieve pain in peripheral neuropathy patients.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

A TENS device is placed on the skin for approximately 30 minutes a day to deliver electric currents throughout the body.

Physical therapy and surgery

Physical therapy can help improve muscle strength, while surgery is only recommended if your peripheral neuropathy is caused by a mass, such as a tumor.

For more information on peripheral neuropathy, call New Jersey Pain Management or book an appointment online today.