It may begin as an annoying ache or tingling sensation, but it can develop into chronic and severe pain, affect muscle strength, and cause problems with your heart. Dr. Vincent P. Goux at Atlas Medical Systems have extensive experience treating peripheral neuropathy, managing the pain, and helping to stop its progression. If you’re worried about nerve damage or you experience pain, please call one of his oﬃces in Chandler or Paradise Valley, Arizona, or schedule an appointment online for a thorough peripheral neuropathy evaluation.
What are peripheral nerves?
Your peripheral nerves travel from your spine to your arms, hands, legs, and feet. The three types of peripheral nerves are:
Motor nerves transmit signals from the brain to all of your muscles, so they control movement and coordination.
Sensory nerves send messages from your extremities back to your brain. Sensors in your skin and deep in your body detect whether an object is rough, smooth, sharp, hot or cold. Sensory nerves also tell your brain whether a body part is moving or still.
These nerves control essential body functions so that you don’t have to think about them, such as your heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, and sweating.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
Neuropathy refers to damaged nerves anywhere in your body. Peripheral neuropathy can affect one, two, or all three types of peripheral nerves at the same time.
Diabetes causes about 30% of all peripheral neuropathies. Other causes include:
Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
Viral and bacterial infections, such as shingles, hepatitis C, and Lyme disease Vitamin deﬁciencies, especially vitamins B12, B6, E, and niacin
- Trauma or pressure on the nerves
- Kidney disease
- Underactive thyroid
- Connective tissue disorders
What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are diverse, depending on which nerves are affected:
- Sensory nerve damage: tingling, numbness, extreme sensitivity to touch, and pain that’s sharp, jabbing, or burning
- Motor nerve damage: muscle weakness, diﬃculty walking or moving arms, muscle cramps or spasms
- Autonomic nerve damage: irregular heartbeat, diﬃculty swallowing, dizziness, and bowel, bladder, and digestion problems
How is peripheral neuropathy treated?
Dr. Goux takes a multi-modal approach to treating peripheral neuropathy:
Diverse medications are available to alleviate neuropathic pain and to treat any underlying conditions that contribute to your neuropathy. Nutritional supplements may also be needed if you have a vitamin deﬁciency
Amniotic stem cell injections
Throughout your lifetime, stem cells found in each body system continuously regenerate new cells to replace old and damaged tissues. Stem cells harvested from amniotic ﬂuid can do the same thing when they’re injected into body tissues. Stem cells may promote nerve growth and healing when they’re injected near damaged peripheral nerves.