Peripheral Neuropathy: Overview

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects your nerves outside your brain and spinal cord.

It can be caused by many different things like diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, antibiotic use, vitamin deficiencies, and even from inherited causes.

There are many side effects from peripheral neuropathy that could be mild and irritating to crippling, painful side effects causing lifetime disabilities.

Treatments can be beneficial but require a medical evaluation to determine what therapies could be effective.

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Our body is full of nerves. Some are inside the brain and spinal cord. This is your central nervous system (CNS).

All other nerves are called peripheral nerves. These can be found in the skin, muscles, and organs of the body, for example.

Peripheral nerves include:

· Sensory nerves getting skin sensation from touch, temperature, vibration, and pain.

· Motor nerves controlling movement of muscles.

· Autonomic nerves controlling many functions automatically, such as heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, and sweating. As well as many other organ functions.

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when these peripheral nerves become damaged or dysfunctional.

These peripheral nerves get information from the brain and spinal cord. Likewise, the peripheral nerves can send signals back to the central nervous system. Sometimes these signals are sending the wrong information to the brain. It’s like your nerves are telling your brain everything’s hurting when there is really no trigger for the pain.

Who gets peripheral neuropathy in?

Almost anyone, of any age, gender, race or ethnicity, medical history, or geographical location can get peripheral neuropathy.

Did you know?

It is estimated over 20 million people in the United States alone are affected by peripheral neuropathy.

The possibility of having peripheral neuropathy can double or triple in people over the age of 45.

What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can vary depending on which nerve groups are affected. Multiple types of nerve types may be involved in your type of peripheral neuropathy.

Sensory nerve symptoms:

· Tingling (most common in the hands and feets, and can run up the arms and the legs)

· Numbness (can’t feel temperatures of held items)

· Overly sensitive to touch (commonly painful)

· Imbalance and clumsiness (can increase falls)

· Pain (more intense or more often than normal)

motor nerve symptoms:

· Muscle atrophy (muscle size loss)

· Uncontrolled muscle movement (cramping)

· Muscle weakness or paralysis (foot drop)

Autonomic nerve symptoms:

· Bowel and bladder dysfunction (chronic Constipation, diarrhea, incontinence)

· Heat intolerance

· Sexual dysfunction

· Blood pressure changes (low blood pressure when standing)

· Excessive sweating/not enough sweating

The severity of symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and in some cases, they may even go away on their own over time.

However, it is important not to rely on simple hope that it will go away on its own. Instead, it’s very important to seek medical attention for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy can affect one nerve, called mononeuropathy. In most cases, people suffer from polyneuropathy. This is when more than one nerve, in different areas, is affected. Most people have polyneuropathy.

Common mononeuropathy causes:

· Carpal tunnel

· Unilateral foot drop

· Sciatic nerve dysfunction

common polyneuropathy causes:

· Diabetes

· Autoimmune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis

· Cancers and chemotherapy

· Kidney failure

· Hypothyroidism

· Viral infections like herpes zoster (shingles)

· Alcoholism or drinking large amounts of alcohol

It is important to see a professional medical provider as soon as possible if you have any of these common causes of peripheral neuropathy or some of the symptoms listed above. In some cases, peripheral neuropathy can be treated before permanent damage happens.

How is peripheral neuropathy diagnosed?

Because peripheral neuropathy is a medical condition with many causes, it is important to be evaluated by a professional medical provider.

Common ways to diagnose peripheral neuropathy:

· Medical history

· Neurological exam

· Blood and imaging test

· Nerve function test (Electromyography [EMG], autonomic reflex screening, sweat test)

· Biopsy (nerve, skin)

You may already have a diagnosis for your type of peripheral neuropathy period of course, the next step is to find the right kind of treatment to help improve your condition.

Can peripheral neuropathy be cured?

Peripheral neuropathy is a complex condition that can cause significant discomfort and disruption in the lives of those affected by it. One common question that arises when discussing this condition is whether there is a cure for neuropathy.

Unfortunately, the answer to the question is not as straightforward as one would hope.

When it comes to finding a cure for peripheral neuropathy specifically, it’s important to note that there isn’t a one-size- fits- all solution. The treatment options available primarily focus on managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Some people experience complete relief by treating the underlying condition.

What are treatments for peripheral neuropathy?

Control of underlying conditions

There are various causes of neuropathy, including underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, infections, autoimmune disorders, and exposure to toxins. In some cases, addressing and managing these underlying conditions can help alleviate symptoms or slow down the progression of the neuropathy.

Use of medicines

medications such as pain relievers, anti-seizure drugs, and antidepressants may be prescribed to help with pain management and symptom relief period these medications may create other types of problems. Their effects may not work as well over time period they can be costly. And some can have an addictive quality eliminating them as an option for some people.


· Scrambler Therapy involves using a specialized device to deliver a non-invasive electrical stimulation to affected areas the goal of interrupting pain signals sent by damaged nerves. Response of this type of therapy is caused by resetting the pain signal to the brain. Instead of sending pain signals where there is no pain, the nerve comes down close to the normal response. Studies have shown promising results in reducing pain intensity for patients with peripheral neuropathy who undergoes scrambled therapy sessions.

· Physical therapy and occupational therapy can also play a vital role in maintaining mobility and improving functionality.

· Spinal cord stimulation is an invasive procedure requiring neurostimulators to be placed into the body. A low-level electrical signal may block pain signals to the brain.

· Steroids, plasma exchange, and intravenous immune globulins are often used for autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

· Surgeries may be an option to relieve direct pressure on the nerve caused by tumors, bulging spinal disc, or spinal stenosis. Some peripheral neuropathies will not improve without surgery.


peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects a significant number of people and can be caused by various factors such as diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease, kidney failure, antibiotic use, and even vitamin deficiencies.

Peripheral neuropathy affects the nerves outside of the central nervous system. These nerves are important in your body’s response to pain and sensation. They are also help with muscle function. Equally important, they are crucial in the normal working of our organs.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can be simply irritating, occasional, and mild. But many times, these symptoms can be extreme pain, unsteady walking leading to falls, and digestive problems. Any one of these can be life changing in a negative way!

With appropriate diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy and its underlying causes, you can start to get relief by choosing the most appropriate treatment plan.

In corporation with medical providers, you may find relief with several treatments such as medication, better control of underlying diseases, or surgery. However, these may not provide the desired relief.

Noninvasive therapy such as scrambler therapy, physical therapy, improved diet may provide relief without the burden of risky surgeries or side effects from medications.

Here at CRPS and Neuopathic Pain Center of America we offer Calmare Scramble Therapy to help with your peripheral neuropathy pain. Please contact us at

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