Peripheral nerves are those that extend out from your spinal cord to the different parts of your body, such as your legs, arms, and internal organs. Peripheral neuropathy is any medical condition that causes damage to these nerves. Damaged nerves cannot transmit neural signals effectively. Therefore, neuropathy can cause symptoms of numbness, tingling, burning, or loss of sensation altogether. It is not always possible to correct the damage to the nerves. Neuropathy treatment St. Augustine FL may focus more on symptom control and management than trying to cure or reverse the condition.
There are over 100 types of peripheral neuropathy. Therefore, there are a number of ways to categorize them. One is according to the number of nerves involved.
Damage to multiple nerves from the same source is called polyneuropathy. Polyneuropathy is the most common type. It can have many different causes. A rare but serious form of polyneuropathy is Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s defenses attack the peripheral nerves. Diabetes is a common cause of polyneuropathy. Poor blood sugar control can make the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy more severe.
Mononeuropathy affects only one nerve at a time. This can cause loss of sensation and function in the area of the body that the nerve supplies. It typically results from pressure on the nerve. Nerves that are close to the surface of the skin are often particularly susceptible. For example, the ulnar and radial nerves that supply your hand and fingers are close to the skin’s surface as they pass by the outside and inside of your elbow, respectively. If you have ever experienced a sensation of “pins and needles” after striking your elbow against something, you have an idea of what damage to your ulnar nerve can do. Persistent pressure on your elbow can lead to chronic ulnar neuropathy, in which the symptoms are almost always present.
Another common and well-known type of mononeuropathy is carpal tunnel syndrome. This affects the median nerve at the wrist and causes numbness and tingling of the fingers. Symptoms may resolve with treatment, but if carpal tunnel syndrome persists, damage to the nerve may be permanent and irreversible.
Foot drop is a type of mononeuropathy that affects the lower extremity. It results from compression of the nerve one the outside of the knee at the top of the calf. It makes lifting the foot difficult, if not impossible.
Types and symptoms of mononeuropathy may differ depending on whether the affected nerve controls internal organs, sensation, or motor function.