If you’re living with diabetes, you’re also more likely to experience neuropathy or permanent nerve damage. There’s no cure for neuropathy, but with early intervention and treatment, it’s possible to stop it from getting worse. At Inspire Health Clinics, David Graff, DPM provides diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of neuropathy. To make an appointment at the practice in South Jordan, Utah, call the office today or click the online booking feature.
Neuropathy and Pain
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy occurs when your peripheral nerves (the nerves that connect your brain and spinal cord to your central nervous system) are damaged or destroyed due to illness or injury.
When your peripheral nerves are damaged, they don’t function normally. As a result, you might not experience pain, even if you burn yourself or step on a sharp object. If you don’t experience pain, an injury might become infected, increasing your risk of more serious complications.
What are the symptoms of neuropathy?
Symptoms of neuropathy include:
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle weakness
- Prickling or tingling sensations
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Reduced sensations of pain, hot, or cold
As the condition gets worse, you might also experience trouble walking or sleeping due to pain or tingling sensations in your feet and legs.
Common causes of neuropathy
Often, neuropathy occurs due to untreated diabetes. Diabetes causes your blood sugar levels to spike, increasing the risk of permanent nerve damage. Other generalized diseases that increase your risk of nerve damage include kidney disease, liver disease, and certain blood disorders.
Sometimes, physical trauma affects the function of your nerves. That’s especially true if you experience a sudden impact from a car accident or a fall.
Alcohol and toxins
People who consume excess amounts of alcohol are at risk of neuropathy. Exposure to certain toxins can also increase your risk, including insecticides, solvents, mercury, and lead.
How is neuropathy diagnosed?
To diagnose neuropathy, Dr. Graff will review your medical history and asks about your symptoms, including when they first started and if any activities make them worse. Next, they order several tests, including:
Nerve conduction study
During a nerve conduction study, Dr. Graff places a series of electrodes on your skin. The electrodes assess the amount of electricity running through your nerves, ensuring they transmit signals correctly.
During electromyography, Dr. Graff will insert a small needle into a specific muscle. Then, they ask you to move the muscle. Probes inside the needle measure the electrical activity of your muscles to assess their health and function.
How is neuropathy treated?
Treatment of neuropathy depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your daily life. Usually, Dr. Graff recommends conservative treatments, including:
- Over-the-counter pain medication
- Prescription medication
- Nerve blocks
- Transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Ergonomic casts or splints
Aside from these measures, it’s essential to practice self-care at home. For example, massaging your feet and toes or wearing compression stockings can increase circulation and reduce uncomfortable symptoms.
To learn more about the treatment options for neuropathy, make an appointment at Inspire Health Clinics by calling the office today or clicking the online scheduling feature.