Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy, nerve pain in foot

Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage and dysfunction of the nerves outside the central nervous system. Most peripheral neuropathic pains are in the extremities. Many times, the neuropathy is caused by metabolic problems such as Diabetes Mellitus, or less commonly things like Vitamin B12 deficiency or heavy metal exposure. Sometimes a peripheral neuropathy is the result of some compression of the affected nerve or a prior orthopedic injury. Patients suffering with peripheral neuropathy often describe their symptoms as burning, tingling, numbness, cold, or episodes of sharp radiating pain.

The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy in the U.S. is diabetes. Years of mildly elevated blood glucose levels result in poor microcirculation to the nerves at their endings in the feet and toes. Less frequently there will also be patients whose peripheral neuropathy is idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Fortunately, there are multiple treatment options for patients with peripheral neuropathy.

Initial medication treatment includes the use of non-narcotic medication such as anti-convulsants or anti-depressants. Topical analgesics or compounds may also be helpful.

Procedure therapy includes the use of peripheral nerve blockade, lumbar sympathetic blockade, and in some cases, spinal cord stimulation. These procedures can often be performed in the office by a trained pain management physician. If you or your loved one is suffering with pain from peripheral neuropathy, you can set up a consultation with us to discuss a treatment plan to improve your pain, function, and quality of life.