The symptoms of neuropathy should always be evaluated by a neurologist so you can receive an accurate diagnosis and get treatment to prevent ongoing nerve damage. The doctors at South Valley Neurology have extensive experience identifying the underlying problem of your neuropathic pain and providing advanced treatment designed for your unique needs. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call the office in San Jose, California, for pediatric care or the office in Morgan Hill, California, for older children and adult appointments.
Neuropathy generally refers to any type of injury or disease that affects your nerves. However, neuropathy is often used to mean problems that affect the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nerves are outside your brain and spinal cord, where they carry messages between your brain and all parts of your body.
Physical injury, toxins, nerve compression, and damage due to disease often cause neuropathy. Health conditions that may lead to neuropathy include:
Though genetic conditions are rare, some types of neuropathies are inherited.
It’s estimated that 30% of all peripheral neuropathies are caused by diabetes. When blood glucose levels are chronically high, the excess sugar damages small nerves.
Diabetic neuropathy most often affects nerves in your feet and eyes. In your feet, neuropathy causes ulcers that are painful and difficult to heal. Diabetic retinopathy significantly raises your risk of vision loss and blindness.
The symptoms you develop depend on the type of nerve that’s damaged.
Motor nerves run from your brain to all parts of your body, where they control muscle movement. As a result, symptoms include muscle weakness, cramps, and atrophy.
Sensory nerves pick up and transmit sensory information from your body to your brain. When these nerves are damaged, one of the top symptoms is neuropathic pain. In addition to burning, stabbing, or electric-shock pain, you may have tingling, numbness, and hypersensitivity to touch.
The autonomic nerves control body functions that keep you alive, such as your heart rate, breathing, and digestion. Your symptoms depend on which function the affected nerves control. For example, you may develop dizziness, an irregular heartbeat, or excessive sweating.
Your doctor at South Valley Neurology does a thorough physical and neurological evaluation, and may order blood tests or other diagnostic procedures. Many tests are done in the office, including electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies to assess electrical activity.
If you have an underlying medical condition, treating that problem may relieve your neuropathy. Otherwise, your treatment is customized to relieve your symptoms. For example, your doctor may prescribe pain-relieving medication, inject steroids to reduce inflammation or perform a nerve block to stop pain signals.
To get expert treatment for neuropathy and neuropathic pain, call South Valley Neurology or schedule an appointment online.