Nerve damage, or neuropathy, is a common, complex health problem, affecting 25%-30% of Americans. Neuropathy causes a wide range of symptoms, which makes it hard to get an accurate diagnosis. At Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic in Cullman, Alabama, the team specializes in diagnosing and treating neuropathy. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy, is a general medical term that means there’s damage to the nerves in the peripheral nervous system.

The peripheral nervous system includes your sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves, which act as a communication system between your brain and the rest of your body.

Sensory nerves

The sensory nerves carry sensory information (touch, taste, sight, sound, smell) from your body to your brain for interpretation.

Motor nerves

The motor nerves deliver messages from your brain to your muscles, telling them to contract or relax.

Autonomic nerves

The autonomic nerves manage the body functions you have no control over, such as your blood pressure and digestion. These nerves monitor internal and external messages and respond based on body needs — for example, increasing your heart rate when you exercise.

Neuropathy may affect any of these nerves. Anyone can develop neuropathy, but your risk increases as you get older. Diabetes is one of the most common causes of neuropathy.

What are the symptoms of neuropathy?

Neuropathy symptoms vary based on the type of nerve that’s damaged. Common symptoms include:

  • Radiating pain
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations
  • Frequent falls
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Low blood pressure or abnormal heartbeat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Slowdown in digestion causing reflux or constipation
  • Sexual dysfunction

Your symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly over time.

What can I expect during a neuropathy evaluation?

You can expect a thorough evaluation when visiting Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic for a neuropathy evaluation.

During your evaluation, your provider asks detailed questions about your symptoms, including when they started, where in the body they’re located, and how they’ve changed over time. They also review your medical and family history and perform a physical exam.

They may also run bloodwork at their on-site lab to look for medical conditions, such as a nutritional deficiency or metabolic disorder, that might explain your symptoms.

Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic recommends nerve conduction studies (NCS) to find damaged nerves.

What are some of the treatments for neuropathy?

At Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic, the team customizes treatment for neuropathy based on symptoms, nerve damage type, and underlying cause.

Your provider may focus on addressing the underlying cause of your neuropathy, which helps prevent further damage and may even allow your nerves to heal, resolving the problem altogether.

Other treatments might include:

  • Nerve pain medication
  • Nerve blocks
  • Lidocaine patches or creams
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Braces or orthotics
  • Diet modifications

For neuropathy that involves compression, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, the team may recommend surgery.

To schedule your neuropathy evaluation, call Warehouse Primary Care & Specialty Clinic or book an appointment online today.