We have detected Lahore as your city

Why Does It Burn? an Introduction to Peripheral Neuropathy

Prof. Dr. Azhar Javed

1 min read

Find & Book the best "Neurologists" near you

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of the peripheral nervous system. It is caused by nerve damage resulting in a painful burning sensation along with numbness in hands and feet. Peripheral nerves are the ones which take signals from the central nervous system and deliver information to other parts of the body.

This system is composed of three types of nerves known as sensory, motor and autonomic nerves. These nerves are responsible for sensation, voluntary movement and involuntary functions such as heart rate and digestion. These nerves can get damaged due to multiple reasons such as injuries, inherited conditions and infections.

Diabetic patients are also prone to peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is itself a symptom of another underlying condition and thus is curable if the underlying condition is treated appropriately. The pain that is felt due to neuropathy can also be managed through medication.

Table of Contents

Symptoms:

The symptoms of neuropathy may vary depending upon the type of nerve damage. Following are some common symptoms of each of the three types of nerve damage:

Sensory nerves: When only sensory nerves are damaged then a tingling or numbness is experienced in the hands and feet. This numbness can also spread to arms and legs. The next symptom to appear in case of sensory nerve damage is sharp pain with a burning sensation.

Motor nerves: When motor nerves are also damaged, then along with sharp pain a partial paralysis of muscles is also experienced. Lack of coordination and balance is another symptom of motor neuropathy.

Autonomic nerves: When autonomic nerves are damaged then the symptoms include heavy sweating and irritated bowels. Patients are also likely to experience abrupt shifts in blood pressure causing lightheadedness.

Treatment:

Neuropathy can be treated using a combination of medication, surgery and physical therapy. Following are some methods that can be used to alleviate neuropathy symptoms.

Pain management: Pain experienced in neuropathy is chronic and can make life miserable for some patients if not managed. Neuropathy patients are thus prescribed some anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain initially. If the symptoms become more severe then painkillers containing opioids are also prescribed. Medications which are generally used to treat epileptic seizures have been found to help with nerve damage and pain and are a popular treatment for neuropathy. Some alternative pain management strategies such as anti-depressants, lidocaine patches and capsaicin cream can also bring relief if the symptoms are mild.

Therapy: Several therapies have been successful in healing nerve damage. A therapy known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation gives intermittent unnoticeable small electric shocks to the skin in order to repair damaged nerves. A thirty minute session of TENS daily can speed up recovery for neuropathic patients. If there is muscle weakness and numbness, then physical therapy can help alleviate these symptoms.

Surgery: Surgery might be necessary in cases where neuropathy is due to buildup of pressure on nerves.

If you are experiencing symptoms of neuropathy, see a neurologist as soon as possible. You can also book an appointment with top neurologists in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 to get directed to the specialists that can cater to your specific concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Prof. Dr. Azhar Javed - Author Prof. Dr. Muhammad Azhar Javed is a Neuro Surgeon practicing in Multan. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Azhar Javed has the following degrees: M.B.B.S., F.C.P.S (Neuro), F.R.C.S and has 30 years of experience. You can book an appointment with Prof. Dr. Muhammad Azhar Javed by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button. He is known for being professional and a calm and kind way in which he treats his patients. He puts special effort into ensuring that the patient understands the diagnosis/treatment. To find out more about his expert advice, follow these links:
Book Appointment with the best "Neurologists"