Painful Neuropathy

Damage to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or the peripheral nervous system (nerves leaving the spinal cord) can cause pain, in other words, neuropathic pain (NP). Damages to nerves can lead to sensory, motor and autonomic changes.

Symptoms of Neuropathic Pain

NP can be hard to describe, but what patients normally experience is:

  • Stabbing
  • Shooting
  • Electric shock
  • Burning
  • Prickling
  • Numbness
  • Tightness
  • Tingling
  • Pins and Needles

By finding evidence to a nerve lesion, a clinician can diagnose neuropathic pain. The clinician will concentrate on tests on the sensory nervous system such as light touch, pinprick, and temperature sensation.

Attention should be paid to finding alterations in sensation over the same anatomical area as the pain. This may include negative symptoms, such as a loss or reduction of touch sensation (hypoesthesia).

There are many reasons the patients could develop NP. Some of the causes of NP could be due to:

  • Nerve entrapment (Sciatica)
  • Nerve damage after surgery or trauma
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Malnutrition
  • Stroke

Treatment

The cause of NP cannot always be determined or reversed. In these cases, it’s best to allow the nerve to heal gradually, and treatment will focus on the relief of symptoms and find ways to improve daily functioning. There is no single treatment to cure or prevent NP.

When treatment for the pain is delayed, the pain will require more aggressive treatment, more medical care and can be more difficult to manage. It is important to receive care as soon as possible as this may help prevent or cause reduced problems that often accompany neuropathy, such as sleep deprivation, anxiety/depression and generally impacting on quality of life.

Avoiding the development of neuropathy, is the best way of preventing NP. Monitoring and modifying lifestyle choices, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding the consumption of alcohol and tobacco will decrease the chances of developing diabetes or stroke. Also, maintaining a good posture at work or when exercising can prevent compartment syndrome which will decrease the risk of developing neuropathy.

Our podiatrists here at The Footcare Centre will always look for signs and symptoms and will be the first professionals to refer you to your GP/Neurologist if there is any possibility of presenting neuropathy. To book an appointment call 01932 849373 or book online

This blog has been written by Steven Castillo Pinel and is not necessarily the opinion of The Footcare Centre Ltd.

 

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