5 Symptoms of Neuropathy

Around 20 million Americans have peripheral neuropathy, but many more might have the condition and not realize it. Knowing the signs is your first step in recognizing that something is wrong. Then it’s time to have a conversation with an expert like Dr. Navdeep Jassal, our board-certified pain management specialist, here at Spine & Pain Institute of Florida in Lakeland, Florida.

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that develops as a result of nerve damage. Diabetes is the most prevalent cause of neuropathy, but you can also develop the condition due to a traumatic injury, repetitive motion injury, vitamin deficiency, or autoimmune disorder. 

Neuropathy can affect any of your peripheral nerves. These are the nerves that branch out from your spinal cord and extend through your body, including your sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves. Sensory nerves control your sense of touch, while motor nerves control movement. Autonomic nerves control body functions like heart rate and digestion. 

5 Symptoms of neuropathy

Neuropathy symptoms range in severity and depend on which type of nerve is affected. Neuropathy can affect one or more types of nerves, causing a variety of symptoms. 

1. Pain

Pain is a common sign of nerve damage, but how it feels varies between patients. You might have sharp jabbing pain. It could feel like an electric jolt, or it could burn. 

Some patients develop an extreme sensitivity to touch where a light blanket or sheet over your feet could cause pain. Additionally, activities that shouldn’t be painful, like walking, could cause severe discomfort.  

2. Numbness

You might also develop numbness as a result of neuropathy. You could have tingling sensations or that uncomfortable feeling of your foot or leg “falling asleep.” Numbness usually begins in your hands or feet and gradually spreads up your arms or legs. 

3. Muscle weakness

Lost strength is another sign of neuropathy. You might not be able to grasp items like coffee cups or become easily fatigued and sore when walking. You might also feel like it takes more effort to pick up your feet and walk. 

4. Lost coordination

As neuropathy advances, you might lose coordination. You might not be able to control your feet as well when you walk, which increases your risk of tripping and falling. If your hands are affected, you might drop objects frequently, or your handwriting could change. 

5. Sensation loss

Many patients say they lose sensation, and they feel like they’re wearing gloves or socks when they aren’t. This is particularly dangerous as you might not know when you have an injury, which can lead to ulceration, infection, and other potentially critical complications. 

And as a bonus…

While less common, you can also develop autonomic nerve damage symptoms. This could include heat intolerance, excessive or absent sweating, digestive problems, or abnormal blood pressure. 

When to talk to a doctor about neuropathy

As with most health conditions, it’s best to get a diagnosis and start treatment for neuropathy as soon as possible. We recommend making an appointment with Dr. Jassal as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. 

We offer extensive testing to diagnose neuropathy or other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Once we know what’s causing your issues, we create a customized treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and restore your mobility and quality of life. 

Give our office a call or make an appointment online today if you’re concerned about neuropathy or other pain conditions. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Understanding the Different Types of Arthritis

Living well with arthritis, no matter which kind you have, requires making changes to your lifestyle and following your treatment plan. With the right treatment you can win the battle against arthritis.

Treatment for Your Herniated Disc

Lower back pain can have various causes, such as a herniated disc. A pain management specialist can get to the root of your pain using effective treatment options that provide much-needed relief.

How Workers’ Compensation Works

You've probably heard that workers' compensation might cover your medical bills and lost wages if you're injured at work. But what exactly is workers' compensation, and how does it work?

I Had an Accident on the Job: What Should I Do Now?

Workplace accidents are far more common than you might think. Even with the best safety precautions, millions of Americans seek treatment for work-related injuries every year. Find out what you should do if you get hurt at work.