Knowing About Neuropathy

By definition Neuropathy is a collection of disorders that takes place when nerves of the peripheral nervous system are damaged. The condition of neuropathy most generally occurs when it is referred to as peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic disorders, chemotherapy, tumors, autoimmune disorders, alcohol abuse, as well as exposure to toxins. However, when peripheral neuropathy takes place it is most often caused in patients with diabetes where the arms, legs, and feet (peripheral body parts) have become affected and nerve damage has taken place because of complications from the diabetes.

Classifications of Neuropathy

  • Mononeuropathy – where the nerve damage involves a single nerve. An example would be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, ulnar nerve palsy, radial nerve palsy, or peroneal nerve palsy.
  • Multiple Mononeuropathy – where the nerve damage involves two or more nerves individually affected.
  • Polyneuropathy – where the nerve damage involves the peripheral nerves. An example would be diabetic neuropathy or Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Treatment

In order for neuropathic pain treatment to occur the use of many different techniques even including supplemental and alternative approaches may be needed. The patient and medical provider must evaluate the symptoms and underlying causes of the pain in order to properly discuss a viable neuropath pain treatment. Pain thresholds will vary widely for all patients, especially when considering the dissimilar underlying causes of the pain and/or symptoms. Some patients may find the use of over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen to be helpful, while others need the use of numbing cream patches or topical ointments, yet others find the pain so intolerable that the use of prescription drugs must be taken in order to deal with the pain and other symptoms. Some of the most common neuropathic pain treatments are as follows:

  • Prescription Neuropathic Pain Treatments
    • Antiseizure Medications (Such as Gabapentin, Carbamazepine, example would be other medications) can help with the burning sensations patients associate with nerve pain.
    • Antidepressant Medications (TCA’s or Tricyclic Antidepressants, example would be certain medications)
    • Topical Ointments (both over the counter and prescription). One ointment for neuropathic pain treatment is the use of capsaicin cream or ointment
    • Alternative Neuropathic Pain Treatments
      • Therapies (which include physical, massage, or occupational)
      • Acupuncture
      • Nerve Stimulation
      • Supplementary Neuropathic Pain Treatments
        • Vitamin B Supplements
        • Alpha Lipoic acid
        • Benfotiamine

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