People are put into various classifications at an early age in life. Sadly classifications are just a part of daily life and it is no different in the medical world. When suffering with a chronic condition such as neuropathy medical professionals will often classify their patients based on the type of neuropathy he or she has and to what extent the nerve damage is.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a complex condition that can have an effect on the body’s nervous system. Neuropathy can be considered a collection of disorders that develop when damaged to the peripheral nervous system occurs. The peripheral nervous system refers to the part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord; when damage occurs to the nerve cells or nerve axons, it is called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy is a painful condition that can have an effect on an individual’s life and their ability to maintain a normal active life.
Neuropathy can be classified in the following three ways:
- Multiple Mononeuropathy
Mononeuropathy is a form of neuropathy that affects a single nerve or nerve group. The damaged area begins to loss feeling and mobility. This type of neuropathy is often a result of personal injury, however there are systemic disorders that could cause damage to a single nerve or group of nerve cells. Examples of mononeuropathy would include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Ulnar Nerve Palsy
- Peroneal Nerve Palsy
- Axillary Nerve Dysfunction
- Radial Nerve Dysfunction
- Sciatic Nerve Dysfunction
Mononeuropathy can develop if there has been pro-longed period of swelling or pressure placed on a specific point in the body such as the hands, feet or face. Symptoms of mononeuropathy would include:
- Loss Of Feeling
- Muscle Weakness
Several tests can be done in hopes of determining or diagnosing this particular classification of neuropathy. You will find a list of tests below that a doctor might suggest or prescribe in hopes of discovering whether or not the symptoms being felt have to do with mononeuropathy.
- Electromyogram (EMG) – This test records electrical activity if any found in the muscles.
- Nerve Conduction Tests (NCV) – will help record the speed of electrical activity in the nerves
- Nerve Biopsy
- Blood Chemistry Tests
- Imaging Scans
- CT Scan
- Thyroid Tests
Multiple Mononeuropathy occurs when two or more nerves at the same time in separate locations on the body begin to malfunction and send off painful sensations. Multiple mononeuropathy can be a result of several different conditions or illnesses such as:
- Polyarthritis Nodosa
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Lyme Disease
This form or classification of neuropathy is often caused by an infection or some sort of bacteria that has entered into the body and has begun to affect nerves. Symptoms of multiple mononeuropathy would include:
- Nerve Pain
- Muscle Weakness
- Odd Sensations
Symptoms are often felt or begin on one side of the body where the damaged nerve cells are. Medical professionals do their best to diagnosis through physical examination or by compiling a list of symptoms. Other tests that could diagnosis multiple mononeuropathy would include electromyography and or a nerve conduction test.
Polyneuropathy is when several nerves begin to malfunction at the same time throughout the body. Polyneuropathy can happen quickly and without any warning or preemptive signs or could happen gradually alerting the neuropathy sufferer that something is not quite right. Polyneuropathies patients often experience neuropathy in a pattern that generally begins in the feet and makes its way up toward the thighs and then hands.
Diagnosis is often made through a complete physical or through laboratory testing. The symptoms often associated with polyneuropathy would include:
- Needle Like Pinching
- Raw Skin Feeling
- Sensitivity To Touch
The causes of polyneuropathy are vast but the most common causes of polyneuropathy would have to be:
- Alcohol Abuse
- Environmental Hazards
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