Neuropathy is a collection of disorders that occurs when nerves of the peripheral nervous system are damaged. Neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic disorders, and exposure to toxins. However, the most common causes of neuropathy are found in patients with diabetes where the arms, hands, but mostly legs and feet are affected, this is referred to as peripheral neuropathy.
Classifications of Neuropathy
- Mononeuropathy – Involvement of a single nerve.
- Multiple Mononeuropathy – Involvement of two or more nerves individually affected.
- Polyneuropathy – Involvement of peripheral nerves.
Causes of Neuropathy
A few cases of neuropathy are the result of unknown causes, however, for the majority of patients with nerve pain there are known causes. Some of these causes include but are not limited to; Alcohol abuse, chemotherapy, physical trauma or injury, Tumors, Autoimmune Diseases, Toxin exposure, and of course Diabetes.
Neuropathy treatment can be found by using many different techniques and therapies, even including supplemental and alternative approaches. The individual suffering from painful neuropathy as well as a medical provider must evaluate the symptoms and underlying causes of the pain in order to properly discuss a viable neuropathy treatment. Every individual is different, each having varying levels within the pain threshold; this is especially true when considering the different underlying causes of the pain. Some individuals, seeking neuropathy treatment for more mild symptoms, may find the use of over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen to be helpful, others who endure slightly more painful symptoms may need the use of numbing cream patches or topical ointments, yet others find the pain so unbearable that the use of prescription drugs and/or therapeutic treatment must take place in order to experience relief from the pain. Neuropathy treatment does vary by patient, but some of the most commonly seen treatments are listed below:
- Prescription Neuropathy Treatments
- Antiseizure Medications
- Antidepressant Medications
- Topical Ointments (both over the counter and prescription).
- Alternative Neuropathy Treatments
- Therapies (which include physical, massage, or occupational)
- Nerve Stimulation
- Supplementary Neuropathy Treatments
- Vitamin B Supplements
- Alpha Lipoic acid
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