Seven Signs of Peripheral Neuropathy

Seven Signs of Peripheral Neuropathy

You’re experiencing stabbing pain in your foot or leg, or perhaps your fingers are developing pins and needles for no apparent reason. These are just two instances in which the likely culprit is peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage.

At Valiant Life Medical, our multidisciplinary team of health care experts excels in helping our patients find relief from painful and life-changing conditions like peripheral neuropathy.

So that you can recognize when you need prompt and effective care for your peripheral neuropathy, here’s a look at seven potential signs of nerve damage.

Not all nerves are the same

The signs of peripheral neuropathy vary widely, as they depend on which type of nerve is damaged. 

In general, your peripheral nerves can be divided into three categories:

  1. Sensory nerves, which control sensations
  2. Motor nerves, which control muscle movement
  3. Autonomic nerves, which control automatic functions, like breathing and heart rate

Peripheral neuropathy includes damage to any of these three nerve groups, which very much dictates the side effects.

Symptoms of peripheral nerve problems

Here’s the rundown of symptoms that may go along with peripheral neuropathy.

1. Pain

If your sensory nerves incur damage, pain is one of the harder-to-ignore symptoms. This pain can present itself in many ways, such as shooting, stabbing, or burning sensations. These symptoms are most often felt in your extremities, such as your feet, legs, hands, and arms.

2. Tingling 

This symptom again involves your sensory nerves, and it can present itself as a tingling sensation or as pins and needles.

3. Numbness

Depending upon the extent of the nerve damage, the communication may be disrupted entirely, which can lead to numbness.

4. Extreme sensitivity

On the opposite end of the sensory spectrum, you may experience extreme sensitivity to the slightest touch or pressure in the area of the damaged nerve. This sensitivity can also be to temperature changes — you may feel heat or cold more acutely.

5. Muscle weakness

If your motor nerves are damaged, you may experience muscle weakness in the area as your brain has problems initiating movement. This can lead to lack of coordination and falling. Outside of muscle weakness, you can also experience muscle atrophy or muscle twitching.

6. Issues with sweating

Another area your autonomic nerves control is your body’s ability to maintain the proper temperature. If these nerves are damaged, you may experience excessive sweating or no sweating at all.

7. Lack of blood pressure control

One of the more serious side effects of autonomic nerve damage is when the damage occurs in the nerves directly related to controlling your blood pressure. This can result in swings in your blood pressure that cause lightheadedness and fainting.

Treating your peripheral neuropathy

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms we outline above, it’s important that you come see us for a proper diagnosis. There are many potential causes of nerve damage, including:

After an extensive evaluation of your symptoms and your health, we can devise a treatment plan that will help relieve your symptoms.

To learn more about peripheral neuropathy and your treatment options, we invite you to contact our office in Fort Worth, Texas, to schedule an appointment.

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