Peripheral neuropathy, known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy in patients with diabetes, is characterized as nerve damage to the peripheral nervous system. The most common complication of diabetes, peripheral neuropathy causes numbness, weakness and pain, most commonly seen in the hands and feet. OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine offers a number of pain management treatments for patients living in the Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas, Texas area who suffer from diabetic peripheral neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy.
What is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?
The peripheral nervous system transmits information from the spinal cord and brain to other parts of the body. When these nerves become damaged from an injury, infection or metabolic issue, peripheral neuropathy emerges and causes pain, weakness and numbness in a patient’s extremities. When the nerve damage is caused by diabetes, it is classified as diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Patients who have chronically high blood sugar levels are at an elevated risk of damaging nerves throughout the body, not just the hands and feet. When the nerves become damaged, they cannot carry correct signals to the brain. The result is a patient may not correctly feel heat, cold or pain in the feet, hands or legs.
Nerve damage from diabetic peripheral neuropathy begins differently from patient to patient. Some patients will experience tingling that leads to pain, while other patients will lose complete feeling in the toes and fingers.
What are Symptoms of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?
Patients may experience one or more symptoms depending on the specific nerve affected. Symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, as well as peripheral neuropathy, include:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Sharp, stabbing, burning pain in the legs
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
What are Treatment Options for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?
Before treating a patient for the condition, a diagnosis must be reached by a physician by performing a thorough medical history review and physical examination. A physician will test a patient’s reflexes, ability to feel vibration and ability to feel a light touch.
The treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy revolves around controlling a patient’s blood sugar level. Medications may be prescribed to alleviate pain, burning and tingling in the affected area. Certain patients may be prescribed a physical therapy program to regain balance and coordination. Peripheral neuropathy is treated in a similar manner with the use of medications, physical therapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
If you would like to learn more about diabetic peripheral neuropathy and OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine’s peripheral neuropathy treatments, please contact a member of our team, proudly serving the Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas, Texas area.