Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that occurs when the peripheral nervous system is damaged. This nervous system is responsible for all communication between the central nervous system and the rest of the body. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS), approximately 20 million people in the United States suffer from some form of peripheral neuropathy. It can present in a number of ways and patterns, but always distorts and even sometimes interrupts communication between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body.
Specifics Of Peripheral Neurpathy
There are over 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy, and each type can present with its own unique symptoms. Symptoms also vary depending on whether the damage is to motor, sensory, or autonomic nerves, or a combination therein. Common symptoms include but are not limited to: numbness/tingling, prickling sensations, muscle weakness, heightened sensitivity, distorted sensations (allodynia). In severe cases, burning pain, wasting of muscles, paralysis, and organ or gland dysfunction may occur. It is common for individuals suffering from peripheral neuropathy to experience periods of relief between periods of pain.
Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the peripheral nervous system is damaged or endures trauma. The most common cause of PN therefore is physical injury or trauma. Other common causes include but are not limited to: disease, exposure to toxins, heavy alcohol use. Individuals who are over the age of 55 are at a higher risk of experiencing this condition.