Getting early treatment for neuropathy improves your symptoms, supports nerve healing, and most importantly, prevents permanent or progressive nerve damage. The only way to know you should seek treatment is by recognizing the earliest symptoms.
As neuropathy specialists, the team at Infinity Regenerative and Neuropathy Center in Plano, Texas, identify the cause of your neuropathy and restore optimal nerve function using today’s most advanced therapies. Here, they explain the top five symptoms alerting you to possible nerve damage.
Nerves affected by neuropathy
Neuropathy refers to damaged peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy), which include all the nerves outside your brain and spinal cord. You can develop neuropathy for many reasons, ranging from exposure to toxins and vitamin deficiencies to a vast array of health conditions; however, the most common cause is diabetes.
You have three types of peripheral nerves:
Sensory nerves pick up information from your body (about pain, temperature, and other senses) and send the message to your brain. Damaged sensory nerves cause the most common neuropathy symptoms.
Motor nerves deliver instructions from your brain to your muscles.
These nerves control systems that support your life, such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate. The most common symptoms of autonomic neuropathy include dizziness or fainting when standing up from sitting or lying and decreased sweating. However, autonomic nerves don’t cause any of the top five telltale symptoms.
5 telltale neuropathy symptoms
Though you can have a wide range of symptoms, depending on the type of damaged nerves, the top five include:
Neuropathic pain occurs at the site of the damaged nerve. A classic example is back pain resulting from a spine condition that pinches the nerve.
However, nerves have another quality: They can cause pain (and other sensations) along the length of the nerve. That’s how a pinched nerve in your spine leads to pain that travels down your arms or legs.
Though the pain associated with neuropathy is often sharp, stabbing, and severe, everyone has a different tolerance, and your neuropathic pain may feel more like an ache.
2. Tingling or burning
Pressure on the nerve causes unusual sensations called paresthesias. You may experience tingling, pins-and-needles, burning, and crawling sensations along the nerve.
Damaged, compressed, or irritated nerves often result in the loss of feeling. Numbness may be an early sign of neuropathy and occur on and off with other symptoms. Or it may appear as the nerve damage progresses.
4. Muscle weakness and cramping
Muscle weakness develops when you have a damaged motor nerve. You may lose coordination, making it difficult to walk and use your hands. In severe cases, the affected muscles waste away.
You could also experience the opposite. Instead of weakness, you may develop painful muscle cramps, tightness, and twitching.
5. Increased sensitivity
Neuropathy frequently increases your pain sensitivity. This symptom, called hyperesthesia, causes pain in response to something that shouldn’t be painful or an exaggerated pain response. For example, you may feel pain in response to the light touch of clothing, or a quick pinprick may cause long-lasting, severe pain.
Don’t wait to seek treatment if you have signs of neuropathy. The longer the condition goes untreated, the more likely the nerve damage worsens and becomes a permanent problem.
Call Infinity Regenerative and Neuropathy Center today or request an appointment online for expert neuropathy treatment.