Do you have peripheral neuropathy in Winter Park? This is a disorder of the peripheral nerves–the motor, sensory and autonomic nerves that connect the spinal cord to muscles, skin and internal organs. It usually affects the hands and feet, causing weakness, numbness, tingling and pain. Peripheral neuropathy’s course is variable; it can come and go, slowly progressing over many years, or it can become severe and debilitating. However, if diagnosed early, peripheral neuropathy can often be controlled.
Peripheral neuropathy is common. It is estimated that upwards of 20 million Americans suffer from this illness. It can occur at any age, but is more common among older adults. A 1999 survey found that 8-9% of Medicare recipients have peripheral neuropathy as their primary or secondary diagnosis. The annual cost to Medicare exceeds $3.5 billion.
Peripheral neuropathy has always been present, but has not received much attention. Its extent and importance have not yet been adequately recognized. It is apt to be misdiagnosed, or thought to be merely a side effect of another disease like diabetes or cancer or kidney failure. The development of new therapies has unfortunately been slow and under funded.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
There are many causes of neuropathy. Approximately 30% of neuropathies are “idiopathic,” or of an unknown cause. In another 30% of cases, the cause is diabetes. Other neuropathy causes include autoimmune disorders, tumors, heredity, nutritional imbalances, infections or toxins.
Thousands of people in the Winter Park area suffer from neuropathy. This condition is a collection of disorders that occurs when nerves of the part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord, known as the peripheral nervous system are damaged. Generally referred to as peripheral neuropathy. This happens due to damage to nerve axons, and usually causes pain and numbness in the hands and feet. Traumatic injuries, metabolic disorders, infections, and exposure to toxins are all possible causes, but one of the most common causes of neuropathy is diabetes.
Neuropathy affects both the motor nerves that control muscle movement, and the sensory nerves that detect sensations such as coldness or pain. It is also possible for autonomic neuropathy to affect internal organs including the heart, bladder, blood vessels and intestines.
Peripheral neuropathy gives off a pain described as a burning/tingling sensation. While neuropathy is typically associated with poor nutrition, diabetes and other diseases, and pressure or trauma, there have been many cases of idiopathic neuropathy, which has no known cause.
In the United States, about 20 million people, including more than half of all diabetics, suffer from neuropathy.
Our Winter Park area team at Winter Park Spine & Injury is experienced at helping people with neuropathy conditions. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions you have. We are always happy to help.
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