Around 20 million Americans live with peripheral neuropathy, although the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that the true rate may actually be higher. Peripheral neuropathy is a painful and disruptive condition caused by damage to the nerves in your peripheral nervous system. Neuropathy symptoms vary significantly from mild to severe, and some people might not realize their symptoms are connected to neuropathy.
Here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland, Dr. Dustin Hamoy and our team regularly diagnose and treat neuropathy with state-of-the-art interventions 一 like multiwave locked system (MLS®) laser therapy 一 to reduce pain and restore function in your limbs.
The first step of getting relief is scheduling an appointment with Dr. Hamoy for an accurate diagnosis, but what are the first signs that you have neuropathy, and when should you talk to Dr. Hamoy about them?
Your peripheral nervous system refers to the nerves outside of your brain and spinal cord, i.e., they run through your limbs. Your sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves are three different types of peripheral nerves, and they each have an important role.
Your sensory nerves play a role in receiving sensations (like the feel of your shirt against your arm), your motor nerves assist with muscle movement by sending movement signals to your central nervous system, and your autonomic nerves help regulate involuntary processes like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and respiration.
Peripheral neuropathy symptoms vary depending on which type of peripheral nerves are damaged. Four common symptoms include:
In addition to these, you might experience excess sweating or increased blood pressure if your automatic nerves are damaged. However, because high blood pressure can arise from other conditions (like atherosclerosis), it’s important to take note of all of your symptoms when discussing your neuropathy concerns with Dr. Hamoy.
Sometimes, there isn’t a clear cause behind your neuropathy. These cases are called idiopathic, and they affect about 30-40% of individuals with neuropathy. Diabetes is responsible for another 30% of neuropathy cases, and the remaining cases may be caused by any combination of the following:
If your symptoms hint at the possibility of neuropathy, Dr. Hamoy first asks you about your symptoms and reviews your medical history. If neuropathy is the source of your symptoms, Dr. Hamoy reviews options to help you manage the condition.
One of the most important elements of neuropathy management is to manage any underlying conditions (like diabetes) that may be contributing to nerve damage. If you have nerve pain, we can help you find the solutions that work to block errant pain signals, including:
MLS laser therapy is particularly beneficial because it not only helps nerves heal, but it also helps to block pain signals. MLS laser therapy works by harnessing light energy to assist with healing nerves, removing toxins, and encouraging the influx of oxygen to the damaged tissues. Laser therapy also helps combat because it releases two of your body’s natural painkillers such as endorphins.
Don’t ignore the signs of neuropathy. Call Dr. Hamoy at 410-324-2968 to schedule your appointment and find out if MLS laser therapy is right for you. Alternatively, try our online booking tool to request an appointment today.