What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy refers to numerous conditions that involve damage to the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral system carries messages from the brain, as well as the spinal cord, to the rest of the body. Peripheral neuropathy could result from several different issues, including physical injury or trauma, systemic autoimmune diseases, and infections.  Peripheral neuropathy sufferers often describe the pain associated with the condition as tingling, burning, or even stabbing sensations. In many cases, symptoms improve, especially if the condition that caused the symptoms is treatable.


Nerve signaling in neuropathy is disrupted in three ways:


  • Loss of signals typically sent.
  • Inappropriate signaling when there should not be any.
  • Errors that distort the messages being sent.


Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms & Warning Signs

Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include some of the following:


  • Gradual onset of numbness, prickling, or tingling in your feet, hands, arms, or legs.
  • Sharp/stabbing sensations.
  • Burning sensation. 
  • Sensitivity to the affected area when touched. 
  • Pain during typical activities.
  • Difficulty maintaining balance and gait issues.
  • Muscle weakness.

Causes of peripheral neuropathy may include some of the following:


  • Physical injury/trauma.
  • Diabetes.
  • Vascular and blood problems.
  • Systemic autoimmune diseases.
  • Autoimmune diseases that attack nerves only.
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Kidney and liver disorders.
  • Nutritional or vitamin imbalances. 
  • Alcoholism.
  • Certain cancers and benign tumors.
  • Chemotherapy drugs.
  • Infections.


In order to better prevent yourself from experiencing peripheral neuropathy, it’s best that you make lifestyle changes that well better improve your well-being. Please also consider making some of the following healthy lifestyle choices:


  • Eat healthily.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Research risk factors for neuropathy. 


Treatment Plans

Treatments depend entirely on the type of nerve damage, symptoms, and location. Options that could be explored by our neurologist near Stony Brook will include some of the following:


  • Addressing neuropathy’s causes – correcting underlying causes can result in the neuropathy resolving on its own as the nerves recover or regenerate.
  • Medication – recommended for chronic neuropathic pain and are also used for other medical conditions but only as prescribed by your physician.
  • Surgery – a last resort measure that is typically only recommended for extreme cases.


Potential Warning Signs of Peripheral Neuropathy?

At Three Village Neurology, no matter what degree of peripheral neuropathy you may be experiencing, we can help you by providing some of the top neurological treatment on Long Island. If you are looking for treatment or simply for more understanding, please contact us and make an appointment today with our neurologist near Stony Brook!