Welcome to the Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Info Site
Peripheral Neuropathy affects up to 1 in 13 people, 4.7 million people in the UK.
It is more common in over 55’s, and 28% of people in their 70’s have it.
Up to 40% of people with diabetes develop neuropathy; the incidence increases with age and duration of diabetes
At least 30-40% of people on chemotherapy will get it.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral Neuropathy is where your peripheral nerves are damaged or compressed, usually your feet, lower legs, hands and forearms. It is also a general term referring to disorders of peripheral nerves. ICD-9 , ICD-10
It is also called Neuropathy, and Polyneuropathy when more than one nerve is affected and Mononeuropathy for only one nerve being damaged or not working properly. Another name is neuritis and polyneuritis.
What are the symptoms of PN?
Pain, pins and needles, numbness, tingling, weakness and loss of coordination. Symptoms usually comes on gradually, and can become severe. If it gets worse, PN can lead to sleep difficulties, depression, anxiety and severe disability
PN symptoms can come and go or be constant, just happen or happen because of something else, like pressure.
PN symptoms vary a lot. They often gradually worsen. So seeing your doctor as early as possible is really important.
For more info read our page on symptoms. For symptoms of Chemotherapy PN see here.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
Diabetes – most common
Chemotherapy in cancer treatment
Chemical e.g. poisoning by alcohol or heavy metals like mercury or lead
Physical – injuries, surgery, repetitive strain, tumours (malignant & benign), growths
Infections – e.g. Herpes.
Non-specific – where it just happens, with no known cause
For a more on causes see our Causes page here.
Finding out the cause is the first crucial step to taking control of your health. See our pages on how to gain health and keep it.
Treatments for peripheral neuropathy
First port of call is your Doctor. They will want to find what caused it, treat any underlying condition, and treat for pain relief.
Hopefully if the underlying cause is manageable, e.g. diabetes, you can stop the pain getting worse. If the cause is getting older or chemotherapy drugs, it may not be so easy.
Your Doctor may recommend physiotherapy, a TENS machine, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or going to a pain clinic.
Sometimes Peripheral Neuropathy can be improved. However often nerves will not recover easily, once damaged, and treatment is more about management than cure. As one gets older this is often the case.
Drugs can sometimes help symptoms. However more often they help a bit or not at all. Also, the drugs for PN often have serious side effects, which can be bad enough to stop taking them.
Alternative medicine can help. For example, in our experience Acupuncture has been helpful for many people.
PN is Caused by :
& MORENews Complementary medicine can help Peripheral Neuropathy!
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