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5 Different Types of Neuropathy

Have you ever wondered what happens when you tell your body to move from one place to another? How does it work? 

5 Different Types of Neuropathy

Within your body, there is a network of nerves that connect to the brain and the spinal cord. Those nerves are composed of bundles of fibers that create chemical and electrical changes in the cells to communicate between the body and the brain. 

Blinking, smiling, walking and waving, even twitching your facial muscles are all directly impacted by the nerves in your body. When the peripheral nervous system is damaged it may cause an array of symptoms that the body displays, called neuropathy.

There are different types of neuropathy; some are genetic, some are caused by car accidents, and some come about because of chemotherapy or hormonal imbalances. 

5 Different Types of Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a condition that continues to worsen over time, which is why it’s important to learn about the different types of neuropathy and seek medical attention if you experience any of the symptoms. Below you will find five different types of neuropathy, their symptoms, and the next steps to take if you experience them. 

1. Autonomic Neuropathy

Patients who have been diagnosed with autonomic neuropathy are those who have nerve damage impacting their involuntary nervous system. This can impact heart rate, blood pressure, eyes, digestive system, bladder, ability to sense hypoglycemia, sex organs, or sweat glands. 

Depending on where autonomic neuropathy takes place within the individual symptoms may include paralysis of the bladder causing issues such as urinary tract infections and lack of normal bladder pressure response. If the digestive system is affected this can result in indigestion, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, feeling full when only a small amount of food has been eaten, or nausea & vomiting. 

A plethora of secondary issues will emerge due to the root cause but are not always easily detectable. At Integrated Pain Management we go above and beyond the normal scope of doctor examinations and have our patients undergo special tests to identify the type of neuropathy they may be suffering from. 

 2. Cranial Neuropathy

Patients who have been diagnosed with cranial neuropathy are those whose brain or brainstem is affected. Cranial nerves come from the brain or brainstem and affect areas around the face and the eyes. When the cranial nerves are damaged, from an illness or an injury, it can prevent individuals from moving and feeling. If the patient damages more than one cranial nerve, this is referred to as multiple cranial neuropathies (MCN). 

There are different types of cranial neuropathies, some of them include:

The third cranial nerve: Mononeuropathy involves double vision, drooping of an eyelid, pain in the head, or behind the eye. 

The fourth cranial nerve: Superior oblique palsy. This affects eye convergence. 

The sixth cranial nerve: Abducens palsy. This affects the control of eye movement. 

The seventh cranial nerve: Bell palsy. Facial paralysis or weakness on one side of the face. 

Patients with cranial neuropathy may experience different symptoms, some of these include:

> Pain

> Tingling sensations

> Numbness

> Sensitive skin

> Weakness

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect that you may have a form of neuropathy, get in touch with Integrated Pain Management and allow our team to guide you on your path to recovery. 

3. Focal Neuropathy

Patients who have been diagnosed with focal neuropathy are those who have damaged their single nerves, commonly found in the head, torso, or leg. When a single nerve is damaged, this is considered focal neuropathy or mononeuropathy, which causes a specific part of the body to stop working properly.

This condition typically occurs in individuals with diabetes since it is caused by high blood sugar and high levels of fats. When these levels are too high in the blood, it can damage nerves and the blood vessels that nourish the nerves. 

Patients with focal neuropathy will experience symptoms that typically get worse over time. For this reason, it is important that once diagnosed, patients begin the treatment process. In addition to pain throughout the body, patients with focal neuropathy may experience difficulty seeing properly, as well as pain around the eye area.

Luckily, there are a handful of options available to treat focal neuropathy including a splint or brace, anti-inflammatory medicine, and surgery, if the conservative options fail. 

If you are interested in learning more about the treatment options available for focal neuropathy, contact Integrated Pain Management and allow our amazing team to review your options with you. 

4. Proximal Neuropathy

Patients with proximal neuropathy have nerve damage in the hip, buttocks, or high. This form of neuropathy is unique because it tends to only affect one side of the body, leaving the other unphased. This condition develops when an individual has high blood sugar and high levels of fat in their blood, leading to nerve damage. 

Typically affecting patients who are in their middle age or the elderly, this form of neuropathy will appear in more female patients than males. Nerve damage strikes in the buttocks, hips, or thighs typically affecting one side of the body with sharp sudden pain, muscle wasting, or weakness.

Many patients describe the sensation as a relentless burning or stabbing in the area with an intensity that makes it difficult to fall asleep. 

For some patients, treatment may include occupational therapy to help support the body and make daily tasks easier to perform. Regular management of diabetes, including regular blood testing, daily exercise, having a balanced diet, and staying on top of cholesterol and glucose levels. 

5. Radial Nerve Neuropathy

Patients with radial nerve neuropathy are those who have nerve damage to the radial nerve. This nerve is responsible for helping your arm function and connects to your wrist, elbow, and fingers. It provides sensory and motor functions to the arm by stimulating muscles and sending messages. 

When the radial nerve is damaged, it may become difficult for the patient to do simple tasks such as straightening the arm and picking up or lifting objects. 

Radial nerve damage may appear due to car accidents or trauma, this form of neuropathy runs along the arm, from the fingertips to the armpit, and creates symptoms such as numbness, tingling, itching, or burning along any affected area on the arm. 

Treatment options depend on what type of neuropathy pain or secondary symptoms are present, along with the specific type of neuropathy the patient is dealing with.

At-home care, outpatient treatment, and a thorough management plan that focuses on preventing further issues and mitigating current symptoms is the best way to treat neuropathy. Treatment can range from lifestyle changes to prescribed medication or physical therapy and pain prevention. 

Where can you go to get treatment? 

Connect to the right professionals to understand your diagnosis. Here at Integrated Pain Management, one of our specialties can diagnose and treat your neuropathy pain. If you have experienced any of these symptoms connect with Integrated Pain Management and get the pain relief you deserve. 

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