Damaged nerves, or nerves that aren't working as they should, cause neuropathy, which can result in severe pain and other unpleasant symptoms. If you have a neuropathic disorder, Peter-Brian Andersson, MD, PhD, at Neurology Consulting, Inc. can help. At his offices in Tarzana and Thousand Oaks, California, Dr. Andersson delivers expert diagnosis and effective, up-to-date treatments for all forms of neuropathy. Call Neurology Consulting, Inc. today to schedule a consultation or use the online form to book your appointment.
Neuropathy is a term that covers a number of different conditions affecting your peripheral nervous system. These are the nerves that branch out all over your body from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system or CNS).
The peripheral nerves transmit messages from the CNS, telling your muscles how to move. Peripheral nerves send sensory information back to your central nervous system, too, like whether it's hot or cold, or if you're feeling physical pleasure or pain.
If the peripheral nerves aren't working as they should, it disrupts the flow of information to and from your CNS. The signal might be lost altogether, or there might be errors in the signal, so it tells your brain you're feeling sensations like pain when there's no tissue damage.
Most forms of neuropathy aren't life-threatening in themselves, but they can cause a range of symptoms such as:
Neuropathic pain can be a particular problem, as it can be severe and difficult to control. You might develop problems like allodynia, where even the lightest touch from something that wouldn't normally cause pain is agonizing. Hyperalgesia is another complication, where something that might normally result in mild discomfort causes you intense, prolonged pain.
Neuropathy can develop for many different reasons. These include:
At Neurology Consulting, Inc., Dr. Andersson uses advanced diagnostic tools to determine the cause of your neuropathy. He specializes in using nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests and electromyography (EMG) to assess nerve function.
The treatment Dr. Andersson recommends for neuropathy depends on the cause of your condition and how severely it's affecting you.
If you have an autoimmune condition, for instance, treating the disease with strong anti-inflammatories and immunosuppressant medications can relieve your symptoms. If your condition stems from a pinched or compressed nerve, you might need to undergo surgery to relieve the pressure.
In many cases, neuropathy is idiopathic, meaning it doesn't have an identifiable cause. If this is the case, or if other treatments aren't providing relief, Dr. Andersson might need to prescribe medication to reduce nerve activity and relieve your symptoms.
Problems like allodynia often respond well to applications of a cream containing capsaicin, the substance which gives chilies their heat. Anti-seizure medicines and antidepressants can also be useful for treating neuropathy.
Lifestyle changes that improve your overall health, and learning to manage your condition using psychotherapy and behavioral strategies can also make a big difference.
To find out more about treatment for neuropathy, call Neurology Consulting, Inc. today or book an appointment online.