Our nervous system is made up of two parts, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord while the peripheral nervous system connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body. Now that we’ve brushed up your basic biology knowledge, let’s take a look at the kind of damage that can occur in our nervous system and how Spinalogy Clinic, Pune can help treat disorders such as Peripheral Neuropathy.
Peripheral Neuropathy refers to disorders caused by damage to the peripheral nerves. When the peripheral nerves are damaged, they fail to transmit messages clearly to the central nervous system. This means that a patient of peripheral neuropathy may not feel external pain in certain parts of the body. Alternatively the patient may also develop a sensitivity to touch. Patients are also known to experience a painful tingling or burning sensation. In more extreme cases patients may suffer from a burning pain (especially at night) and even organ dysfunction. Some people find it difficult to digest food while others may have trouble sweating.
Every individual patient’s symptoms differ depending on the severity of their condition and the area that is affected. There are different kinds of Peripheral Neuropathy. We take a look at a few common forms.
Diabetic Neuropathy: Diabetes is an extremely common medical condition where the body fails to produce enough insulin or effectively utilize the insulin that it does produce. When diabetes occurs, glucose in the body is not being used efficiently and therefore blood sugar levels are too high. The high sugar levels affect nerve function and cause neuropathic pain.
People suffering from diabetic neuropathy often feel numbness, tingling or a burning sensation, making it difficult to carry out simple daily activities such as walking or holding regular objects. They may also feel certain heaviness in the area, as though they are wearing a sock or gloves. Sometimes they experience a sudden shooting pain. Another characterizing symptom of Diabetic Neuropathy is the inability to judge temperature. Something which is actually warm may feel extremely hot and at the same time the person may not realise if the object is too hot.
Brachial Plexus Neuropathy: The brachial plexus is an area on both sides of the neck from where your spinal cord sends signals to your arms, shoulders and hands. Brachial Plexus Neuropathy or Brachial Neuritis or Brachial Neuropathy can occur suddenly without any apparent cause. In some cases however, it may be caused by injury or some other illness. Brachial Neuropathy causes severe pain in the upper body and arms. This pain is usually felt only on one side of the body and can make the muscles feel week and limp. It also causes numbness.
Ischemic Neuropathy: This type of neuropathy develops with decrease in blood supply to the nerves as in case of peripheral vascular diseases like Buerger’s disease or Atherosclerosis or Raynaud’s disease. This can cause severe burning pain in upper or lower limbs. In spite of surgical revascularization, some patients continue to have nerve pain as they are damaged permanently.
Unfortunately, nerve damage cannot be reversed. Pain from peripheral neuropathy can be controlled and managed. At Spinalogy Clinic, Pune we specialize in treating various kinds of neuropathy with a multi-disciplinary approach. The first step to treating any form of neuropathy is to treat its underlying cause. For example if the cause is diabetes, of course steps must be taken to keep sugar levels under control. However, there are steps beyond that as well.
Various kinds of medication are used to treat peripheral neuropathy. These include pain-killers, anti-seizure medication, topical treatments and anti-depressants. There are also multiple therapies available such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), plasma exchange and physical therapy. At Spinalogy Clinic, Pune we use methods such as lumbar sympathetic blocks and stellate ganglion blocks.
A lumbar sympathetic block is an injection given in the lower back that helps relieve pain from peripheral neuropathy in lower limbs. It is a procedure done under local anesthesia. Though some patients begin to feel pain relief immediately, this is usually due to the anesthesia and not the actual medicine. The actual steroid begins working 2-3 days after the procedure.
Another method of treatment used at Spinalogy Clinic, Pune is the Stellate Ganglion Block. The Stellate Ganglion is a collection of nerves found in the neck. The Stellate Ganglion Block attempts to block pain signals from this ganglion to the arms and the face. This helps reduce neuropathic pain. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. The procedure involves inserting a needle through the skin and into the deeper tissues. Usually a patient should be able to carry on with daily activities the very next day after the Stellate Ganglion Block. Depending on your reaction to the block further injection blocks will be recommended.
At Spinalogy Clinic, Pune we use a multi-disciplinary approach to treating peripheral neuropathy. Our methods have been extremely successful so far. If you need a confirmed diagnosis, or a treatment plan for peripheral neuropathy, walk-in to Spinalogy Clinic, Pune.