What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy describes a condition where the nerves farthest away from our heart and spine (i.e. in our hands and feet) are damaged. The nerves sending signals to our brain and back are no longer working properly. The damage can be caused from many reasons. The leading cause of peripheral neuropathy in America today, approximately 30 %, is from diabetes. Other causes may include nerves damage in the back, genetic disorders, chemotherapy, or autoimmune diseases.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Symptoms may range from mild to severe depending on the stage of peripheral neuropathy. Here is a list of the most common complaints:
- Burning pain
- Sharp, shooting sensation in feet or legs
- Difficulty sleeping due to pain in legs and feet
- Tingling pain or crawling sensation
- Pain and instability with walking
- Cold feet
- Heaviness in feet
- Pins and needles feeling in hands or feet
How does having peripheral neuropathy affect me?
The nerve damage from peripheral neuropathy causes loss of feeling, loss of muscle function, difficulty with balance, and poor skin texture. You may also have pain, constant discomfort, and difficulty sleeping. This is a progressive disease, meaning it continually worsens over time.
Having peripheral neuropathy can lead to sores or ulcerations on the feet. These can lead to infection and even amputation. Don't let peripheral neuropathy affect your life anymore.
How Do I Know If I Really Have Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is evaluated during your visit with your doctor. Based upon your complaints, symptoms, and physical exam, your doctor can help to diagnose your condition. Further testing can establish the extent of nerve damage you may have. These tests include:
- NCV/EMG (Nerve Conduction Velocity and Electromyography) - diagnostic exam of the large nerves and muscles in the legs or arms. This can help differentiate between peripheral neuroapthy vs. lower spinal nerve damage
- ENFD skin biopsy (Epidermeral Nerve Fiber Density) - a small biopsy of the skin is performed and sent to a highly specialized laboratory. This lab counts and evaluates the small nerves in the skin which can determine the extent of small fiber peripheral neuropathy.
Your doctor will discuss which test is right for you.
What treatment options do I have? Why is DM Foot & Ankle different?
Before now, the only treatment options for patients were medications, topical creams, ifrared therapy, acupuncture, or some forms of physical therapy. None of these actually help with your nerve damage; they only mask your symptoms.
We are pleased to be one very few physicians who offer a new electric therapy. This new treatment is a combination therapy with breakthrough results. A recent study showed an 87% reduction in painful symptoms with our treatment program, especially if you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Many of our patients say the effects of the program can be felt immediately. Don't settle for living a life with constant pain anymore. Call our office to schedule an appointment and get the relief you are looking for.
"I was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. Before I received treatments my symptoms were severe pain, numbness, tingling and burning in my feet that made it very difficult to walk or to get involved in everyday activities. Since getting treatments from Dr. Kim, I have shown improvement in my balance, less pain, with better control in walking, numbness and tingling have been reduced, I feel my feet again. The best improvement is that I NO longer take any pain medicine. I attribute the improvement in the quality of life to the treatments I received from Dr. Kim, I truly believe others can be helped as well." - Richard W.
"Some time ago, my neurologist diagnosed me with peripheral neuropathy. Before I started treatment, I experienced a numbness and/or tingling in my feet, especially in the toes. I had a difficult time walking and had a difficult time staying on my feet for any length of time. Since I have been receiving treatment, the intensity and sensation of the numbness and tingling have diminished considerably, and I have been able to stay on my feet for a longer period of time before tiring. In addition, I am no longer continually aware of the symptoms in my feet. In fact, at times I feel that the symptoms are on the verge of disappearing completely under the auspices of Dr. Emini who has been treating me. I do believe that that these treatments are helping to rid me of my symptoms and to improve my quality of life." - George V.