SIGNS & SYMPTOMS NEUROPATHY
Signs and Symptoms
Neurological symptoms may occur related to your central nervous system, which consists of your brain and spinal cord, or your peripheral nervous system, which links your spinal cord and brain to all other parts of your body. The extensive network of peripheral nerves includes the motor nerves, which help your muscles contract, and the sensory nerves, which allow you to feel a range of sensations (touch, warm/cold, pain). In addition, your peripheral nerves help control some of the involuntary functions of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates your internal organs, sweat glands and blood pressure.
Unfortunately, peripheral nerves are fragile and easily damaged. Damage to a peripheral nerve can interfere with the communication between the area it serves and your brain, affecting your ability to move certain muscles or feel normal sensations. Your symptoms will depend on the cause of your neuropathy and on which nerve or nerves are involved.
If a sensory nerve is damaged, you’re likely to experience symptoms that may include:
Loss of feeling
These symptoms often begin gradually. You may have a tingling sensation or numbness that starts in your toes or the balls of your feet and spreads upward. Tingling might also begin in your hands and extend up your arms. In some cases your skin may become so sensitive that the slightest touch is agonizing. You may also have numbness, or even a complete lack of feeling, in your hands or feet.
At times your symptoms may be barely noticeable, and some people go years without realizing anything is wrong. For others, symptoms are constant, and especially at night may be almost unbearable. Signs and symptoms may include:
The sensation that you’re wearing an invisible glove or sock
Sharp, jabbing or electric-like pain
Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch
Lack of coordination
If your motor nerves are affected, you may have weakness or paralysis of the muscles controlled by those nerves, and if you have damage to nerves that control certain functions of the autonomic nervous system, you might have bowel or bladder problems, reduced sweating or impotence. You might also experience a sharp fall in your blood pressure when you stand up, which may cause you to faint or feel lightheaded.
13710 Olive Boulevard (Primary Office)
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Telephone: 314-469-PAIN (7246)
Exchange: 314-441-6965 (for after-hour Emergencies Only)
Monday thru Friday
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM