What Are The Stages of Peripheral Neuropathy?

What Are The Stages of Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral Neuropathy affects more than 20 million people in the United States. With it being so prevalent, it’s important to remain educated on what causes peripheral neuropathy and all of the stages neuropathy takes on. Peripheral neuropathy occurs due to damaged nerves of the peripheral system which comprises all nerves besides the brain and spinal cord. Typically peripheral neuropathy occurs due to diabetes, metabolic issues, traumatic injuries, infections, or exposure to toxins. 

Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy are often described as stabbing, burning or tingling usually in the hands or feet. Other symptoms include:

Stages of Neuropathy

Stage One: Numbness & Pain Begins

Your hands or feet will begin to feel numb and painful on and off. You may also experience lack of coordination in the early stages. Generally the problem may seem mild to you still and often patients continue their daily lives without seeking treatment. The issue is, the sooner you address the issue the better the outcome when it comes to neuropathy so if you are seeing these signs, seek treatment as soon as possible.

Stage 2: Constant Pain

The pain will escalate to a more harsh, constant pain that will become more difficult to ignore. Typically this is the stage many seek treatment as it can be intolerable to live in constant pain. The sooner you seek treatment, the less permanent nerve damage will occur. 

Stage 3: Intense Pain

By this stage, the pain will be its most unbearable occurring everyday. Daily activities will be extremely difficult such as walking barefoot. You will need immediate attention and at this stage surgery is likely to be performed. Surgery for this condition is Nerve Decompression Surgery. There are different types of decompression surgery that may be performed such as:

The risks of this surgery include infection, bleeding, blood clots and nerve or tissue damage. You will be hospitalized for 4-5 days and given pain medication. Physical therapy will be necessary to recover. The surgery itself is typically successful but it comes with many side effects and potential risks. This is why it is critical you recieve treatment before this stage and know there are many nonsurgical treatment options available to you.

Stage 4: Complete Loss of Feeling

At this point you will begin to lose all feeling in your hands and feet. The permanent damaged nerves may result in recurring wounds or needing to amputate the hand or foot. It will be extremely difficult to prevent yourself from falling if it is in your feet and you will struggle severely to complete everyday tasks. 

At Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas, neuropathy treatment is handled using non-invasive therapies. We embrace an integrated approach to wellness, believing in treating patients as whole people, not just a collection of symptoms. Striving to provide solutions that are drug-free and non-invasive, we utilize treatments like physical rehabilitation, laser therapy, dietary modification, and chiropractic care. 

At Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas in Arlington and Fort Worth, symptoms of neuropathy are not our only focus, because, in all our treatment plans, we work to actually correct the underlying cause. Rather than prescribing medication, we strive to first use physical medicine in combination with advanced medical treatments to deliver the very best results, while helping patients live their healthiest lives. Neuropathy treatment may involve physical therapy, chiropractic care, dietary changes and advanced stimulators, depending on your particular situation.

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