Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy can significantly impact daily life, causing symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and pain in the extremities. At Southern Neurology Specialists in Birmingham, Alabama, we specialize in comprehensive care for peripheral neuropathy. Led by Dr. Kenneth Varley, MD, our team is dedicated to diagnosing and managing this condition to improve patients' quality of life. We employ a multidisciplinary approach, combining advanced diagnostic techniques, medication management, and personalized treatment plans to address the underlying causes and alleviate symptoms. If you're experiencing peripheral neuropathy and seeking expert care, trust Southern Neurology Specialists for compassionate and effective solutions tailored to your unique needs. Regain control over your neurological health and well-being with our specialized approach to peripheral neuropathy management.

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What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nerves located in your arms, hands, legs, and feet. When these nerves are irritated or compressed, they produce specific symptoms that can become uncomfortable or make simple tasks, like typing, opening a jar, or walking, difficult.

What Are the Signs of Peripheral Neuropathy?

Common signs of peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Numbness or tingling in your arms, hands, legs, or feet.
  • Weakness in your limbs.
  • Difficulty gripping objects.
  • Poor coordination.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Loss of sensation in your hands or feet.

Peripheral neuropathy can become dangerous if it prevents you from feeling sensations in your hands and feet that may lead to burns, trips, or falls. Peripheral neuropathy is also a progressive condition that can get worse over time and cause permanent damage to your nerves.

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What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?

The leading cause of peripheral neuropathy in your legs and feet is diabetes, while the leading cause in your hands is carpal tunnel syndrome. With diabetes, high blood sugar irritates nerves throughout your body — although the symptoms are most notable in the legs and feet.

With carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve in the inner part of your wrist that controls sensation and movement in your hand becomes compressed. The median nerve can be compressed by muscles in your forearm or wrist or the tendons in your carpal tunnel if they swell due to overuse. If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can become chronic and permanently damage your nerves.

How Is Peripheral Neuropathy Diagnosed?

Different tests are available to examine your nerves and isolate the cause of your symptoms. Nerve-specific tests include nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and electromyogram (EMG) tests, which check how quickly your nerves can send impulses to and from your brain and the muscles in your hand and wrist.

Dr. Kenneth Varley may also recommend an X-ray or diagnostic ultrasound to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms, like bony abnormalities or muscle tears.

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How Is Peripheral Neuropathy Treated?

Treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on your diagnosis and the location and severity of your symptoms. Possible treatments include:

  • Dietary supplements, including magnesium and B vitamins..
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Activity changes.
  • Nerve gliding exercises.
  • Spinal cord or nerve root electrical stimulation.
  • For peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes, Dr. Varley works with your primary care provider or internal medicine specialist to manage your diabetes and control your blood sugar.

Ready to Take Control of Your Pain?

Experience personalized care at Southern Pain Specialists. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kenneth Varley today.