Nerve pain, also called neuropathy, refers to malfunctioning or damaged nerves anywhere in your body. If you or a loved one are experiencing this kind of pain, the best thing you can do is take a holistic approach to your overall health and wellbeing, and we can help.
Dr. Chad Mathey at Crown Medical Center is available at both his Huntsville and Florence, Alabama locations, ready to diagnose and relieve any nerve pain you may be experiencing.
Four kinds of neuropathy
There are four types of neuropathy, and many people have more than one type at a time.
1. Autonomic neuropathy
Autonomic neuropathy affects your autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system regulates your involuntary physiological processes like respiration, sexual arousal, and blood pressure. This also includes your digestive system, heart, and bladder.
2. Cranial neuropathy
Cranial neuropathy is nerve damage that affects any of your 12 pairs of nerves that control hearing, taste, and vision. It also affects your ability to move and feel.
3. Focal neuropathy
Focal neuropathy is less common than either autonomic or peripheral neuropathy. This is nerve damage that’s restricted to one area of the body or just one nerve. For example, focal neuropathy mostly affects your head, torso, hands, or legs. Sometimes this nerve pain affects more than one location at a time.
4. Peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of nerve damage, referring to damage to the nerves in the peripheral nervous system, and it includes your extremities like hands and feet. This kind of nerve damage is the most common diabetic neuropathy.
Things that can cause nerve damage
This isn’t a complete list of things that can cause nerve damage, but here are a few reasons you could be dealing with neuropathic pain:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Metabolic diseases
- Chronic kidney disease
- Exposure to cold temperatures for a long time
- Ill-fitting casts, splints, or braces
- Pressure or trauma on a nerve (carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Mercury, lead, or solvent poisoning
- Long-term alcohol abuse
Do I have nerve damage?
Here are five signs that you may have nerve damage:
1. Numbness or pain
Pain can begin as a tingling or burning sensation in your extremities. The tingling usually starts in the toes and feet and can lead to deep pain. Numbness occurs when you lose feeling in your legs or arms. You might not be able to feel the temperature of running water, or you might not feel a pebble in your shoe.
Nerve damage can cause muscle problems, making it difficult to control your movements. Your knees might give out, or you could stumble a lot. Your muscles shrink and begin to cramp or twitch, making it hard to do things like buttoning a shirt.
3. Digestion problems
If you have nerve damage, you could have trouble with food digestion. If you feel bloated all the time, or have heartburn after eating only small bits of food, it could be neuropathy. Other digestion issues include vomiting, hard or loose stools, and trouble swallowing.
4. Bladder dysfunction
Nerve problems can lead to bladder problems. If you frequently experience incontinence, have trouble emptying your bladder, or have trouble feeling when your bladder is full, please make an appointment to see us at Crown Medical Center.
Those dealing with neuropathy often have a hard time controlling their body temperature. You may notice that you sweat too much, or you aren’t sweating at all. This is a telltale sign of nerve damage.
It’s possible to feel several of these signs at once. If you’d like to discuss possible nerve damage and seek relief from the pain, call Dr. Mathey at one of our two locations or use our convenient online scheduling tool.