More than 20 million people in the US have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy 一 nerve damage that can affect any of the peripheral nerves outside of your spinal column, including your sensory nerves, motor nerves, and autonomic nerves.
Because neuropathy can lead to chronic pain (as well as numbness), our team at Wynn Over Pain in National City, California, wants you to know that treatments are available. You don’t have to live with the pain of untreated neuropathy.
Below, Brenton Wynn, MD answers a common question: What happens if I don’t treat my neuropathy?
Neuropathy can start as sporadic tingling, and it may be easy to ignore at first. However, if your neuropathy isn’t treated, you run the risk of the following:
At first, neuropathy may cause occasional numbness and pain, but as it progresses, your symptoms may become more persistent. The pain may reach a high point before reaching a state of constant numbness. Once your nerves become too damaged, they can’t send signals to your brain. The constant state of numbness can make walking difficult 一 if not impossible.
The earlier you address your neuropathy, the more likely you can avoid permanent nerve damage.
Numbness may seem like a reprieve after you’ve been dealing with pain, but constant numbness can lead to serious complications, such as a foot ulcer. You might scratch your foot, and without properly functioning sensory nerves, you may not realize the extent of your injury. Foot ulcers are slow-healing wounds that can easily become infected. Unfortunately, foot ulcers can increase your risk of developing gangrene (tissue death) or having to undergo an amputation.
Sensory nerves aren’t the only ones affected by neuropathy. If your autonomic nerves are damaged, you may experience complications with your gastrointestinal system or have issues when swallowing.
Lastly, if you don’t treat neuropathy, your relief is postponed. Neuropathy can cause numbness, but it can also cause uncomfortable symptoms, including burning sensations, pins and needles, and sharp or shooting pains. This type of pain can impact your quality of life and make it hard for you to enjoy daily activities.
Treating neuropathy can help you find the pain relief you need.
Because there are so many underlying causes of neuropathy 一with diabetes being a main contributor 一 it’s important to understand first what’s caused your nerve damage. Managing any underlying conditions can help slow the progression of neuropathy and help you avoid future nerve damage. Dr. Wynn works with your specialist to ensure that conditions like as diabetes are managed.
In addition to managing the underlying cause of your neuropathy, Dr. Wynn may also create a pain management plan to help you address your pain. He may recommend any of the following:
You don’t have to wait for neuropathy to get worse before reaching out for help. If you’re seeing the beginning signs of neuropathy, contact us. Our compassionate team is on a mission to ease your pain and restore your quality of life.
You can call our office or book an appointment online and start exploring your neuropathy treatment options.