Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy services offered in Delray Beach, FL

Peripheral Neuropathy

If you have pain, numbness, or tingling sensations in your hands, feet, arms, or legs, you could have neuropathy. Marcie A. Merson, MD, is board-certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and has over 25 years of experience helping patients with peripheral neuropathy. If you’re living in or around Delray Beach, Florida, she may be able to help you, too. Call the office to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online at any time. 

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy is essentially any condition that may affect the activity of your nerves or a form of nerve damage. Sometimes referred to as peripheral neuropathy, it usually involves damage to the peripheral nerves brought on by diabetes, chemotherapy, autoimmune diseases, traumatic injuries, or infection. While most people will feel numbness and pain in their hands and feet as a result, it can affect other parts of your body as well.

What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?

Because neuropathy can affect a lot of different places on your body, the symptoms mostly depend on the cause of neuropathy and the nerves that are affected. Most often, the symptoms include the following:

  • Numbness (either temporary or permanent)
  • Tingling sensations (often in your feet or hands)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Loss of coordination
  • Bowel, bladder, digestive, or sexual function problems

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

Diabetes is the number one cause of neuropathy, and more than half of those with diabetes will develop some sort of neuropathy. If there is poor management of blood sugar, the severity may increase. Other than diabetes, there are several other possible causes, including:

  • Inherited disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases and infections such as hepatitis C, HIV, shingles, and Lyme disease
  • Tumors and bone disorders
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Alcoholism

Several risk factors may contribute to neuropathy, such as exposure to toxins, repetitive motions, and a family history of neuropathy as well.

This is not an exhaustive list of causes of neuropathy, so it is important to contact your doctor to discuss any symptoms you may have.

How is peripheral neuropathy diagnosed and treated?

If you are experiencing symptoms of neuropathy and have scheduled a visit with Dr. Merson, she will most likely do a physical exam to determine where exactly the symptoms are coming from and where to start with testing. She may do a full medical history check and blood test to determine additional issues. 

Once completed, Dr. Merson will do a series of tests to check reflexes as well as your ability to feel sensations. This may include a full neurological examination, depending on the severity of symptoms.

If you are diagnosed with neuropathy, Dr. Merson will determine the proper treatment plan. However, this will often not start with surgery. Treatment options may include:

  • Medications such as pain relievers, lidocaine patches, topical ointments, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications.
  • Physical therapy
  • TENS units
  • Acupuncture

Also, there are many lifestyle changes that you can make, such as exercising, eating healthy, and quitting alcohol and smoking, that may help. In addition, you may be asked to wear specialized socks for your feet and monitor your glucose levels.

To learn more about how Dr. Merson can help you with peripheral neuropathy, call the office or request an appointment online today.