Peripheral Neuropathy

Board Certified Neurologist & Neurologist located in Houston, TX
Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy services offered in Houston, TX

Peripheral neuropathy affects one or more of the nerves extending from your spinal cord throughout your body. If you develop pain, numbness, and other neuropathy symptoms, contact board-certified neurologist Paul Gill, MD, at Gill Neuroscience in Houston, Texas. Dr. Gill provides cutting-edge peripheral neuropathy diagnosis and treatment, relieving the misery this condition causes. Call Gill Neuroscience to schedule an appointment or complete the online booking form today.

Peripheral Neuropathy Q&A

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy affects the nerves carrying information to and from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system or CNS). It can cause pain, unpleasant sensations, and an inability to control your muscles.

Sensory nerves transmit sensations to your CNS, while motor nerves control your muscles. Autonomic nerves carry information from your brain to your organs and glands. Peripheral neuropathy can affect any of these nerves. The primary peripheral neuropathy patterns are:

  • Polyneuropathy (affecting multiple nerves)
  • Mononeuropathy (affecting a specific nerve)
  • Mononeuritis multiplex (affecting at least two separate areas)
  • Autonomic neuropathy (affecting nerves controlling involuntary functions)

Involuntary functions include breathing, heartbeat, and digestion that you don’t consciously control.

The most common peripheral neuropathy form, (symmetrical) peripheral polyneuropathy, mainly affects the legs and feet.

What symptoms does peripheral neuropathy cause?

Neuropathy’s symptoms depend on which nerves are affected (motor, sensory, or autonomic) and where they are in your body. Possible problems include:

  • Pain (often severe)
  • Loss of muscle bulk
  • Fasciculations (fine muscle twitching)
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Tingling or prickling
  • Abnormal blood pressure or heart rate
  • Reduced perspiration
  • Constipation
  • Incontinence
  • Sexual dysfunction

Neuropathy can affect one or a combination of nerve types. Longer nerves injure more easily than shorter ones, so it’s common for the worst symptoms to be in the legs and feet rather than the hands and arms.

Sometimes a specific condition causes peripheral neuropathy. A typical example is diabetes, which causes diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can also develop following an illness, injury, or surgery. Frequently neuropathy’s cause is idiopathic (unknown).

How is peripheral neuropathy treated?

If it’s possible to identify the underlying cause of your neuropathy, treating the condition or improving disease management is an essential first step. For example, managing your blood sugar levels properly if you have diabetes reduces your risk of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and diabetic ulcers (open sores) that may eventually develop.

Treatments Dr. Gill uses for peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Antiseizure drugs
  • Numbing creams or patches
  • Capsaicin cream to reduce sensitivity

You might require advanced treatments like peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) if conservative approaches don’t work. This involves placing an implant under your skin that sends electrical signals to the nerves causing pain. The signals disrupt communication from your nerves, so your brain doesn’t receive pain signals.  

Call Gill Neuroscience or book an appointment online today if you have peripheral neuropathy symptoms.