Peripheral Neuropathy: What Is Nerve Pain?

Peripheral neuropathy is a symptom rather than a disease in itself. It occurs when nerves are damaged, resulting in pain and loss of functions like motor movement or the sense of touch. Peripheral neuropathy commonly develops in the longest nerves first, affecting the toes and feet. At Greater Austin Pain Center, we understand that correcting the underlying causes of peripheral neuropathy can help resolve symptoms. Physical/occupational therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes may be recommended as well.

Your brain and the rest of your nervous system constantly exchange messages about your body. Some of these nerve pathways have specific tasks. Motor nerves transmit signals about muscle movements, while sensory nerves send signals about sensations of heat, cold, and pain. Functions like blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, and body temperature are automatically controlled by your autonomic nervous system.

Peripheral neuropathy typically begins in the ends of the longest nerves, such as the sensory nerves in the toes and feet. However, peripheral neuropathy can affect other nervous systems, and the symptoms will depend on what functions the nerves control. For example, if the autonomic nervous system is involved, bowel and bladder problems may be present.

Causes

  • Damage to nerves or nerve groups, usually inflicted by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Diseases of the kidney, liver, thyroid, and connective tissues
  • Viral/bacterial infections
  • Trauma/pressure on nerves

Symptoms

In affected nerve groups:

  • Sharp, burning pain
  • Tingling or numb sensation
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis

Treatments

  • Review of medical history
  • Blood tests
  • Neurological exam
  • Medication
  • Therapy
  • Lifestyle changes

Nerve Pain Treatment in Austin, Kyle, Dripping Springs

There are many ways to treat and manage peripheral neuropathy. The treatment that you receive at Greater Austin Pain Center depends on many factors, such as its severity, underlying cause, and the nerve groups that are involved. For some people, treatment of the underlying cause results in improvement of symptoms.

Several types of medications or combinations of medications may be recommended. Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and local anesthetic patches may be prescribed.

Physical and occupational therapy may help improve muscle strength, coordination, and range of motion. Your therapists may recommend braces or splints to position your joints. They may also use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to deliver a small electrical current to nerves, helping to relieve pain.

Lifestyle changes can help peripheral neuropathy. For those with pain in the feet and lower legs, examine your feet regularly and report any changes to your doctor. You may need to look into changing your footwear. Exercising regularly, eating healthy, and abstaining from nicotine and alcohol will significantly improve your odds of success in nerve pain management.

Woman at elevators in front of San Antonio Eye Specialists sign.

Am I At Risk?

Get to know the common risk factors tied to peripheral neuropathy:

  • Trauma
  • Compressed nerves
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Diseases that affect the kidney, liver, thyroid, or connective tissues
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Viral or bacterial infections, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Chemotherapy
  • Exposure to toxins or poisons

Greater Austin Pain Center can help you deal with neuropathic pain. If you are experiencing nerve pain as a result of another medical condition, please contact us today. We can help you with treatments and pain management techniques that can significantly increase your quality of life.

Testimonials

"I am so relieved I could cry! Finally a pain specialist who listens, cares, and wants to help! Dr. Alan Silberberg has given me so much hope! As someone who has seen pain specialists for decades in different states, this is where you want to come. You NEED him in your life! My only regret is not coming in sooner."

Sarah Jean C.

"The staff is very friendly and I was seen on time. The intake process was seamless and efficient. Dr. Jarzombeck is always very kind and thorough in her explanations. These folks are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend Greater Austin Pain Center and Dr. Jarzombeck!"

Kim D.

"Everyone is always very nice and courteous. Dr. Julia is amazing! He is friendly, kind and caring and so easy to talk with.  All the office staff I have had contact with has always been courteous and kind as well. Would highly recommend coming here!"

Lesley C.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes neck pain?

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Neck pain is often caused by tightness in the neck muscles. It can also be a result of injury, aging, or degenerative diseases.

What are the symptoms of neck pain?

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Symptoms of neck pain will vary from patient to patient. However, neck pain can typically be identified by a discomfort or stiffness in the neck or the surrounding area. Additional symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.

How do I treat neck pain?

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At Greater Austin Pain Center, we offer a wide range of treatment options for individuals with neck pain, such as nerve blocks and steroid injections. Schedule an appointment at one of our three Central Texas offices to discuss treatment options and start managing your pain today.

Lunch & Learn With Our Doctors

Curious about Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation? Join our doctors for an in-person lunch and learn session to find out more about these treatments and ask any questions you may have. This event will be 12–1pm, sign up below to receive more details and RSVP.

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Treat Your Nerve Pain at Greater Austin Pain Center

If you’re experiencing nerve pain and discomfort in Austin, TX, reach out to the Greater Austin Pain Center. Our pain specialists have experience in treating nerve pain, and we’re ready to help provide you relief from your symptoms. For nerve pain treatment in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas, choose the experts at Greater Austin Pain Center.

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