Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects the central nervous system as a result of damage to nerves in the system. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy depend on the nerve(s) affected. If the sensory nerves are involved, one is likely to experience symptoms including numbness, weakness, and stabbing pain, especially in the extremities (arms and legs). In other cases, one may experience issues related to sensation such as the sense of touch and feel of substances/objects of different temperature. When the motor nerves are affected, a patient may then have symptoms of loss of stability and movement control as well as weakness, and loss of coordination.[1]

Advertisement

What Are The Ways To Prevent Peripheral Neuropathy?

Advertisement

What Are The Ways To Prevent Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is most common in individuals with diabetes, those who have had body injury, as well as in people with conditions associated with overuse of certain parts of the body e.g. muscle overuse. People with cancer are also likely to develop peripheral neuropathy especially as a side effect of treatment administered, chemotherapy or even radiation. Although in some types of peripheral neuropathy symptoms may improve over time, most cases of this condition do not. There are various lifestyle modifications which can help with the prevention of peripheral neuropathy. They may include;

Advertisement

  • Avoiding any activities that may expose your nerves to any risk of injury including repetitive motions that may lead to muscle overuse, and exposure to toxins, as well as smoking and alcohol abuse.
  • Having an exercise schedule which you follow on a regular basis so as to help improve the pain and better control any diseases that may aggravate nerve injuries. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise, three or four times a week.
  • Physical therapy to help reduce the risk of certain types of peripheral neuropathy as well as any complications that may arise with the condition.
  • Adopting a good nutritious diet that comprises of foods rich in protein, antioxidants, and thiamine. Also eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Treating the underlying condition, be it diabetes, cancer, or a nerve degenerating condition. For people with diabetes, they should find ways to regulate their blood sugar level, since high blood sugar levels lead to nerve damage. This is the best way to prevent peripheral neuropathy from occurring, and in case you already have the condition, it helps slow down the progress of the disease.
  • Avoiding extreme temperatures, especially if you have temperature sensitivity problems.
  • Constantly checking on your legs and hands for any injuries, wounds, and cuts, in case of numbness and inability to feel pain. Additionally, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and avoid anything that puts pressure on nerves such as tight shoes and clothes.
  • Put on protective gear whenever necessary. You can use gloves for your hands, and to help with pain, you can use compression socks for your legs.[2] [3] [4] [5]

Does Peripheral Neuropathy Reoccur?

Peripheral neuropathy can either be mononeuropathy, polyneuropathy, or mononeuritis multiplex. Mononeuropathy is when only one nerve is affected, polyneuropathy is when nerves from both sides of the body are affected, and mononeuritis multiplex is when several nerves are affected and there’s inflammation. The prognosis of peripheral neuropathy varies depending on the extent of the condition and the affected nerves. For example, in cases of painful peripheral neuropathy, the pain is constant or recurrent. For diabetic peripheral neuropathy, the pain starts in the extremities then progresses towards the trunk. Neuropathy is very difficult to reverse or rather cure the condition fully. Nevertheless, early diagnosis and treatment help improve the outcome of treatment and control the condition better.[1]

Conclusion

Peripheral neuropathy is a group of conditions that are linked to nerve damage. This could be due to a number of causes including other conditions such as diabetes, and cancer and its treatment. The best way to prevent this condition is by treating the underlying condition so as to reduce the chances of further nerve damage. Other than that, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding any risk factors that can worsen the condition will help in improving it. As for reoccurrence, peripheral neuropathy is hardly cured, since sometimes the damage caused to the nerve(s) is irreversible.

References:  

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

,

Last Modified On: August 17, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Advertisement

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest