Suffering from numbness or pain on the hand?
It may be a case of Peripheral Neuropathy. It develops when nerves in the body's extremities – such as the hands, feet and arms – are damaged. The symptoms depend on which nerves are affected. Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes. More than 50% of the people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy.
The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that lie outside the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). It includes different types of nerves with their own specific functions, including:
sensory nerves – responsible for transmitting sensations, such as pain
motor nerves – responsible for controlling muscles
autonomic nerves – responsible for regulating automatic functions of the body, such as blood pressure and bladder function
The common signs of peripheral neuropathy may include any of the following. These symptoms are usually constant, but may come and go.
Gradual onset of numbness
Tingling sensation in your feet or hands
Sharp, jabbing, throbbing, freezing or burning pain
Extreme sensitivity to touch
Lack of coordination and falling
Muscle weakness or paralysis if motor nerves are affected
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on the symptoms and underlying cause. Only some of the underlying causes of neuropathy can be treated. For example, if you have diabetes it may help to gain better control of your blood sugar level, stop smoking and cut down on alcohol.
If you or your love ones notice unusual tingling, weakness or pain in your hands or feet. Early diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance for controlling your symptoms and preventing further damage to your peripheral nerves. It is time to visit your neurologist for recommendations.