Answers to Common Neuromuscular Health Questions

Premier Physician Network’s doctors answer frequently asked questions about neuromuscular health.

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Dr. Christopher Scheiner discusses peripheral neuropathy. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition people can get when there is damage to the peripheral nervous system, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

With peripheral neuropathy, damage to the peripheral nervous system interferes with messages being sent back and forth between the brain and the spinal cord. Having these important messages interrupted causes problems with muscle movement, according to the NIH.

Talk to your doctor for more information about peripheral neuropathy.

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How is peripheral neuropathy diagnosed?

Dr. Christopher Scheiner discusses how peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

 

Peripheral neuropathy symptoms vary greatly, so doctors will need to do a thorough check – including a detailed medical history and a neurological exam – to find the cause, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

A variety of tests usually are done, according to the NIH, which include:

  • Blood tests
  • Check of the cerebrospinal fluid
  • Evaluations of sensory nerve damage
  • Genetic testing
  • Tests of muscle strength

Depending on the results of these tests, a few other tests might be needed to determine the extent of the neuropathy, according to the NIH. The additional tests could include:

  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Nerve biopsy
  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
  • Skin biopsy

For more information about how peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed, talk with your doctor.

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Who is at risk for developing peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy can be either inherited or acquired, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

Heredity can be one reason someone can develop peripheral neuropathy, according to the NIH.

People who have the following physical injuries, diseases, disorders or exposure to toxins are at higher risk of having acquired peripheral neuropathy, according to the NIH:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Environmental toxins
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • HIV that causes AIDS
  • Industrial toxins
  • Infections
  • Kidney disorders
  • Medication toxicity
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Neuromas
  • Repetitive physical stress
  • Small vessel disease
  • Sudden injury or trauma

Talk to your doctor for more information about who is at risk of developing peripheral neuropathy.

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Does peripheral neuropathy point to any underlying medical issues?

The nerve issues that cause peripheral neuropathy often times are caused by underlying medical issues, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

Some diseases and disorders that can lead to peripheral neuropathy, according to the NIH, include:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Environmental toxins
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • HIV that causes AIDS
  • Industrial toxins
  • Infections
  • Kidney disorders
  • Medication toxicity
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Neuromas
  • Repetitive physical stress
  • Small vessel disease
  • Sudden injury or trauma

Diabetes is a common underlying issue of peripheral neuropathy, according to the American Diabetes Association, between 60 percent and 70 percent of people with diabetes will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy.

Talk to your doctor for more information about underlying medical issues that could point to peripheral neuropathy.

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Thanks to Premier Physician Network doctors for answering these common questions about bone health:

Additional Resources

This website provides general medical information that should be used for informative and educational purposes only. Information found here should not be used as a substitute for the personal, professional medical advice of your physician. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting a physician

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