Could the numbness-type pain I feel be neuropathy? Desert Pain Specialists talks causes, treatments

Stock image of a woman experiencing the pain of neuropathy | Image by SIphotography from iStock/Getty Images, St. George News

FEATURE — People who experience the burning pain of neuropathy know how the condition can slow them down and diminish their quality of life. But for patients who suffer from neuropathic pain, there are treatment options available.

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy describes a disturbance of nerve function or structure. It is commonly described as burning, tingling, and even a numbness-type pain. Some other descriptions of a neuropathy include shooting or lancinating pain which occurs without a known cause or trigger. Another way that a neuropathy is sensed is when even a light touch is perceived as burning or an otherwise unpleasant sensation.

Causes and treatment options

There are many causes of painful peripheral neuropathy, but the most common cause is due to diabetes. Other causes include chemotherapy, alcoholism, and low thyroid function.

When a patient suspects that they may have neuropathy, the most valuable information for the doctor is the patient’s history of how the pain began, what it feels like and the pattern of where and how the patient is affected. A physical exam with special attention to the sensory examination will help to further evaluate, and if there is still a question as to the cause of the neuropathy, a special test called an electromyography/nerve conduction velocity, or EMG/NCV, may be ordered.

If a patient suffers from neuropathic pain, there are options.

The treatment of neuropathic pain typically involves the use of a variety of medications that are not opioids, including antidepressants and anti-convulsants. Another alternative for treatment of painful peripheral neuropathy is spinal cord stimulation. Along with the different types of oral medications, a pain specialist can evaluate a patient to see if they are a candidate for spinal cord stimulator therapy – a minimally invasive option which replaces the painful sensation of peripheral neuropathy with a pleasant sensation.

If you suspect that you are suffering from neuropathy, call the Desert Pain Specialists at telephone 435-216-7000 for a consultation.

About Desert Pain Specialists

Desert Pain Specialists is Southern Utah’s premier interventional pain management team. Dr. Court Empey, Dr. Spencer Wells and Dr. Ryan Workman (Cedar City) are fellowship trained interventional pain medicine specialists. The doctors and the entire staff at Desert Pain Specialists are dedicated to helping patients find relief from their pain.

Desert Pain Specialists is located in the Coral Desert Health Center, 1490 Foremaster Drive, Suite 220 in St. George. The team has additional offices in Cedar City – 1760 N. Main St.- and Mesquite, Nevada – 340 Falcon Ridge Parkway, Suite 600.

Written by DR. SPENCER WELLS.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T  •

Resources

Desert Pain Specialists | Telephone: 435-216-7000 | Email: contact@desertpainspecialists.com | Website.

  • In St. George: 1490 E. Foremaster Drive, Suite 220.
  • In Cedar City: 1760 N. Main St.
  • In Mesquite, Nevada: 340 Falcon Ridge Parkway, Suite 600.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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