May 5th thru the 12th is National Neuropathy Awareness Week. Neuropathy is a chronic condition that affects millions of people in America. While there is no cure for neuropathy, there are ways to manage the pain associated with it.
Many groups including the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy and the American Health Council help patients dealing with pain find additional resources such as mental health guides for managing pain. As well as garnering support for research funding to learn more about peripheral neuropathy. So this Neuropathy Awareness week, take time to learn more about this condition and how it can affect the body.
Neuropathy is a chronic condition. It’s estimated that 7-10% of people have neuropathic pain. In many cases neuropathy and back pain are related.Pain from compressed or impinged nerves can result in a person experiencing neuropathy. For example a pinched nerve in the back can cause pain. Neuropathy can originate from lumbar radiculopathy, sciatica, or failed back surgery syndrome. Conditions such as diabetes and CRPS are also common sources of neuropathy.
Neuropathic pain is different from other types of pain. Unlike injuries like a broken bone, neuropathic pain originates in the nerves themselves. In many cases, neuropathy begins after nerves become damaged or dysfunctional due to an injury or trauma. The damaged nerves send faulty pain signals even if the injury has healed.
Seeing a physician early on for treatment is important, so symptoms can be addressed sooner. Prolonged experiences of chronic pain, can lead to changes of the central nervous system. Delaying treatment can increase the likelihood of other health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia.