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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Peripheral Neuropathy: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System

Peripheral Neuropathy

Alternate Names : Sensorimotor Polyneuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment of peripheral neuropathy varies, depending upon the underlying problem. Following are some examples:

  • avoiding alcohol and smoking
  • controlling blood glucose, for people with diabetes
  • eating a healthy diet, following the food guide pyramid
  • getting physical therapy and occupational therapy if needed
  • undergoing surgery to relieve pressure on a nerve
  • using splints and other devices to relieve pressure on a nerve
  • If an individual has significant pain, medications may be recommended. These include the following:

  • narcotics
  • over-the-counter pain medications
  • tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline or nortriptyline
  • Someone who has peripheral neuropathy is at increased risk for injury. Decreased sensation increases the risk for burns. A person with muscle weakness may fall easily. Following are some measures to prevent injuries.

  • Participate in an exercise program designed to improve balance.
  • Remove throw rugs and any other objects that could cause slips and falls.
  • Test bath water with a thermometer before getting into the tub.
  • Use handrails and tub rails as needed to prevent falls.
  • The person should examine all areas of decreased sensation on a daily basis. Any cuts, bruises, or pressure sores should be reported to the healthcare provider.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Medications used to treat neuropathy may cause stomach upset or allergic reactions. Some can also cause drowsiness, dry mouth, and constipation.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    If the underlying cause is effectively treated, the person may recover some or all of the nerve function. Recovery is slow and complications are common. The person may lose sensation and movement to a part of the body.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Peripheral Neuropathy: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 05/04/01

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