Peripheral Neuropathy

John S. Michels, MD -  - Interventional Pain Management

John S. Michels, MD

Interventional Pain Management located in Dallas, TX

Peripheral neuropathy affects so many different nerves that you can have symptoms ranging from muscle weakness to heart arrhythmias. But when you develop pain due to peripheral neuropathy, chances are you need more than the standard medications. John S. Michels, MD, of Interventional Spine & Pain in Dallas offers highly specialized interventional treatments that stop the pain at the source of the problem: the nerves transmitting the pain messages. To learn more, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Peripheral Neuropathy Q & A

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Neuropathy refers to nerves that can’t work properly because they’re injured or diseased. Your peripheral nerves include:

  • Motor nerves, which run from the brain to your body and control conscious muscle movement
  • Sensory nerves, which run from your body to your brain and deliver sensory information
  • Autonomic nerves, which control essential body processes such as your blood pressure, heart, digestion, and metabolism

Peripheral neuropathy may affect one, two, or all three types of nerves, which determines the type of symptoms you’ll experience.

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

Diabetes causes about 30% of peripheral neuropathies. When blood glucose remains at levels that are higher than normal, it gradually damages small nerves throughout your body.

This list isn’t comprehensive, but these are a few causes of peripheral neuropathy beyond diabetes:

  • Injury or pressure on the nerve
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Kidney disease
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Blood vessel disease

You can also develop neuropathy from chemotherapy medications and genetic disorders.

What symptoms develop due to peripheral neuropathy?

The symptoms you develop depend on the type of nerve that’s damaged:

  • Motor nerve damage: Muscle weakness, cramps, muscle atrophy
  • Sensory nerve damage: Pain, tingling, numbness, and sensitivity to touch
  • Autonomic nerve damage: Excessive sweating, irregular heartbeat, and dizziness

Keep in mind that these are only a few examples of the many possible symptoms.

How is peripheral neuropathy treated?

Several prescription medications are used to treat the chronic pain of peripheral neuropathy. However, they’re not always effective and they often cause side effects.

Dr. Michels offers another option, interventional procedures. These treatments are effective because they directly target the affected nerves.

Interventional treatments provided by Dr. Michels include:

Epidural steroid injection

Steroids and a local anesthetic are injected near the targeted nerves in the epidural space alongside the spinal cord. Anesthetics quickly relieve your pain by blocking nerve signals, while steroids reduce inflammation.

Spinal cord stimulation

Dr. Michels uses several different devices for spinal cord stimulation. These devices emit mild electrical impulses at the targeted nerves to block or mask pain signals traveling through the nerves to your brain.

Dorsal root ganglion stimulation therapy

This is similar to spinal cord stimulation except that the electrical impulses target a structure called the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). The DRG is a bundle of sensory nerves within the epidural space. Individual nerves from a specific part of your body meet at the DRG. By targeting the DRG, pain relief is achieved in a broader area.

If you struggle with peripheral neuropathy, call Interventional Spine & Pain or book an appointment online today.