Examination

This is the first line of examination. From this exam we will be able to tell if further testing is needed.

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Examination

Conduction Study

The nerve conduction study will tell us whether the nerve is healthy or unhealthy.

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Conduction Study

Diagnostic Ultrasound

Diagnostic ultrasound allows us to look for nerve atrophy.

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Diagnostic Ultrasound

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is not a single disease. It is a general term for a series of disorders that result from damage to the body’s peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system sends messages from the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of the body: the arms and hands, legs and feet, internal organs, joints and even the mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and skin. Peripheral nerves also relay information back to the spinal cord and brain from the skin, joints, and other organs. Peripheral neuropathy occurs when these nerves are damaged or destroyed, resulting in loss of sensation, pain, or inability to control muscles.

There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy, including diabetes, hereditary disorders, inflammation, infections or autoimmune diseases, protein abnormalities, compression or physical trauma, exposure to toxic chemicals, poor nutrition, kidney failure, chronic alcoholism, and certain medications – especially those used to treat cancer and HIV/AIDS. In some cases, however, even with extensive evaluation, the cause of a person’s peripheral neuropathy remains unknown – this is called idiopathic neuropathy.

What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy usually starts with numbness, prickling or tingling in the toes or fingers. It may spread up to the feet or hands and cause burning, freezing, throbbing and/or shooting pain that is often worse at night. The pain can be either constant or periodic, but usually the pain is felt equally on both sides of the body-in both hands or in both feet. Some types of peripheral neuropathy develop suddenly, while others progress more slowly over many years.

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy often include:

A sensation of wearing an invisible “glove” or “sock”
Burning sensation or freezing pain
Sharp, jabbing or electric-like pain
Extreme sensitivity to touch
Difficulty sleeping because of feet and leg pain
Loss of balance and coordination
Muscle weakness
Difficulty walking or moving the arms
Unusual sweating
Abnormalities in blood pressure or pulse
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may depend on which of the three types of peripheral nerves (motor, sensory and autonomic) have been damaged. Some neuropathies affect all three types of nerves, while others involve only one or two.

Motor nerves send impulses from the brain and spinal cord to all of the muscles in the body. This permits people to do activities like walking, catching a baseball, or moving the fingers to pick something up. Motor nerve damage can lead to muscle weakness, difficulty walking or moving the arms, cramps, and spasms.

Sensory nerves send messages in the other direction-from the muscles back to the spinal cord and the brain. Special sensors in the skin and deep inside the body help people identify if an object is sharp, rough, or smooth, if it’s hot or cold, or if a body part is still or in motion. Sensory nerve damage often results in tingling, numbness, pain, and extreme sensitivity to touch.

Autonomic nerves control involuntary or semi-voluntary functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and sweating. When the autonomic nerves are damaged, a person’s heart may beat faster or slower. He or she may get dizzy when standing up, sweat excessively, or have difficulty sweating at all. In addition, autonomic nerve damage may result in difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, problems with urination, abnormal pupil size, and sexual dysfunction.

How can I schedule an appointment at the Georgia Neuropathy Center? Do I need a referral from my physician?

Patients may contact the Georgia Neuropathy Center for an appointment either on their own or through the referral of their physician. To schedule an appointment and receive a FREE phone consultation call 770-745-8855.

Will my insurance or healthcare plan cover the costs?

We accept Medicare and most private insurance plans. For questions regarding which insurance plans are accepted call 770-745-8855.
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