Neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy occurs when there is damage to the nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord, which are the peripheral nerves. This condition causes weakness, numbness and pain from the nerve damage, usually in the hands and feet.
Neuropathy can, in some cases, affect other areas of the body and functions such as digestion, urination and circulation. When assessing the patient, it is important to identify the underlying cause of these symptoms.
If your symptoms match the neuropathy ones, read this article to learn more about how peripheral neuropathy affects elderly people and how it can be treated.
What does neuropathy cause in elderly people?
In the elderly population, over 70 years of age, 3 out of 10 patients experience neuropathic pain. This is a type of chronic pain that generally lasts for at least three months and that includes different symptoms depending on each patient. There are two main symptoms that need to be addressed in neuropathic pain:
- Allodynia, which is the perception of a harmless stimulus as painful
- Hyperalgesia, the increase in painful perception of a painful stimulus.
At the same time, other factors may be triggering this condition, such as trauma, a recent acute issue, a recent treatment or pre-existing pathologies that can cause nerve tissue damage.
Many elderly patients may feel that their pain is related to their age and avoid going to the doctor for that reason, which has, as a consequence, the suffering from this pain for a long period of time. Assessing your symptoms is important as it can help reach the root of the pain and relieve it.
What conditions are associated with neuropathy?
As we have mentioned before, in many cases of neuropathy there is an underlying condition that is affecting the patients. One of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, especially in the elderly. Let’s go over other pathologies that can cause this condition:
- Physical injuries or trauma
- Vascular and blood problems
- Autoimmune conditions that attack nerves
- Hormonal imbalances
- Infections that can attack nerve tissues
Nevertheless, there isn’t always an underlying cause of neuropathy, and some patients may suffer from this condition with an identified cause. This is called “idiopathic neuropathy” and the treatments that follow the diagnosis will depend on the type of pain that the patient is experiencing.
At Greater Houston and Greater Victoria Interventional Pain Management we understand that undiagnosed conditions can bring consequences that affect people’s lives, which is why we strive to assess, diagnose and treat different conditions with the best personalized attention, so that our patients can go back to their everyday lives.
How to treat neuropathy
There isn’t a single specific treatment for relieving neuropathy associated symptoms. The doctor will determine the type of treatment and therapy depending on the type of nerve damage, symptoms and if there’s an underlying cause. By addressing the neuropathy causes, you can receive the best treatment and relieve pain.
Some of the treatments include medication, antidepressants and different therapies. If you schedule an appointment at our nearest clinic, one of our professionals will identify your symptoms, see the root of the pain and deliver the right treatment for you. Greater Houston and Greater Victoria Interventional Pain Management provides neuropathy treatments for adults and elderly people. Contact us today.