What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition resulting from damage to the peripheral nervous system, which transmits information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. This damage disrupts normal nerve function, causing pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness, primarily in the hands and feet. Various factors, including diabetes, infections, inherited disorders, and exposure to toxins, can lead to peripheral neuropathy.

Possible Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy:

  • Diabetes: The most common cause, especially when blood sugar levels are poorly controlled.
  • Autoimmune Diseases: Such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
  • Infections: Including Lyme disease, shingles, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, and HIV.
  • Hereditary Disorders: Like Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies: Particularly B vitamins, which are crucial for nerve health.
  • Alcoholism: This can lead to poor dietary choices, causing vitamin deficiencies.
  • Exposure to Toxins: This includes heavy metals and medications like chemotherapy drugs.
  • Trauma or Pressure on Nerves: From accidents, surgery, or repetitive motions.
  • Other Diseases: Including kidney disorders, liver diseases, and hypothyroidism.
  • Idiopathic: In some cases, the cause remains unknown despite thorough investigation.

Common Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy:

  • Numbness, prickling, or tingling in extremities
  • Sharp, throbbing, or burning pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis (if motor nerves are affected)
  • Lack of coordination and falling
  • Heat intolerance and altered sweating
  • Bowel, bladder, or digestive problems
  • Changes in blood pressure, leading to dizziness or lightheadedness

Types of peripheral neuropathy


Mononeuropathy is a type of neuropathy that affects a single nerve. Mononeuropathy is localized and usually results from direct injury, prolonged pressure, or entrapment of the nerve. Common forms include carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve palsy. Symptoms are typically confined to the specific area served by the affected nerve, causing pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness.


Polyneuropathy is a condition where multiple peripheral nerves malfunction simultaneously. It's often caused by systemic diseases like diabetes or can be idiopathic, meaning its cause is unknown. Polyneuropathy typically leads to symmetric numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands and feet, spreading upwards into the limbs. It can also impair balance, muscle strength, and autonomic functions.

Autonomic Neuropathy

Autonomic neuropathy is a form of peripheral neuropathy that affects the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and sweating. This condition can stem from various causes, including diabetes and other systemic illnesses. Symptoms vary widely, ranging from abnormal heart rate, blood pressure changes, gastrointestinal issues, and bladder dysfunction to sexual dysfunction.

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Treatments for peripheral neuropathy

  • Pulse Wave Therapy: This therapy uses high-frequency sound waves to stimulate the affected area, enhancing blood flow and nerve cell regeneration. It's particularly effective in treating pain and improving mobility in neuropathic conditions.
  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF): PEMF therapy applies electromagnetic waves at various frequencies to stimulate and encourage natural recovery. It's used to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and enhance the repair of damaged tissues, including nerves.
  • Red Light Therapy: This therapy involves exposing the skin to low levels of red or near-infrared light. It works by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, promoting circulation, and stimulating the regeneration of damaged nerves.
  • Whole-Body Vibration: In this therapy, patients stand, sit, or lie on a machine with a vibrating platform. The vibrations activate muscle and nerve fibers, which can improve circulation, reduce pain, and potentially aid in nerve repair.
  • IV Therapy: Intravenous therapy delivers a tailored cocktail of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids directly into the bloodstream. This method can be customized to address deficiencies that impact nerve health, such as B vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Trigenics: Trigenics is a multimodal treatment that combines manual manipulation, resistive exercise, and neurologic stimulation. It aims to reset how the brain communicates with affected areas, relieving pain, and restoring function.
  • PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma): PRP therapy involves extracting the patient's blood, concentrating the platelets, and reinjecting this platelet-rich plasma into the affected area. The growth factors in the platelets promote natural healing and potentially repair nerve tissues.

Why choose Arch Medical Group?

Arch Medical Group is dedicated to helping patients from across Florida achieve and maintain optimal health and wellness. We take a whole-body approach to medicine, ensuring each treatment is personalized according to your unique symptoms and goals after a thorough evaluation. We have been helping patients in St. Pete and across Florida for over 15 years using the safest, latest medical modalities available. Please schedule an appointment to explore your treatment options and overcome chronic conditions like peripheral neuropathy in St. Pete.

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