types of neuropathy

There are various types of neuropathy depending on what nerves are damaged, compressed or defective. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common, but there is also proximal, cranial, autonomic and focal neuropathy. Your symptoms can stem from one nerve being affected (mononeuropathy), all your nerves (poly) or two nerves being damaged (multiple mononeuropathy). Learn about the various types of neuropathy, how they affect you and how you can treat them at Spine Correction Center of the Rockies.

Common Types of Neuropathy

An estimated 20 million people in the United States have some form of neuropathy. As we mentioned, there are five main categories to consider. Common types of neuropathy are broken down for you below:

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy is the most common form of neuropathy in patients.  This condition results from damage to the peripheral nervous system — the massive communications network that manages information between the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to every other part of your body.  This particular nerve damage affects areas such as your toes, feet, legs, fingers, hands and arms. Many patients find that complementary and alternative therapies are effective in managing pain caused by peripheral neuropathy.

Proximal Neuropathy

Proximal Neuropathy is the second most common form of neuropathy. This form of neuropathy encompasses nerve damage in your thighs, hips or gluteal areas of your body. The condition usually affects one side of the body, but can spread to the other side as well.

Cranial Neuropathy

Cranial Neuropathy is a condition describing nerve damage to any of the 12 cranial nerves. The cranial nerves are those that travel from your brain or brainstem. These nerves affect areas like the face and eyes. Johns Hopkins’ medical library breaks down the the different types of cranial neuropathies as:

  • Bell’s palsy. This condition occurs when the facial nerve (seventh cranial nerve) is affected.
  • Microvascular cranial nerve palsy. This condition affects the nerves in the eye. It is most common in people who have diabetes and in those who have high blood pressure.
  • Third nerve palsy. This condition affects the third cranial nerve. This nerve helps manage a muscle that controls eye movement.
  • Fourth nerve palsy. This is also called superior oblique palsy. It affects the superior oblique muscle, which helps you converge your eyes (to look at the tip of your nose).
  • Sixth nerve palsy. This is also called cranial nerve VI or abducens palsy. It affects the sixth cranial nerve, which also helps control eye movement.
  • Multiple cranial neuropathies (MCN). If several different cranial nerves are affected, it is referred to as multiple cranial neuropathies.

Autonomic Neuropathy

Autonomic Neuropathy occurs when nerves of your involuntary nervous system (the heart, circulation, digestion, sweat glands, bowel and/or bladder, and sexual organs) are damaged. While diabetes is the most common cause of autonomic neuropathy, other health conditions or infections can also trigger autonomic neuropathy symptoms. Some medications have been shown to cause this particular kind of nerve damage as well.

Focal Neuropathy

One of the less common forms of neuropathy, Focal Neuropathy, sometimes referred to as mononeuropathy, affects a single nerve–commonly, those of the wrist, thigh, or foot, although it can sometimes affect the nerves of the back and chest, as well as those that control the eye muscles. Diabetes is often the root cause of this form of neuropathy.

Common Causes of Neuropathy

When it comes to identifying the cause of your neuropathy symptoms, a thorough evaluation is essential. Neuropathy may be caused by:

  • Structural abnormalities in the spinal vertebrae or bones and joints that may exert compression or alter the normal pathway of certain nerves
  • Traumas, injuries or compression exerted by tumors on the nerves
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals and metals
  • Genetic disorders
  • Virus or bacterial infections
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Severe vitamin or mineral deficiencies caused by a poor diet or malnutrition
  • Endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism, may also cause damage to the nerves

To diagnose your particular symptoms, and to get to the root of your problem, involve a specialist at Spine Correction Center of the Rockies. Not only can a specialist uncover the cause of your symptoms, but they can also prescribe targeted treatment options to restore function and eliminate pain.

What to Do About Your Neuropathy Symptoms

Don’t be tempted to mask your symptoms with narcotics or over-the-counter medications.  The only correct way to treat neuropathy is to identify the underlying cause and address the abnormality. Controlling blood sugar levels, treating alcohol abuse, improving one’s nutrition, treating or managing autoimmune diseases, correcting the spinal, muscle or bone structural abnormalities through non-invasive, chiropractic therapies are some of the solid treatment strategies that need to be implemented in individual cases depending on the cause of neuropathy.

Combat Your Neuropathy Symptoms Today with a Free Consultation

If you are a victim of the pain and dysfunction neuropathy can cause, don’t postpone getting help from a specialist in the field! Spine Correction Center of the Rockies offers you expertly-trained chiropractors and medical personnel, prepared to diagnose the cause of your neuropathy and plan individual treatment strategy for your needs. We offer non-invasive, drug-free therapies, correction of the underlying medical problem and professional nutritional and lifestyle advice. Call now for a FREE Consultation, (970) 658-5115.