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Neuropathy

What is Neuropathy?

It is a group of nerve conditions that can lead to pain, numbness or tingling in one or more parts of the body. There are six main types of neuropathy:

  • Autonomic neuropathy- occurs when there is damage to the nerves that control the body’s automatic functions, such as digestion, blood pressure and bladder function.
  • Diabetic neuropathy – this is caused by diabetes and most commonly affects the nerves of the hands and the feet.
  • Peripheral neuropathy – this affects nerves of the feet, legs, hands and arms.
  • Proximal neuropathy – this affects the muscles of the hips and the shoulders.
  • Focal or mononeuropathy – this affects only one nerve like in carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Polyneuropathy – this affects several nerves.

Can physiotherapy help people with neuropathy?

Yes. Physiotherapy is effective in the management of neuropathy to improve the quality of life of people living with neuropathy.

What causes neuropathy?

  • Diabetes

  • Chemotherapy

  • Age

  • HIV/AIDS

  • Auto-immune diseases and disorders

  • Infections

  • Vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition and alcohol abuse

  • Toxins

  • Trauma, repetitive stress and inflammation

  • Idiopathic causes (unknown)

  • Genetics

  • Surgery

What are the symptoms of neuropathy?

  • Pain, which is often worse at night

  • Numbness

  • Muscle weakness

  • Burning sensation

  • Tingling or pins and needles sensation

  • Increased sensitivity to touch

  • Muscle wasting

  • Problems with urination

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Balance impairments

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