Experiencing numbness or weakness in your extremities? It could be peripheral neuropathy.
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? Do you notice tingling, loss of sensation, burning pain or weakness in your hands or feet? If so, then it’s important that you turn to a medical professional to prevent this nerve damage from getting worse. Our San Antonio pain management specialist Dr. Pratfulla Singh is here to tell you more about peripheral neuropathy, its symptoms and how it’s treated.
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Neuropathy is caused by damage to the peripheral nervous system, a system that sends signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. This kind of nerve damage can cause pain, as well as a loss of sensation and coordination in certain areas of the body.
What causes this condition?
There are many issues and complications that can lead to peripheral neuropathy. More often than not another health problem is to blame. It’s not uncommon for those with diabetes, autoimmune disorder, HIV/AIDS or kidney failure to develop peripheral neuropathy.
Long-term alcoholism, poor diet, and exposure to certain chemicals can also lead to this neuropathy.
What are the symptoms?
While symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can occur anywhere in the body it most commonly affects the extremities (the legs, feet, arms and hands). Those with peripheral neuropathy may experience:
- Tingling, weakness, burning or shooting pains
- Pain that feels “electric”
- Loss of balance
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of feeling
- Pain that wakes you up at night
- Difficulty moving or walking
How is peripheral neuropathy treated?
While there is no cure for neuropathy the goal of our pain doctors in San Antonio is to reduce pain and other symptoms and to improve your quality of life. You will have to go through a thorough medical evaluation and a battery of tests in order to create a treatment plan that will work best for your needs.
More often than not, certain medications will be prescribed. From prescription painkillers to anti-seizure medications and antidepressants, which can help reduce pain and other neuropathy symptoms, there are a variety of medications that can help get your symptoms under control.
Of course, medications aren’t the only way to manage your neuropathy symptoms. Along with medications, we may also prescribe certain therapeutic procedures and alternative options like physical therapy, rehabilitation, and electrical nerve stimulation. We can also help provide tips on lifestyle modifications you can incorporate into your daily life that may help with your peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy is a serious condition that requires careful monitoring. We also know that it can be painful and symptoms can be difficult to manage. Let the pain management doctors at Pain Specialty Consultants in San Antonio help make living with neuropathy easier.
Could that pain in your back or leg be a symptom of a herniated disc? San Antonio, TX, pain management specialist Dr. Prafulla Singh shares information on common symptoms and explains how herniated discs are diagnosed and treated.
Herniated disc symptoms
Oval discs cushion the space between your vertebrae. Each disc consists of a soft center covered by a tough outer covering. Damage to the disk caused by an injury or even wear and tear over the years may cause the soft center to herniate or push through the outer layer. Herniated nerves can press on nerves and cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Pain in your back, buttocks, legs or arms
- Weakness in legs or arms
- Tingling or burning
Herniated discs don't always cause symptoms. If you do experience pain, you may notice that it's worse at night or after walking, standing or sitting.
How are herniated discs diagnosed?
When you visit our San Antonio office, we'll perform a neurological examination that will test your muscle strength and reflexes. We'll also evaluate your ability to feel vibrations and pinpricks and will ask you to walk a few paces. Information from your examination will help us diagnose a herniated disc, but you may also need one or more tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as X-rays, computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
How are herniated discs treated?
Pain and other symptoms often improve if you use a heating pad throughout the day and strengthen your back muscles with exercises provided by Dr. Singh or a physical therapist. Over-the-counter medications can help control pain caused by a herniated disc.
If these conservative methods aren't helpful, you may benefit from stronger prescription medications, muscle relaxants or cortisone injections to decrease pain and inflammation. If your pain radiates from your back to your legs or buttocks, anti-convulsant medications may be helpful. Anticonvulsants don't just control seizures, but are also effective in controlling radiating pain. Although you probably won't need surgery to remove the herniated part of the disc, it may be recommended if your symptoms don't improve.
There's no need to live with pain from a herniated disc when effective treatment options are available. Call San Antonio, TX, pain management specialist Dr. Prafulla Singh at (210) 527-1166 to schedule your appointment to discuss the best treatment for your symptoms.
Could tingling in your arms and legs be due to spinal stenosis?
Has our San Antonio, TX, pain management specialist, Dr. Prafulla Singh, recently diagnosed you with spinal stenosis? This condition, which often strikes adults as they get older, causes the canals within the spine to become constricted. This, in turn, puts pressure on the spinal cords, which can lead to pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities.
Not sure if you have spinal stenosis? You may be suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis if you have sciatic pain (pain in the legs), leg pain that happens when moving around, or numbness or weakness in either the butt or the legs.
On the other hand, you may be dealing with cervical spinal stenosis if you have any pain, tingling, weakness or numbness in the arms, hands, neck or shoulders. In severe cases, someone with spinal stenosis may not be able to walk or stand, or they may lose bladder control. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you need to visit our San Antonio pain specialist right away.
Symptoms very rarely come about suddenly but usually show up over time. The pain may be constant or you may find that your pain comes and goes. Sometimes pain is more likely to appear during certain physical activities. You may find that lying or sitting down relieves this pain.
How is spinal stenosis treated?
How your spinal stenosis is treated will really depend on the location of the issue and the severity of the problem. In most cases, spinal stenosis will be treated through simple, nonsurgical options such as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or prescription medications, regular exercise, stretching and strengthening exercises, ergonomic lifestyle changes, weight loss, steroid injections, and physical therapy.
Those with severe cases of spinal stenosis, particularly those who have experienced a loss of bladder control or are unable to walk, will require surgery to repair the spine.
If you are dealing with pain, tingling, weakness or numbness anywhere in the body, it’s time you turned to the medical experts at Pain Specialty Consultants in San Antonio, TX for some answers. Book an appointment with us today.
Find out if you’re suffering from a pinched nerve and how visiting us can help.
You have nerves that branch out from the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and send signals to all other areas of your body to tell it what to do. These signals may tell you to take your hand off the stove because it’s hot or it might tell you to wave goodbye to a friend. Of course, if you have a pinched never you may notice pain or a lack of flexibility or range of motion. This is when our San Antonio, TX, pain management specialist, Dr. Prafulla Singh, can step in to help.
What are the symptoms of a pinched nerve?
If you have a pinched nerve you may notice a pins-and-needles sensation in a specific area. You may notice pain that starts in either the neck or back and may also travel to other areas of your body such as the arms or legs. You may notice numbness or weakness as a result of your pinched nerve. You may also find that certain movements exacerbate your symptoms.
How do pinched nerves happen?
In most cases, a pinched nerve happens when it is compressed against tissue and bone, tendons or ligaments. When the nerve is compressed for any extensive amount of time, it can lead to inflammation near the nerve root, which can cause pain.
A pinched nerve can also be a complication of another condition such as neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome or a herniated disc.
How can our pain management specialist help you?
If you suspect that you have a pinched nerve, you should call our San Antonio pain doctor. If you ignore the problem you may just end up facing permanent damage to the nerve. While some patients can avoid certain exacerbating activities to ease their symptoms, your treatment plan will really depend on the severity of your pinched nerve.
We can also recommend certain medications such as prescription-strength pain relievers or more extensive treatments like steroid injections, for serious inflammation caused by your pinched nerve. Physical therapy can also be a great way to stretch out and even strengthen the muscles to protect them from issues in the future.
Are you experiencing pain or other symptoms of a pinched nerve? If so, it’s important that you don’t ignore these symptoms. Call Pain Specialty Consultants in San Antonio, TX, today to help treat the compressions to improve how your body functions.
Has chronic pain affected the quality of your life? San Antonio, TX, pain physician, Dr. Prafulla Singh, shares information on managing chronic pain and discusses several treatment options.
Controlling your pain starts with a conversation about your symptoms and the circumstances that worsen your pain. Pain management isn't a one-size-fits-all-solution. An approach that works for your neighbor won't necessarily be effective in managing your pain. When you visit one of Dr. Singh's San Antonio offices, he'll create a treatment plan based on your diagnosis, symptoms, lifestyle and test results. The focus is on finding the most conservative, yet effective, solution.
Your treatment plan may include massage, behavioral modifications, physical therapy, psychological counseling and other therapies. If those treatments aren't effective, Dr. Singh may recommend other treatments, such as:
Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS): TENS units are worn next to your skin and emit a low-voltage electrical current that blocks pain signals from reaching your brain. If you have pain caused by cancer, fibromyalgia, migraines, disc problems, bursitis, arthritis or conditions that affect your back or neck, you may benefit from TENS treatment.
Epidural Steroid Injections: Steroid injections decrease inflammation and can be helpful in reducing pain, swelling and muscle spasms. They're frequently used to treat back and neck pain.
Lumbar Sympathetic Block: If you have leg pain, you may benefit from a lumbar sympathetic block. Treatment involves injecting an anesthetic into your lower back near the sympathetic nerves using X-ray guidance. Blocks are often used to reduce pain caused by shingles, Raynaud's Phenomenon, phantom pain, pain after surgery or complex regional pain syndrome.
Stellate Ganglion Block: X-ray guidance may also be used if you receive a stellate ganglion block. The injection blocks nerves located in the front of the neck and provides pain relief in the head, face, arms and chest. The treatment may be recommended if you have complex regional pain syndrome, sympathetic dystrophy, a nerve injury or shingles. The block may also be used to control sweating or painful angina symptoms.
Chronic pain doesn't have to take over your life. Call San Antonio, TX, pain physician, Dr. Singh, at (210) 527-1166 to schedule an appointment at one of the following locations: 5101 Medical Dr., 18600 N. Hardy Oak Blvd. or 1200 Brooklyn Ave., Suite 140.
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