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Peripheral Neuropathy means damage to the peripheral nerves, most commonly caused by diabetes. It can cause a variety of symptoms that can affect hand function and general mobility. At Liverpool Neuro Physio we recognise the impact this can have on your everyday life and the benefits of physiotherapy in achieving your goals.
Peripheral Neuropathy is the term used to describe damage to the peripheral nerves, which are the nerves that connect your body to the spinal cord and brain. Peripheral nerves control muscles and transmit sensations such as touch, temperature or pain. Peripheral neuropathy is also known as polyneuropathy, which indicates that more than one nerve is usually involved.
The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, as high levels of sugar in the blood can damage the blood supply to the nerves, or even the nerves themselves. Approximately one in five people who have diabetes (type 1 or type 2) will suffer from peripheral neuropathy.
Other conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy include chronic kidney or liver disease, HIV or AIDS, some types of cancer, and it can be a side effect of some specialist medications.
The effects of peripheral neuropathy depend on where and what type of nerves are damaged, but symptoms often first appear in the hands or feet. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can include:
The effects of these symptoms can impact on your everyday function. Weakness or loss of sensation in the feet can cause problems with your mobility and balance, which can lead to an increased risk of falling and sustaining injury. If the hands and arms are affected, this can reduce your hand dexterity and grip strength.
At Liverpool Neuro Physio your specialist neurological physiotherapist will carry out an in-depth initial assessment to determine your strength, flexibility, co-ordination, sensation and balance, identify your main symptoms caused by peripheral neuropathy and discuss with you how they affect your daily living. They will then devise a treatment programme that is specific to your needs and goals.
A physiotherapy programme may include exercises to build muscle strength and tasks to improve balance and co-ordination. Your physiotherapist can assess for any aids or orthotics that can help to improve your mobility and reduce the risk of falling. We work closely with Occupational Therapists and Podiatrists and can help you to access whatever services will best suit your specific needs.
At Liverpool Neuro Physio we understand that it is important to address peripheral neuropathy as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration and subsequent problems. With physiotherapy you can benefit from: