What is neuropathy and what treatments are available?

Areas include Salisbury, Southampton, Bournemouth, Dorchester, Yeovil, Bath and Bristol.


Peripheral neuropathy means that there are changes in the peripheral nervous system, which are the nerves that carry messages from the spinal cord to the muscles, and back from the skin. It can be a condition in itself, or a symptom of another disease. Some diseases that can cause a peripheral neuropathy are diabetes, HIV or nutritional deficits. If you have been given a diagnosis of idiopathic neuropathy, this means that you will have been investigated for other conditions, and no cause has been found. This is the case most of the time.


If the nerves taking messages to the muscles are affected, then it will be called a motor neuropathy, and weakness or paralysis will be the main effect. If the nerves bringing messages back from the skin are affected, then it will be called a sensory neuropathy, and altered sensation or pain may be the main effect. If both types of nerves are affected, then there will be both weakness and changed sensation. There may also be reduced balance, poor walking and in-coordination.


Whilst there is no cure for most neuropathies, physiotherapy can help with management of the condition. Balance can be improved, walking can be helped to be better, and advice given on pain management and care of the arm or leg.