What Are the Stages of Peripheral Neuropathy?

About the Effects of Nerve Damage

Peripheral neuropathy is caused by the damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, otherwise known as the peripheral nerves. The peripheral nervous system sends signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body, which is the cause of the unpleasant symptoms individuals experience. Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by:

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Infections
  • Metabolic problems
  • Vascular and blood problems
  • Systemic autoimmune diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases that attack the nerves
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney and liver disorders
  • Nutritional or vitamin imbalances
  • Certain cancers and benign tumors
  • Chemotherapy drugs

Similar to many conditions, peripheral neuropathy tends to worsen over time. However, the same symptoms can be recognized in each of the stages. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of each stage is the best way to ensure that you receive treatment as soon as possible and as effectively as possible. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:

Stage One: Numbness and Tingling

At the beginning of the first stage of peripheral neuropathy, patients often report recurrent numbness in the feet, arms, legs, and hands. At first, the symptoms may be subtle and only appear every few weeks. Some cases might be so minor in the beginning that patients only experience symptoms every few months. Your reflexes and balance might suffer during this time as well. If the root cause of your particular case is diabetes, treating peripheral neuropathy at this stage is often as simple as cutting back on certain sugars.

Stage Two: Continuous Pain

If the condition is not treated in the first stage and continues to progress, patients tend to experience symptoms more regularly and severely. Increased frequency is the telltale sign that the condition has progressed to stage two. Symptoms at this stage are also more difficult to ignore. This is usually the point when patients begin to realize there is a problem and seek medical care. Blood sugar issues are also elevated during this stage. However, peripheral neuropathy is likely still able to be reversed at this stage.

Stage Three: Peak Pain Levels

By stage three of peripheral neuropathy, an individual is typically experiencing a moderate to high amount of pain daily or almost daily. The pain tends to negatively interfere with their lives, and they are usually suffering from the symptoms of nerve damage at this point. During this stage, your nerves do not communicate as effectively with your brain, and you might begin to be unable to see the damage that your feet experiences, like cuts and blisters that can develop unto ulcers. If a patient has not received treatment at this point, some of the damage might be permanent.

Stage Four: Numbness

Pain levels at this stage tend to lessen because the nerves are becoming less effective. The small fibers have been swept away and the large fibers are starting to become fully damaged as well, so patients are less apt to feel the pain. This lack of feeling, or numbness, can make it more difficult to walk and balance properly. This stage is especially complicated for patients with diabetes, and they are likely to develop retinopathy or kidney failure. At this stage, it is likely that some of the damage will be permanent, but treatment can make improvement possible.

Stage Five: Losing Feeling

During stage five of peripheral neuropathy, patients have lost feeling in their lower legs and feet. The patient’s link to the brain is severed at this point. The risk of ulceration, amputation, and complications of that sort are also high. Patients tend to feel unsteady most of the time at this stage, and they might have to use a wheelchair.

What Is the Best Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy?

At ReGen Medical Dallas, we treat peripheral neuropathy using High Intensity Laser Therapy alongside Acoustic Soundwaves. These treatments work to treat symptoms common to nerve damage in the extremities, including numbness, tingling, burning sensations, and weakness. We also offer Whole Body Vibration Therapy, which has been shown to significantly improve pain levels and walking patterns, also known as gait patterns, in patients.

The main priority of ReGen Medical Dallas is to do what is best for our patients and get them on the path towards healing. We’re committed to helping the body heal itself, and our non-invasive, cost-effective technological solutions work to reawaken the body’s natural healing process. Our therapies will help the body to repair nerve damage and circulation issues that are closely associated with conditions like peripheral neuropathy. If you are experiencing the symptoms above and you want to avoid risky surgery, painful injections, and expensive medications, our team can help.

To learn more about our peripheral neuropathy treatments, call us at (214) 855-7750 or contact us online.