A common complication of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy. At the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia, we offer tailored treatment plans to treat diabetes pain for men and women in Brunswick and Kingsland, GA.
What is Diabetes Pain?
Diabetic neuropathy or diabetes pain is a type of diabetes-related nerve damage brought on by injuries to nerves throughout the body as a result of high blood sugar. This nerve damage usually occurs in the feet and legs. For some people, the pain is mild but for others, it can be disabling.
What Causes Diabetic Neuropathy?
There are four types of diabetic neuropathy and the exact cause can depend on the type. It’s believed that very high blood sugar will attack or damage nerves, and harming their ability to send signals to the brain. High blood sugar may also cause damage to capillaries that supply nerves with nutrients and oxygen. Nerves may become inflamed due to an autoimmune response as well, which happens when the immune system attacks the nerves as if they are a foreign body.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes Pain?
Diabetic neuropathy consists of four main types, each with different symptoms.
Peripheral neuropathy: This is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy, first affecting the legs and feet, then the arms and hands. Signs and symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Ulcers, infections, bone and joint pain, and other serious foot problems
- Increased sensitivity and painfulness to touch
- Cramps and sharp pains
- Loss of coordination and balance
- Numbness or reduced ability to feel temperature changes or pain
- Burning and tingling sensations
Autonomic neuropathy: The heart, stomach, sex organs, eyes, bladder, and intestines are all controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Nerves in these areas can be affected by diabetes, causing:
- Increase in heart rate while resting
- Severe drops in blood pressure after standing or sitting
- Decreased sexual response
- Trouble swallowing
- Increased or decreased sweating
- Trouble controlling body temperature
- Changes in how the eyes adjust from dark to light
- Nausea, vomiting, a loss of appetite, or bloating as a result of gastroparesis
- Bladder problems
- Vaginal dryness or erectile dysfunction
Radiculoplexus neuropathy: This affects the nerves found in the hips, thighs, buttocks, and legs. Also known as femoral neuropathy, diabetic amyotrophy or proximal neuropathy, it is more commonly found in those with Type 2 diabetes. Symptoms are commonly found on only one side of the body, and include:
- Weight loss
- Thigh muscles shrinking and weakening
- Abdominal swelling
- Issues when rising from a siting position
- Severe pain in a hip, thigh, or buttock occurring in a day or more
While symptoms improve over time for most people, they may worsen before they get better.
Mononeuropathy: Also known as focal neuropathy, this is when damage occurs to a specific nerve in the face, torso, or leg. Most commonly found in older adults, mononeuropathy can hit suddenly and cause severe pain. Symptoms will often go away without treatment over a few weeks or months.
Depending on which nerve is involved, pain may be felt in the shin or foot, the front of the thigh, the lower back or the pelvis, or the chest or abdomen. Mononeuropathy has also been known to be the cause of nerve issues in the face and eyes, leading to double vision, aching, paralysis of one side of the face, and difficulty focusing.
How is Diabetic Pain Treated in Brunswick, GA?
At the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia, we offer several treatment options that can give you significant relief from diabetic neuropathy. Treatment options include:
- Sympathetic Nerve Block
- This nerve block injection stops sympathetic nerves that are responsible for diabetic neuropathy to deliver almost immediate relief.
- Stem Cell Therapy
- Research has found stem cell therapy can be effective in treating diabetic nerve pain by migrating to the site of the injury to promote repair of injured nerves.
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- Rhizotomy or radiofrequency ablation can treat diabetes pain by using RF energy to cause lesions on nerves and destroy nerve endings to stop the transmission of pain signals.
Diabetic neuropathy can be life-altering, with pain that makes it difficult to work or even perform daily tasks. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to develop a tailored treatment plan to finally give you relief from diabetes pain. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia serves patients in Kingsland and Brunswick, GA.