Polyneuropathy - sensorimotor
The goals of treatment include:
- Finding the cause
- Controlling the symptoms
- Promoting a patient's self-care and independence
Depending on the cause, treatment may include:
- Changing medications, if they are causing the problem
blood sugar levels
- Not drinking alcohol
- Taking daily nutritional supplements
PROMOTING SELF-CARE AND INDEPENDENCE
- Exercises and retraining to maximize function of the damaged nerves
- Job (vocational) therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Orthopedic treatments
- Physical therapy
- Wheelchairs, braces, or splints
CONTROL OF SYMPTOMS
Safety is an important consideration for people with neuropathy. Lack of muscle control and decreased sensation may increase the risk of falls or other injuries.
If you have movement difficulties, consider the following safety measures:
- Leave lights on.
- Remove obstacles (such as loose rugs that may slip on the floor).
- Test water temperature before bathing.
- Use railings.
- Wear protective shoes (such as those with closed toes and low heels).
- Wear shoes that have non-slippery soles.
Other tips include:
- Check your feet (or other affected area) daily for bruises, open skin areas, or other injuries, which you may not notice and can become infected.
- Check the inside of shoes often for grit or rough spots that may injure your feet.
- Visit a foot doctor (podiatrist) to assess and reduce the risk of injury to your feet.
- Avoid leaning on your elbows, crossing your knees, or being in other positions that put prolonged pressure on certain body areas.
Medications used to treat this condition:
- Over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers to reduce stabbing pain (
- Anticonvulsants (gabapentin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, pregabalin)
- Antidepressants (duloxetine, amitriptyline, desimpramine, nortriptyline, venlafaxine)
- Lotions, creams, or medicated patches
Avoid pain medication whenever possible, or use it only when necessary. Keeping your body in the proper position or keeping bed linens off a tender body part may help control pain.
For additional information and support, see: www.neuropathy.org.
You can fully recover from peripheral neuropathy if your health care provider can find the cause and successfully treat it, and if the damage does not affect the entire nerve cell.
The amount of disability varies. Some people have no disability, while others have a partial or complete loss of movement, function, or feeling. Nerve pain may be uncomfortable and may last for a long time.
Occasionally sensorimotor polyneuropathy causes severe, life-threatening symptoms.
- Injury to feet (caused by bad shoes or hot water when stepping into the bathtub)
- Trouble walking
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you have loss of movement or feeling in a part of your body. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the chance of controlling the symptoms.