Neuropathy Specialist

Pain Instacare

Pain Management & Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation located in Cherry Hill, NJ & Philadelphia, PA

Neuropathy, or nerve damage, affects between 25-30% of the American population. Though it can occur at any age, it’s especially common in people who are 50 or older. At Pain Instacare, double board-certified pain management physician Rajan Gupta, MD, uses minimally invasive interventional pain management techniques, including nerve blocks, to provide lasting relief. To schedule an appointment at the office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, call to speak with an administrative staff member, or click the online booking tool.

Neuropathy Q & A

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a chronic condition characterized by nerve damage or dysfunction. It typically starts in the hands or feet and spreads to other parts of the body over time. 

Neuropathy affects your nerve cells’ ability to function. As the condition progresses, it triggers a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that can affect your mobility and quality of life.

What are the symptoms of neuropathy?

Common symptoms of neuropathy include:

  • “Pins and needles” sensations
  • Sharp, burning, throbbing, or shock-like pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Weight loss

As the condition worsens, you might also experience bladder, bowel, or sexual dysfunction.

What causes neuropathy?

Neuropathy occurs for various reasons. Some of the most common causes include:

Diabetes

Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect your body’s ability to process and utilize blood sugar. If your blood sugar levels are consistently too high, permanent nerve damage follows. Researchers estimate that about 70% of individuals with diabetes develop neuropathy.

Trauma

Slip-and-falls, crush injuries, and automobile accidents, can compress or place undue stress on your nerves, resulting in permanent nerve damage.

Autoimmune disorders

Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis cause your body’s immune system to attack and destroy your nerve tissue. Fortunately, it’s possible to prevent further damage with early intervention and treatment.

How is neuropathy diagnosed?

To diagnose neuropathy, Dr. Gupta asks about your symptoms and reviews your medical history. Afterward, he conducts a neurological exam. To do this, he tests your reflexes, coordination, and balance, as well as your muscle tone. 

If necessary, Dr. Gupta might also order additional tests like lab work or diagnostic imaging. Blood tests can reveal vitamin or nutrient deficiencies, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect pinched nerves, tumors, or nerve compression.

How is neuropathy treated?

To effectively treat neuropathy, it’s important to identify and manage the underlying cause. For example, if you have diabetes, you need to monitor your blood sugar levels daily and participate in insulin therapy.

To relieve neuropathy-related pain, Dr. Gupta offers minimally invasive interventional pain management techniques like nerve blocks. Nerve blocks contain a solution of local anesthetic and pain-relieving medication. Once the nerve block enters your body, it stops pain signals from reaching your brain.

There are several types of nerve blocks, including occipital nerve blocks, sympathetic nerve blocks, facet joint blocks, and stellate ganglion blocks. The type that will most benefit you depends on your age, health history, and the underlying cause of neuropathy.

To further explore treatment for neuropathy, make an appointment at Pain Instacare. Call the nearest office to speak with an administrative staff member, or click the online booking tool.