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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects nerves in your arms, legs, hands, or feet. It also may affect your organs, such as your lungs, stomach, bladder, or genitals. Peripheral neuropathy can affect the nerves that allow you to move or to feel objects. It also may affect nerves that control your body functions, such as digestion or urination. This condition may go away on its own, or you may always have it.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You cannot walk at all.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You fall.
Call your doctor or neurologist if:
- Your pain is severe.
- You cannot control your bladder.
- You have trouble having sex.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Antidepressants also help decrease pain.
- Antiseizure medicine also helps with nerve pain.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Manage peripheral neuropathy:
- Go to physical or occupational therapy as directed. Physical and occupational therapists may help you exercise your arms, legs, and hands. They may teach you new ways to do things at home.
- Wear a brace or splint, if directed. You may need a device that supports or holds a body part still. For example, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you may need to wear a wrist brace.
- Prevent falls. Move with care and stand up slowly. Wear shoes that support your feet, and do not go barefoot. Ask about walking aids, such as a cane or walker. You may want to install railings or nonslip pads in your home, especially in the bathroom. Ask for more information on how to avoid falls.
- Check your skin daily. Sores can form where your skin makes contact with chairs, beds, or other body parts. They also can form under splints. Keep your skin clean, and check your skin daily for sores.
- Exercise as directed. Ask about the best exercise plan for you. Physical activity may increase your balance and strength and may decrease your pain. It is best to start exercising slowly and do more as you get stronger.
Follow up with your doctor or neurologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Learn more about Peripheral Neuropathy (Aftercare Instructions)
IBM Watson Micromedex
Mayo Clinic Reference
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