Some common conditions can masquerade as peripheral neuropathy.
This is a question we get all the time. I wish it were easy to answer.
But it’s not. That is unless of course you are sure you actually have neuropathy!
Some neuropathy treatments when probably applied can be a godsend. They help many patients’ recover, sleep better function better improve mobility strength and even endurance.
Others have no merit at all.
Most drugs only mask symptoms and do little or nothing to improve nerve function.
But one of the problems we are seeing more and more is when patients self diagnose, or are wrongly diagnosed, and then apply treatments which are ineffective.
There are for example some things, which can masquerade as peripheral neuropathy. One of the most common is disc disease of the spine. When spinal disks herniate, or bulge centrally they can irritate your spinal cord and adjacent nerve roots creating symptoms, which mimic those due to other conditions such as diabetes.
Another common condition is spinal stenosis, even when the stenosis (which simply means narrowing) occurs in the neck or cervical spine.
A couple other conditions, which can masquerade as peripheral neuropathy, include RSD, MS or multiple sclerosis, and rarely infections involving the spine or nervous system.
This is why is very important to get an accurate diagnosis FIRST wherever possible. Make sure your clinician has ruled out all possibilities.
Help your neuropathy treatment clinician by revealing all trauma, surgeries, and even medication exposures, even if you think they are not significant.
By doing this, you will be paving the way for more effective neuropathy treatment.
As I tell new clinicians we train on a regular basis, working with peripheral neuropathy patients requires extreme diligence. Often times we find patients have more than one condition existing at the same time.
Unless your neuropathy treatment clinician is a specialist they may overlook or miss these things that maybe related your symptoms.
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