So, what is Peripheral Neuropathy?
The name of the condition tells you a bit about what it is:
- Peripheral: Beyond (in this case, beyond both the brain and the spinal cord)
- Neuro-: Related to the nerves
- Pathy: Disease
Peripheral neuropathy refers to the conditions that result when nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord from and to the rest of the body are either damaged or diseased.
The peripheral nerves mnake up an intricate network that connects the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin and internal organs. Peripheral nerves come out of the spinal cord and are arranged along lines in the body referred to as dermatomes. Usually, damage to a nerve will affect one or more dermatomes, which can be tracked to specific areas of the body.
Damage done to these nerves interrupts communication between the brain and different parts of the body and can impair muscle development, prevent normal sensation in the arms and legs, and cause pain.