Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and type of neuropathy. For example, in diabetic neuropathy, treatment will be directed at achieving good blood sugar control to prevent further nerve damage. Symptomatic relief for neuropathic pain can usually be achieved by medications, such as amitriptyline and gabapentin.
Immune-mediated neuropathies are treated with either intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) or steroids. IVIG is pooled donor plasma which contains normal antibodies that can temporarily counteract the abnormal ones in the body. Steroids will help to suppress an abnormal immune response that attacks the nerve.
Surgical decompression may benefit those with entrapment neuropathy, such as CTS.
Living with the condition
In most patients, symptoms and functional impairment can be managed effectively and normal life expectancy is expected unless there is a co-existent systemic disease.
One should adopt a healthy lifestyle so as to encourage nerve regeneration. Active and passive forms of exercise can improve muscle strength and prevent muscle wasting in paralysed limbs.
Meticulous foot care is also important, especially in diabetic polyneuropathy. Mechanical aids can help to reduce pain and improve function. Hand or foot braces can compensate for muscle weakness or alleviate nerve compression.
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