What No One Tells You About Neuropathy & Muscle Control

Have you noticed your muscles acting a little strange since developing neuropathy? Perhaps they affect your ability to walk? Or maybe you find it difficult to use your fingers to pick something up? While we normally associated peripheral neuropathy with symptoms like pain, numbness and tingling – there are other symptoms as well.

The peripheral nervous system is made up of three different kinds of nerves: motor, sensory and autonomic. Each type of nerve controls different functions. Motor nerves send signals from the brain and spinal cord to your muscles – controlling motor functions like walking, dexterity and more. Sensory nerves do the opposite – relaying signals like temperature, pain, etc. from the muscles back to the brain and spinal cord. Finally, the autonomic nerves control involuntary or semi-voluntary functions like heart rate, digestion, blood pressure and more.

Peripheral neuropathy can affect some or all of these nerves. The symptoms you experience will depend entirely upon the type of nerve(s)that have been damaged as a result of your neuropathy. If your sensory nerves have been damaged you will experience symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling or burning. Damage to the autonomic nerves can lead to problems with dizziness, sweating (either too much or too little), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, difficulty urinating and more.

If your motor nerves fall victim to nerve damage – various motor functions can be affected. Lets take a look at five possible symptoms you might experience if your neuropathy has damaged your motor nerves:


Loss of balance and difficulty walking

Damage to the motor nerves can make walking difficulty. Your legs may feel heavy and difficult to move or you may feel constantly off balance. Since damage to the motor nerves disrupts the signals from your brain and spinal cord to the muscles – telling them what to do – even something as simple as walking can become a difficult task.

Damage to the sensory nerves can exacerbate this problem. The pain or numbness usually associated with damage to these nerves often affect the feet – making walking even more problematic.

For those suffering from symptoms related to motor nerve damage – extra caution should be used when walking on stairs or other areas where a fall risk is greater. Allowing extra time and avoiding rushing to perform tasks can also help limit your risk of falling.

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