Neuropathy is a general term meaning “nerve problem”. There are two main types of neuropathy and a variety of causes. The first type of neuropathy is Large Fiber Mono-Neuropathy, the most common type.
Large Fiber Mono-Neuropathy usually begins at the spine level, either the lower neck or lower back, and typically radiates down one arm or one leg. Symptoms can be numbness, tingling and/or pain and may start in the shoulder or buttocks and then progressively begin to travel further down the affected arm or leg until reaching the hand/fingers or foot/toes.
The cause of this type of neuropathy is often trauma to the body like slips, falls, car accidents or other injuries.
The second type of neuropathy is Small Fiber, Poly-Neuropathy. This type is becoming more prevalent, and estimates are that it affects nearly 46.5 million Americans. This type of neuropathy is also known as Peripheral Neuropathy because it affects the nerves furthest away from the center of the body (like the lower arms, hands, fingers, lower legs, feet and toes). Peripheral Neuropathy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves that go down into your arms, hands, legs and feet.
Causes of Neuropathy
There are only three main categories of causes.
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common lifestyle cause of peripheral neuropathy, however, other circulatory conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and stroke can cause peripheral neuropathy as well.