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Neuropathy Specialist

Ratnayake Pain Management

Dilangani Ratnayake, MD

Pain Medicine Physician & Anesthesiologist located in Palm Desert, CA

Pain that originates in the nerves themselves rather than alerting you to tissue damage elsewhere is known as neuropathy. It can take many forms, but whichever is affecting you, interventional pain specialist Dilangani Ratnayake, MD, of Ratnayake Pain Management in Palm Desert, California, can help. Dr. Ratnayake provides effective, conservative treatments for neuropathy as well as minimally invasive options like radiofrequency ablation and spinal cord stimulation. Call Ratnayake Pain Management today or use the online form to schedule an appointment.

Neuropathy Q&A

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy describes a range of conditions that feature nerve dysfunction and typically cause chronic pain.

Neuropathic conditions stem from the peripheral nervous system. These are all the nerves throughout your body that branch out from your spinal cord. The peripheral nerves send information back to your brain and spinal cord, which form your central nervous system.

The information the nerves transmit gives your brain details about sensory experiences, for example, how something feels to touch, and temperature changes. If there's any damage to your tissues, pain alerts you to the cause so you can protect yourself.

When you have neuropathy, the peripheral nerves are damaged or malfunctioning, resulting in feelings such as:

  • Burning 
  • Prickling 
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Increased sensitivity to touch 

Neuropathy can cause intense and often chronic pain that can be hard to cope with.

What causes neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a common symptom of some diseases, including:

  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
  • Postherpetic neuralgia (shingles)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Celiac disease
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Lupus
  • HIV-associated peripheral sensory neuropathy
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain)
  • Intercostal neuralgia (pain around the ribcage) 

If you're receiving treatment for cancer, you might develop chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Other factors that can trigger neuropathy include nutrient deficiencies, poisons, and alcoholism.

Nerve compression and damage to the nerves — often from repetitive strain and wear-and-tear — can also cause neuropathy. Sometimes neuropathy is idiopathic, meaning there's no identifiable cause.

What treatments are there for neuropathy?

If your neuropathy is the result of an underlying health problem, such as diabetes, then treating the underlying condition can help relieve the neuropathy.

Many forms of neuropathy are chronic problems. Dr. Ratnayake creates a unique treatment plan for you that addresses the causes of your neuropathy. Treatments that might help you include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Capsaicin cream
  • Anti-seizure medication
  • Low-dose tricyclic antidepressants

While most people respond well to these types of conservative treatments, they're not effective for everyone.

What advanced treatments are there for neuropathy?

Dr. Ratnayake provides advanced forms of treatment that work in various ways to disrupt pain signals so your brain doesn't receive them.

Radiofrequency ablation is one of these methods. It's a minimally invasive procedure in which Dr. Ratnayake heats the nerves responsible for your neuropathy to temporarily disable them.

Spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulation could help the most persistent, nonresponsive forms of neuropathy. These use implanted technology to disrupt pain signals before they reach your brain.

Leading a healthy lifestyle and learning techniques to manage your pain can also be a considerable help in living with neuropathy. To find out more, call Ratnayake Pain Management today or book an appointment online.