Since the complication may be caused by different factors or a combination of factors, it is not easy to pinpoint its exact cause(s). I often see patients have what I call a multidimensional problem.
This fact is well known to many Neuropathy sufferers as they have often tried many different treatments.
One of the many common mistakes most patients and even doctors make is trying to find a single cause of the nerve damage.
There are certain factors, however, that are associated with development of Neuropathy including:
Diabetes: A majority of the cases of Neuropathy are often found in people with Diabetes, when it's referred to as Diabetic Neuropathy. This occurs when excess blood glucose injures the walls of the small blood vessels that supply nerves, particularly those in the legs (usually after a long period of time).
Heavy Alcohol Use: Most alcoholics tend to develop Peripheral Neuropathy since they often make poor choices of diet, resulting in vitamin deficiencies.
Medications: Certain medications, particularly statin drugs, which are in widespread use to combat high cholesterol, have been linked to Neuropathy. Worse, most patients who have been taking cholesterol medications have never been made aware of the link.
Chemotherapy is a very common cause of nerve damage. Specifically vinca alkaloids (vincristine), cisplatin, paclitaxel, and the podophyllotoxins (etoposide and tenoposide). Unfortunately, these chemotherapies will cause nerve damage in treatment of the cancer.
Spinal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column that causes pressure on the spinal cord, or narrowing of the openings where spinal nerves leave the spinal column. This can lead to Peripheral Neuropathy.
Infections: Certain viral and bacterial infections including Lyme’s Disease, Epstein-Barr virus, shingles (varicella-zoster), hepatitis C, diphtheria and leprosy may also cause Peripheral Neuropathy.
Trauma: Traumas like motor vehicle accidents or falls can cause damage to the peripheral nerves. Some of these traumas subsequently put too much pressure on the nerves which often goes uncorrected.
It is also possible that the process of healing from the trauma (for instance by using crutches or standing in an unnatural position for a long time) can also lead to the complication.
Failed surgeries have fast become a new category in my office. A third of my patients now have developed nerve damage because of their spinal surgeries. They often have tremendous pain and symptomology. For most of these people, narcotics and opioids are the only option.
Hope this sheds some light!
God Bless Dr. Thai