Spine, Muscle, and Nerve Disease:

Dr. Jochims is committed to providing comprehensive care for your spine, muscle and nerve disorder.  Some examples might be patients with neck and back issues, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and polyneuropathy.  Dr. Jochims expertly evaluates your particular case through a thorough neurological exam and potential diagnostic neurological testing. As a clinical neurophysiologist he is highly skilled and trained in electrophysiological testing of diseases of the spine, muscles, and nerves.  Once a diagnosis is made, a personalized treatment plan, to fit your specific needs, would then be developed.  By treating patients with a customized combination of medication, physical therapy, and other therapeutic approaches we hope to maximize the available conservative approaches to treatment while avoiding the need for surgical intervention.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy:

Peripheral neuropathy is a very common disorder.  It is estimated that 20 million Americans may suffer from it.  It can occur at any age however it is most common among older adults.  Unfortunately peripheral neuropathy is not fully understood in today’s medical community.  It is apt to be misdiagnosed.  And while it has always been present, it has not received adequate attention in the world of medical research.

There are many different causes of neuropathy.  About 30% of neuropathies are idiopathic, or their cause is unknown.  In another 30% of the cases the neuropathy is related to diabetes.  Other causes include autoimmune disease, tumors, heredity, nutritional imbalances, infections, or toxins.  Some cases even develop as a result of certain cancer treatments.  For this educational material we will focus mainly on polyneuropathy.

Neuropathy is a condition in which the peripheral nerves are damaged or not working correctly. A polyneuropathy is a neuropathy which initially begins in the feet and may progress to involve the entire feet, calves, and fingers/hands.  The types of nerves affected can vary.  If motor neurons are affected, occurs less commonly, you will experience weakness in affected muscles. If sensory nerves are affected you will experience symptoms of numbness, tingling, and even sometimes a painful burning sensation in the affected areas.  Sometimes unpleasant, abnormal sensations can occur when the affected area is touched.  Often patients will describe a feeling of having socks or gloves on when their feet and hands are bare, this is referred to as stocking and glove pattern neuropathy.  Proprioception, or sense of position, of your feet can eventually become impaired.  This can lead to difficulty in walking and balance concerns.  Patients may find that they widen their stance or drag their feet when walking.  Patients are particularly off balance in low light environments.