Reversing Neuropathy

Identifying The Types of Neuropathy

Neuropathy, a condition characterized by nerve damage, can have a substantial effect on a person’s quality of life. In his book “Reversing Neuropathy: Making the Impossible Possible,” author and neuropathy expert Dr. Brian Prax sheds light on the different types of neuropathy and how to identify them. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for effective diagnosis and treatment. In this blog post, we will look at the various types of neuropathy and the methods used to identify them.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

To begin, let’s break down the term “peripheral neuropathy.” “Neuro” refers to nerves, while “pathy” implies a problem. Thus, peripheral neuropathy signifies nerve damage outside the central nervous system. The central nervous system encompasses the brain and spinal cord. In contrast, the peripheral nervous system comprises the network of nerves extending from these significant regions to the entire body.

Unveiling the Different Types of Neuropathy

Within the peripheral nervous system, there are four primary types of neuropathy:
1. Motor Neuropathy

Motor neuropathy occurs when the nerves responsible for muscle control, known as motor nerves, sustain damage. This can lead to difficulties with movement, resulting in weakness or even the inability to perform basic tasks like grasping objects, standing, or walking. Motor neuropathies may also cause balance issues.
2. Sensory Neuropathy

Sensory neuropathy affects the sensory nervous system, which enables us to perceive touch, pain, cold, pressure, and vibration. When these nerves become damaged, individuals may experience burning, tingling, numbness, and other sensations. Tasks that require sensory perception, like buttoning up a shirt or feeling the texture of objects, can become challenging.

3. Autonomic Nerve Neuropathy

The autonomic nervous system controls the involuntary functions of our internal organs. Autonomic neuropathy affects this system, leading to issues like blood pressure problems, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), digestive difficulties, and even sexual reproductive problems, such as erectile dysfunction.

4. Combination Neuropathy

When an individual experiences a combination of two or more neuropathy types, it is called combination neuropathy. One typical example is sensory-motor neuropathy, which involves damage to both sensory and motor nerves simultaneously.

Identifying the Type of Neuropathy

Accurately diagnosing the type of neuropathy requires a comprehensive approach that involves a detailed patient history, physical examination, and various tests. Some of the diagnostic methods include:

  • Blood tests: These tests can detect conditions like diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, mineral deficiencies, and other blood-borne deficiencies that may contribute to neuropathy.
  • Spinal fluid test: By examining the spinal fluid, doctors can identify certain neuropathies.
  • Muscle strength tests: Evaluating a patient’s strength can provide valuable insights into the presence and severity of motor neuropathy.
  • Vibration detection tests: Specialized tests can assess an individual’s ability to detect vibrations, helping to identify neuropathic damage.
  • Imaging tests: CT scans and MRIs can visualize nerve damage.
  • Electromyography and nerve conduction studies: These tests, known as EMG and NCV, are effective in detecting damage to large nerves, such as the sciatic nerve or the median nerve.

In addition to these diagnostic measures, doctors may consider other tests like nerve and skin biopsies. The Toronto clinical scoring index is widely used to evaluate sensory nerve damage. It is a non-invasive method that can be performed during a routine doctor’s visit, providing reliable results.


Neuropathy comes in various forms, each requiring a unique approach to diagnosis and treatment. With over 100 known causes, including recent observations of neuropathy occurring in individuals with COVID-19 or after vaccination, identifying the specific type of neuropathy is crucial for effective management. By seeking medical attention, undergoing a thorough examination, and conducting appropriate tests, patients can receive an accurate diagnosis and begin a tailored treatment plan. If you are experiencing neuropathy symptoms, consult a healthcare professional to determine the type of neuropathy you have and explore the available treatment options.

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