California Pain Institute -  - Pain Management Physician

Rebecca Kerr, MD

Pain Management Physician located in Westchester, Los Angeles, CA & South Bay, Torrance, CA

Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a frustrating pain condition that requires careful medical management. Dr. Rebecca Kerr can help patients with neuropathy; she practices at the California Pain Institute and serves the Torrance and Los Angeles area.

Neuropathy Q & A

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathic pain occurs when nerves in the peripheral nervous system are injured or become damaged. The nerve fibers themselves are actually damaged, dysfunctional or injured, which makes them send false signals to pain centers in the brain. In addition, nerve function changes, both at the site of the injury and in areas around the injury. Neuropathy is most common in people who have diabetes, and it is caused by damage to the cells as a result of the disease. It can also result from injury, infection, some medications, and toxins.

What Nerves Can Be Affected in Neuropathy?

In most cases, neuropathy affects peripheral nerves, which are nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Nerves in any area of the body can be affected and the condition may affect a single nerve, a group of nerves or all the nerves in an extremity. Autonomic nerves (nerves that control functions like breathing and digestion), motor or movement nerves and sensory nerves can all be affected.

Why Does Neuropathy Cause Pain?

Damaged nerves can't transmit signals correctly. They may respond to a light touch (which would normally not cause pain) by sending a message of severe pain. Mild heat or cold may also be interpreted as pain. The damage to the nerve cells may also cause pain intrinsic to the nerve, and a chronic burning sensation is not uncommon in neuropathy. In addition, neuropathy can cause muscle wasting and paralysis or other symptoms like itching, tingling, or numbness.

How Is Neuropathy Treated?

It’s important to recognize that neuropathy is not a condition that can be cured. Treatment is aimed at symptoms and a wide variety of medications may be used; among these are opioid pain medications, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and medications used to treat heart rhythm disturbances. Topical medications in creams, ointments and gels include lidocaine — a local anesthetic — and capsaicin, a substance found in hot peppers. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be helpful in some cases. Massage therapy, braces to compensate for weakness, and (rarely) surgery may also be used.

Insurance Providers

Dr. Kerr accepts most major insurance providers. Please call our office for more information. 

Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Anthem Blue Cross of California
Blue Cross
Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program
Blue Shield
Cigna
Medicare
UnitedHealthcare
Testimonials

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    " I think Dr. Kerr is great. She takes tons of time with each patient and explains things thoroughly...She is extremely smart and truly knows what she is talking about."

    Cyndi C.
  • Yelp

    "...I wanted a doctor who was thoroughly experienced in administering medications...[and] I felt most comfortable with Dr. Kerr's background...I recommend..."

    Denise D.
  • Vitals

    "I highly recommend her to anyone experiencing pain for any reason...she is well trained in managing these powerful medications and in understanding the nature of pain."

    Denise D.
  • RateMDs

    "Outstanding pain specialist. ..she does interventional therapies...I highly recommend."

    Verified Patient
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