It is estimated that an astonishing 20 million Americans have peripheral neuropathy in some form. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a condition that can cause severe symptoms. The pain can range from mild burning to debilitating and chronic pain.
If you’ve been wondering what is foot neuropathy and you’re experiencing these types of symptoms, it’s time to seek professional medical help. Here are five things you should know about foot neuropathy.
1. What Is Foot Neuropathy?
Neuropathy or nerve damage in the feet is caused by diabetes or other illnesses. It results in decreased sensation and coordination of muscles in the affected area. Symptoms include:
- Stabbing sensations
In extreme cases, foot neuropathy can cause balance issues which can lead to falls and injuries.
2. What Causes Foot Neuropathy?
There are a variety of risk factors that can increase the chances of developing foot neuropathy. High blood sugar in diabetes patients can damage the nerves, particularly in the feet.
Peripheral artery disease is a circulation disorder that can lead to narrowed or blocked blood vessels, which can cut off the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.
B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, are essential for proper nerve function. Lacking this vitamin can lead to foot neuropathy.
Chronic alcohol abuse can damage the nerves over time. Some medications, such as chemotherapy drugs, can cause nerve damage.
Certain inherited disorders, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, can increase the risk of neuropathy. The risk of neuropathy increases with age. Extra weight can put pressure on the nerves.
Nicotine constricts blood vessels, which can limit blood flow to the nerves. Regular exercise can help improve circulation, which is essential for proper nerve function. Lack of physical activity can lead to neuropathy.
While having one or more of these risk factors does not guarantee that you will develop neuropathy, it is important to maintain an awareness of them. You must take steps to reduce them if possible.
3. What Is Neuropathy Pain?
Neuropathic pain is a burning sensation caused by nerve damage. They signal an abnormality in the nervous system. This is true even if no further physical signs or symptoms are associated with it.
This means that even if no underlying tissue damage has occurred yet your body may still be receiving pain signals from damaged nerves within your body. This can be due to certain external factors such as:
- Poor nutrition that leads to diabetic neuropathy
- Long-term overexposure to cold temperatures
4. Prevention of Neuropathy
Several steps can be taken to prevent neuropathy in the feet.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important if you have diabetes. Not smoking or using tobacco products helps.
Exercise often improves circulation and reduces the risk of nerve damage. Eat a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Manage high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Wear shoes that fit well and socks to prevent injury to the feet.
Protect the feet from extreme temperatures and injuries. Treat any foot injuries or infections to prevent further damage.
Avoid alcohol or limit the amount of alcohol consumed. Consult with a doctor or neurologist if you have any symptoms of neuropathy or are at high risk for the condition.
It’s also important to check your feet often for any cuts, sores, or other signs of injury, and to seek medical attention if you notice any changes in sensation or color in your feet.
5. Neuropathy Treatment Options
Treatment options for foot neuropathy vary depending on the cause of the condition. Here are some of your options.
Medication may be used to manage pain and other symptoms of neuropathy. There are many such medications. Like:
- Pain medications
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Topical creams and patches can also be effective for localized pain
Exercise, massage, and other physical therapy techniques can help to improve circulation. This can help reduce pain and increase muscle strength and flexibility in the affected foot.
It’s important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Quitting smoking, and eating a healthy diet can help to prevent further nerve damage and improve symptoms.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or remove damaged nerves. Surgery can also correct underlying conditions that are causing neuropathy.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
TENS is a non-invasive procedure that uses low-voltage electrical current to stimulate nerve fibers. This can help to reduce pain and improve nerve function.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice. It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the nerves and reduce pain.
To prevent further nerve damage, people with foot neuropathy may be advised to use special shoes or inserts. They may also need to use crutches or a cane to take pressure off the affected foot.
It’s important to note that treatment may not always be able to reverse the damage caused by neuropathy. It can help to reduce symptoms and prevent further damage. It’s also important to work closely with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your condition.
Let’s Help with Neuropathy Treatment
What is foot neuropathy? A condition you don’t want to face alone. It is a serious disorder that can cause debilitating pain and loss of feeling.
Treatment options are varied and we can help. For those looking for an alternative form of treatment, Dr. Calvin Beaugez, D.C Clinic in Utah offers acupuncture services.
We can help whether you are struggling with neuropathy from diabetes, chemotherapy, or any other condition. Schedule online with us now to get started.