There is a burning pain that shoots through your feet. Or maybe sometimes it feels more like a tingle. Sometimes you might not feel anything at all.
When you experience disconcerting symptoms such as those above, especially in your feet, the cause may stem from peripheral neuropathy. If that is the case, treatment and management should begin as soon as possible.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
“Neuropathy” essentially means damage to the nerves.
Your nervous system serves as the highway through which information and orders travel between the body and the brain/spinal cord. It is how we sense the world around us, as well as control our movement.
When nerves become damaged or die, this flow of information can become disrupted. This can result in a variety of symptoms, including:
- Pain (can be described as “sharp,” “burning,” “freezing,”, or “shooting”)
- Extreme sensitivity
- Lack of coordination
- Weakness in muscles
There is a great variation in symptoms due to the extent and severity of the damage that has occurred. However, many cases progress to numbness over time as the conditions of the nerves continue to deteriorate.
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Nerve damage can come from many different causes. Among the most common is the effects of diabetes.
More than half of people who live with diabetes will develop peripheral neuropathy at some point. This is largely due to the condition’s effect on circulation, reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the feet. The feet already have a difficult enough time getting proper circulation naturally, and the nerves there tend to be the first to suffer as circulation is reduced.
Other potential causes of neuropathy include trauma to the nerves, vitamin deficiencies, alcoholism, certain infections, certain inherited disorders, and exposure to toxins.
What Can Be Done About Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is not something that can be reversed, but it is very important to manage the condition and relieve symptoms as much as possible.
When diabetes is also at play, management of neuropathy is downright critical. The effects of diabetes can also cause slower healing in patients. Combine this with numbness in the feet, and even small injuries that go unnoticed can turn into large ulcers with high risks of infections.
At Capital Podiatry Associates, we are pleased to offer laser treatment for neuropathy symptoms. Laser treatment is effective at stimulating cell repair, encouraging increased blood flow, and relieving pain in areas of damage.
Additional methods of managing peripheral neuropathy may include pain reliving medications, topical creams (such as those containing capsaicin), and physical therapy.
Lifestyle choices can also play very important roles in managing neuropathy. This includes dietary choices and exercise. We will work with you to determine the best and safest methods to be active without increasing risk of injury.
Take Action Against Neuropathy Now
The sooner you begin addressing the symptoms and progression of neuropathy, the better your outlook will be for a comfortable and active future.
We serve patients throughout the National Landing and Crystal City region, and we would be happy to help you, too! Please give our office a call at (703) 56-03773 to schedule an appointment. If you prefer, you can also request an appointment or ask any questions via our online contact form.