There are a countless number of nerves located at the ends of your feet and toes. These nerves carry information to and from the brain, but when they are damaged this communication is hindered. If you have noticed weakness, numbness, tingling, or pain in your feet, one or several of your nerves may be injured. You don’t have to suffer from this type of peripheral neuropathy. The podiatric experts at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates are here to help!
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Decreased and abnormal sensations that affect your toes are caused by damage of the peripheral nerves. Due to increased blood sugar levels over long periods of time, nerve damage is typically associated with individuals who have diabetes. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop neuropathy within their lifetime.
Other causes include, but are not limited to:
- Aging, as it is more common in members of the elderly population
- Exposure to Toxins
- Inheritance or Heredity
- Injury or Infection
- Metabolic Problems
- Neurological Disorders
What are the Symptoms?
The pain is typically described as tingling or burning, while the loss of sensation can be compared to the hindered sense of touch that is experienced while wearing socks. These sensations begin in the tips of the toes and if left untreated will spread to the entire foot and even the leg. Full nerve damage may even cause complete loss of feeling in the feet and legs.
Other symptoms include sharp stabbing pains, changes to your skin and toenails, and even muscle weakness.
With this decreased sense of touch, you may not notice when you step on something harmful. It also makes it hard to detect when something is too hot or too cold. Even small issues, such as blisters or scrapes, can turn into detrimental sores, because they go unnoticed for too long.
Any change in the sensation in your toes should be noted. Report it to the podiatrists of Aadvanced Foot Care Associates immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment offers the best chance for preventing further damage.
How is it Treated?
Our goal is to manage the condition that is causing the nerve damage. Many times, when the underlying cause is corrected and treated, neuropathy will improve on its own. The next goal is to relieve your pain and discomfort. Medications are used to provide relief. Mild symptoms can be alleviated by anti-inflammatory medications and pain killers.
After completing a physical examination of the toes, feet, and ankles, your podiatrist will find the treatment option that suits your needs. He may need to order a blood test to evaluate your blood sugar levels.
How Do I Prevent Neuropathy?
As there is no known cure for peripheral neuropathy, the best thing you can do is take preventative measures. No matter your affiliation to diabetes, blood sugar levels must be kept under control. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins will also help keep your nerves healthy. As up to half of all long-term heavy alcohol users develop neuropathy, alcohol consumption should be kept minimal. Another important measure is to partake in regular exercise – 30 minutes to one hour, 3 times per week.
Healthy lifestyles make for healthy nerves. If you are experiencing any problems with your feet or ankles, visit one of our New York offices in Rego Park, Plainview, or Flushing. You can also make an appointment with us online! We look forward to working with you and enabling you to live life to the fullest!