Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy, is a term for nerve damage to the peripheral nervous system. These are nerves that are outside of the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral neuropathy can create various symptoms which may impair a person’s balance and their perception of their body and its movement. These symptoms include numbness, pain, and weakness in the feet. Older adults are more prone to developing peripheral neuropathy as a complication of diabetes, which can cause them to have foot drop, difficulty walking up stairs, rising out of their chairs, and standing up from a crouching position. All of this can increase the elderly person’s already heightened risk of falls. If you or someone you love is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned here, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a full examination and evaluation.
Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from Manhattan Footcare. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.
Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:
- Sensation loss
- Prickling and tingling sensations
- Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
- Muscle weakness
Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.
To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.
Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.