Understanding & Treatment Options for Peripheral Neuropathy
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where the peripheral nerves are damaged. The peripheral nerves are part of the nervous system, a network that connects and communicates information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Damage to these nerves impairs muscle movement and causes pain, weakness, and numbness in the hands and feet. If you are experiencing neuropathy symptoms, schedule a consultation online today with one of our premier podiatrists in South Florida to explore the proper treatments.
What Are the Causes?
The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy in the United States is diabetes. The American Diabetes Association reports that up to 70 percent of people with diabetes develop neuropathy in their lifetime. Other causes include:
- Poor nutrition and vitamin deficiency
- Infections from viral and bacterial infections
- Neurological disorders like spina bifida and fibromyalgia.
- Injury after a traumatic incident.
- Chemotherapy medications
Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms
The most common symptoms include:
- Weakness or pain in the hands and feet
- Burning, numbness, tingling or stabbing pain in the toes and fingertips.
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Lack of coordination and falling
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
There is no known cure but there are treatment plans that have been created with the goal of remission by maintaining foot health and decreasing pain. Some common treatments are:
- Medications like pain relievers, anti-seizure drugs, and antidepressants are used to relieve nerve pain.
- Physical therapy may be recommended to assist with muscle weakness and mobility along with braces, a cane or wheelchair.
- Surgery may be recommended to relieve pressure on the nerves if the disorder is a result of a tumor causing pressure on the nerves.
The best practices and prevention methods to improve the quality of life are:
- Controlling blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and medication to slow progression and maintain foot health.
- Regular inspection of the feet to check that there are no injuries or infections.
- Regular physical activity improves mobility, muscle strength and blood sugar levels.
- Eating healthy and having adequate nutrition is vital to nerve health.
If you are experiencing peripheral neuropathy symptoms, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at 305.853.5151 with one of our premier podiatrists in South Florida to explore the proper peripheral neuropathy treatment for you.
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