Foot neuropathy takes place when the peripheral nerves of the foot become damaged, diseased, or inflamed. By definition neuropathy takes place when nerves are damaged and obviously as the name states foot neuropathy is when the foot nerves are sending incorrect signals to the brain in regards to pain and/or touch. Neuropathy is often the result of a complication of another event, condition, or disorder that the individual is already dealing with. For instance, in most cases foot neuropathy is most commonly caused by Diabetic neuropathy, where a Diabetic individual had uncontrolled glucose levels that soared too high and stayed at those high levels for too long a period of time thus resulting in the nerve damage.
What are the Symptoms of Foot Neuropathy?
The most common symptoms that are associated with foot neuropathy is tingling, foot pain, muscle weakness, burning, or itching, as well as loss of sensations such as heat, cold, or touch. Sometime if the symptoms are severe enough a loss of balance can occur because of the muscle weakness and in extreme cases where there is significant nerve damage, and when foot neuropathy is not properly treated, there can be problems with maintaining balance and coordination or even a need for amputation. If foot neuropathy is not properly treated it can lead to the development of ulcers or sores on the feet that can turn into much larger problems because of the lack of sensations that are normally associated with foot neuropathy. However, the good news is that with proper treatment foot neuropathy symptoms can be decreased and the nerve damage kept at a minimum.
How is Foot Neuropathy Treated?
The most important form of treatment comes with prevention of foot neuropathy in the first place. If a person has Diabetes they should begin a daily foot care regimen in order to avoid foot neuropathy altogether. Foot care is extremely important for Diabetics, or those who are already experiencing symptoms of foot neuropathy. Daily evaluation should include checking for wounds, cuts, sores, and blisters. It is also very important to keep the feet clean and dry, as well as try to avoid the wearing of tight socks or shoes to help decrease the symptoms of foot neuropathy.
If however the reading of this article comes after symptoms of foot neuropathy have begun have no fear. There are treatment options that can help to lessen the symptoms of foot neuropathy and stop the nerve damage from continuing. The most commonly used treatments for foot neuropathy include medications, therapies, lifestyle changes, as well as the use of supplements.
- Traditional Medical Treatments for foot neuropathy include the use of both anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Aleve, Advil, or Motrin) as well as prescription medications. The over the counter drugs will help to alleviate some of the pain and symptoms if they are mild in nature, however if the symptoms are moderate to severe then over the counter drugs will do nothing for providing relief. In the case of moderate to severe foot neuropathy physicians will often opt for using prescription medications such as Anti-seizure medications (Gabapentin or Carbamazepine are examples), Antidepressants (such as Aventyl or Pamelor), or even the use of numbing cream patches or Capsaicin creams. The cons to using these types of prescription medications is that often times they can cause negative side effects. And because there are alternate forms of treatment for foot neuropathy individuals should be aware of them and use the medications as a last result type of option.
- Therapies that have been proven successful for foot neuropathy treatment include Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Therapies (including Massage, Physical, or Occupational), Nerve Block Injections, Acupuncture, as well as Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS). Each of these options should be looked into for someone who is looking to find symptoms relief from foot neuropathy. Not every option will work for every individual, but that is why it’s so encouraging to have so many different options to choose from.
- Lifestyle Changes can actually be a successful form of foot neuropathy treatment. Specifically when it comes to diet, exercise, and the cessation of smoking. Nutrition is an important part of anyone becoming healthier, but in regards to foot neuropathy proper nutrition can aid with circulation, oxygen glow, as well as keeping glucose levels under control which are all of extreme importance for foot neuropathy sufferers. Exercise also helps keep the body in shape and allows for oxygenation of the extremities which decreases foot neuropathy symptoms. Another lifestyle change that should be considered for foot neuropathy patients is the cessation of smoking. Smoking causes poor blood flow and makes it harder for the body to heal from wounds or cuts properly, thus stopping smoking will increase blood flow and be beneficial to the foot neuropathy sufferer.
- Supplements are another form of treatment for foot neuropathy. Supplements especially are a great alternative when individual wish to not use traditional prescription medications for finding relief. Some of the most commonly used supplements for foot neuropathy treatment include the use of Alpha Lipoic Acid, Methylcobalamine, as well as Benfotiamine.
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