Foot neuropathy, also called peripheral neuropathy occurs when there is trouble with the nerves that carry information to and from the brain and spinal cord. It is characterized by a painful tingling sensation and numbness in the foot. Foot neuropathy can also cause weakness and slow reactions of the foot because the peripheral nerve is damaged. This condition is very incapacitating and without neuropathy treatments, the symptoms will probably be there for the rest of the patient’s life.
CAUSES OF FOOT NEUROPATHY
One of the major causes of foot neuropathy is diabetes, but there are other ailments that can also cause the condition. Hereditary diseases such as Friedrich’s Ataxia and Charcot-Marie-Tooth can lead to this condition. Excessive alcohol use can end with alcoholic neuropathy. Systemic and metabolic disorders can also cause foot neuropathy. B-12 and other vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies can result in the condition. Other causes include infectious and inflammatory diseases, exposure to poisonous substances, trauma, and injury.
FOOT NEUROPATHY TREATMENTS
Currently, there is no known cure for foot neuropathy. All the treatments are used to relieve the symptoms and signs of the condition. Treatments involve medicines the include pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, anti-depressants, numbing cream patch, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
If diabetes is the cause for the foot neuropathy, your doctor will most likely recommend a regimen of good diet practices along with exercise to control blood sugar levels. Actually, if a healthy diet is maintained, many of the symptoms of foot neuropathy will be lessened or eliminated. Eating right really does make a difference.
Another treatment that is getting a lot of buzz today is the application of neuropathy creams. Many of these creams contain the ingredient capsaicin, a substance found in hot chili peppers that effectively blocks neuropathic pain. Using creams like this will help relieve pain from areas that have the neuropathy symptoms. You do need to use it for about 3-4 weeks, though, before you can feel a significant difference.
Other alternative treatments include acupuncture, massage, and decompression surgery. Whether acupuncture or massage benefits those with foot neuropathy remains to be documented. Decompression surgery seeks to decompress the foot’s constricted nerves thereby increasing circulation and preventing further nerve damage. Of course, as with any surgery, there is always a measure of risk.
Always consult your doctor before beginning any neuropathy treatment. With his or her guidance, you can create a combination of treatments that will get you back on the right track to health and wellness.
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