Neuropathy in the feet is caused by peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is a result of nerve damage which often causes numbness and pain the hands and feet. Usually this pain is described as tingling or burning. While peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins, the most common cause is diabetes. At least half of all diabetic patients develop a type of neuropathy.
There are three different sets of nerves that can be affected by neuropathy. The first set is the sensory nerves. The sensory nerves enable people to feel pain, temperature and other sensations. The next set is called motor nerves. Motor nerves control the muscles and give them their strength and tone. The last set of nerves are the autonomic nerves. These allow the body to perform certain involuntary functions, like sweating.
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy
While the treatment for peripheral neuropathy depends on the cause, there are many different types of treatment.
Commonly a cause of neuropathy is a vitamin deficiency. With these deficiencies corrected, the symptoms of neuropathy should ease.
The goal with the diabetes is controlling the glucose level. With the glucose level controlled, the symptoms of neuropathy may not completely be controlled. However, in some cases, once the glucose level is controlled the symptoms of neuropathy may vastly improve.
Another cause of neuropathy is when the pain of neuropathy is associated with an immune disease. Once the autoimmune disease is improved with a course of treatment, the neuropathy also improves.
Physical therapy, injections and surgery can help patients who struggle with neuropathy caused by nerve entrapment.
Patients who struggle with neuropathy don’t have a go-to treatment. The first course of action is to find out why a patient is experiencing the symptoms of neuropathy in the feet or other extremities. Once that is figured out, they come up with a course of treatment specific to the cause of their neuropathy.
While some prescriptions can help control the pain of peripheral neuropathy, many supplements can begin the process of healing the nerve cells. Supplements such as alpha lipoic acid and vitamin B6 can begin protecting the nerve cells from additional damage.
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