When your feet are tingling, burning, and painful, you may have peripheral neuropathy. The professionals at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County are experts at the treatment of foot pain related to nerve damage. Whatever the underlying cause, this chronic condition needs effective, long-term care. For an evaluation of your neuropathy, call or book an appointment for their office in Watsonville or Santa Cruz, California.
Neuropathy Q & A
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition of irreversible nerve damage and is often referred to as peripheral neuropathy. When nerves have been damaged, there is an interruption of the nerve signals from the brain to other parts of the body. This causes an altered sensation, which may feel like burning or tingling or may result in impaired function, like weakness or loss of bladder control.
Neuropathy accompanies a wide range of disorders and is not necessarily a problem that stands alone. Usually, there is another underlying condition that causes injury to the nerves, causing neuropathy symptoms.
Peripheral neuropathy can affect any part of the body, but most commonly impacts the palms of your hands and bottoms of your feet.
What causes neuropathy?
The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy affects somewhere between 12-50% of all patients with diabetes, and primarily affects the feet.
The other common causes of neuropathy are:
- Exposure to toxins
- Autoimmune disorders
Neuropathy may also be affected by genetics, viral or bacterial infections, and traumatic injury to the nervous system.
What are the symptoms of neuropathy?
The symptoms of neuropathy are dependent on which peripheral nerves are affected by the underlying cause of nerve damage.
Some nerves serve to communicate sensations, while others are responsible for muscle control or other function. Depending on the type of nerves damaged, symptoms may be sensation- or function-related.
Symptoms of neuropathy may include:
- Tingly or prickly feeling
- Burning or freezing sensation
- Sensitivity to touch
- Numbness or pain
- Muscle weakness
- Lack of coordination
Advanced neuropathy may involve loss of bladder and bowel control, paralysis, or extreme impaired mobility.
What are the treatment options for neuropathy?
Neuropathy is an irreversible condition, however, there are a number of treatments that can decrease symptoms and help relieve neuropathy pain.
Treatments may include:
- Topical ointments
- Magnetic therapy
- Electric nerve stimulation
- Vitamin supplementation
Especially when neuropathy affects your feet and your mobility, the team at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County is committed to helping you find relief.
For evaluation and treatment of your neuropathy, call or book an appointment online today.