Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of neuropathy affecting the peripheral nerves of the feet. Damage to peripheral nerves can alter the ability to sense pain or temperature and may affect muscle control. The most common cause is diabetes but poor nutrition, alcoholism, serious infections, or certain medications can initiate it. Neuropathy is a potentially dangerous condition as the individual loses their protection mechanism from pain or injury. Other symptoms include:
- Numbness, tightness, or tingling
- Shooting pain through the foot
- Loss of balance
- Foot deformities
- Dry feet
The best way to treat neuropathy is to control the underlying condition. People with Diabetes must start with getting their blood sugar under control. It is essential that an individual with neuropathy inspects their feet daily for cuts, abrasions, blisters, or swelling. Your Podiatrist can provide you with an appropriate diagnosis, perform a thorough neurological assessment and outline an appropriate management plan according to your level of risk. Some medications can assist in reducing the symptoms. Exercises may be prescribed to improve function, stability and strength.