Listen to Neuropathy Explained

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Neuropathy Explained

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

The nerves that run from the spinal cord to the feet and legs are part of the of the peripheral nervous system. Peripheral neuropathy is the disease that occurs when these nerves stop functioning properly. Patients with peripheral neuropathy often feel pain, tingling and/or numbness in their feet and legs. A hallmark of the disease are sensations of pain and numbness that may occur simultaneously. Peripheral neuropathy has many causes including diabetes, chemotherapy and the degeneration of the peripheral nervous system associated with aging.

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What precautions need to be taken by people suffering from peripheral neuropathy?

First and foremost, see your physician and get checked for diabetes and other diseases that may cause these sensations in your feet. If you are a diabetic, it is of the utmost importance that you control your blood sugar, exercise regularly and lead a healthy lifestyle.

When the nerves in your feet are not working properly, your feet are more vulnerable to injury. Therefore, it is important that you protect your feet and not put them in harm’s way. Wear comfortable shoes that are fitted to your feet by a shoe specialist that will protect and not harm your feet.

Self Foot Rub

Before you put on your shoes, turn them upside down and shake them to remove any small objects that may have fallen into them such as pebbles, pins, etc. Make certain that your shoes are in good condition and that there are no potentially harmful defects in the interior of the shoe such as a rip in the lining material or a nail extruding into the interior of the shoe from the heel. Inspect or have someone inspect your feet every day making certain to look between your toes and on the bottom of your feet for any signs of infection, ulcerations or wounds. Use a mirror if necessary. Make certain to look at your socks after you take them off and inspect them to see if there is any drainage or blood on your socks.

Never walk barefooted. When you walk barefooted, you may step on a piece of glass, a pin or other dangerous object and not feel the injury. Never walk in shoes that don’t fit properly and always use proper socks.

If you have decreased or impaired sensation in your feet make certain that a qualified foot care specialist, preferably a Podiatrist, cuts your toenails and the corns and callouses on your feet.

What treatments are available for peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is often treated with medications that suppress nervous system function such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants and narcotic pain relievers. Unfortunately, many patients find the side effects of these powerful drugs intolerable. There are many physical therapy devices used in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy but many patients find their benefit to be minimal. Dr. Mann has had great success in decreasing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in many of his patients with specialized topical analgesics and the use of strong vitamins. This type of therapy has the advantage of virtually no side effects and rapid onset of relief.

Shooting pains, burning, tingling

Diabetic Neuropathy

Neuropathy caused by uncontrollable high blood sugar and other symptoms associated with diabetes

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Alcoholic Neuropathy

Neuropathy caused by excessive alcohol abuse

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Neuropathy from Chemotherapy

Neuropathy caused by the effects of chemotherapy

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Idiopathic Neuropathy

Neuropathy of unknown cause

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