Do you have tingling in your toes? Does the pain or sensation keep you awake at night?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have what we call peripheral neuropathy. And don't worry, you're not alone.
Around 20 million people in the United States suffer from some form of peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition that develops due to some kind of damage to your peripheral nervous system. This nervous system is the communication netowrk that send information from your brain and spinal cord to every other part of the body. The word neuropathy itself means nerve disease, or damage. There are a range of symptoms such as numbness and tingling, or pricking sensations (paresthesia), or muscle weakness. Areas of the body may become hypersensitive which leads to intense feelings of touch and pain may occur in response to something that ususally does not cause pain. Even more severe symptoms include burning pain (especially at night), muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ dysfunction.
The peripheral nerves that are affected send information back to the brain and spinal cord, such as messages when your feet are cold. They also carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles to get your body to move! Damage to your peripheral nervous system can interfere with these messages. Just like static on a terephone line, neuropathy distorts and interrupts messages from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body.
But what causes this condition???
- Physical injury - from accidents or repetitive motions
- Diseases or disorders - diabetes, vasculitis, autoimmune diseases, kidney conditions, cancer, infections
- Exposure to toxins - medication toxicity, environmental toxins, heavy alcohol consumption
- Genetics - this can also be inherited if there is a family history, but this finding is relatively new and research is currently being done
What do we recommend?
If you think that you may be experiencing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in the feet, it is important for you to see a doctor as soon as you can to discuss your treatment options. If you are in the early stages, there may be more options than if you are catching this at a later stage. Our group is very experienced with managing individuals with this condition and we are happy to help you take the first step towards feeling better! Give us a call today! (239) 936-2454