Does Neuropathy Affect the Feet?

Neuropathy is a nerve disorder. It affects the peripheral nervous system, which includes the nerves outside your spinal cord and brain. The network of nerves connects your brain and spinal cord to your entire body. 

The peripheral nervous system controls movements and sensations. It governs other functions like breathing and digestion. Neuropathy occurs when the nerves in the peripheral nervous system become damaged. 


Causes of Neuropathy


Different factors can cause neuropathy. They include:

  • Alcoholism - Nerve damage can occur from excessive consumption of alcohol

  • Diabetes - High blood sugar levels cause gradual damage to the nerves. Diabetes is among the most common causes of neuropathy

  • Trauma - Neuropathy can occur due to injuries to the nerves

  • Infections - Some infections like shingles, Lyme disease, and HIV can cause neuropathy

  • Medications - Some medications, such as chemotherapy drugs, can cause nerve damage

  • Autoimmune disorders - Some conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause neuropathy

  • Vitamin deficiencies - Lacking vitamins B12, B6, and B1 can cause neuropathy


Can Neuropathy Affect the Feet?


Neuropathy can affect any part of the body. However, it commonly affects the feet and legs. It can cause a loss of sensation in the feet or a tingling sensation where you feel like you have needles or pins pricking your feet. You may have a burning sensation in your feet. 

Neuropathy in the feet can cause sharp, shooting pains. You may experience weakness in your ankle or feet. Individuals who experience neuropathy can also get foot deformities. They include Charcot foot, claw toes, or hammertoes. You can also get ulcers or sores on the feet that do not heal properly.


Neuropathy Diagnosis


Your healthcare provider can diagnose neuropathy. They will perform a physical exam and review your medical history. They may also conduct tests such as electromyography or nerve conduction study to determine the extent of the nerve damage. Your specialist may also order blood tests. It will help check any underlying health problems like vitamin deficiencies or diabetes.

Chiropractic care can help with treatment. A holistic chiropractor can conduct a thorough examination. They will then develop a treatment plan based on your needs and the severity of your condition. They will help promote your overall health by conducting various techniques. They include spinal adjustments and massages.


Lifestyle Changes to Manage Neuropathy


In addition to chiropractic treatment, lifestyle changes can help manage neuropathy symptoms. Your specialist may recommend wearing comfortable shoes that fit your feet. Too loose or tight shoes can worsen neuropathy symptoms and cause foot problems. You can also prevent foot infections and other complications by practicing foot care. 

Wash and dry your feet daily. Exercise regularly to help improve circulation and reduce neuropathy symptoms. Patients with diabetes should manage their blood sugar levels to deter further nerve damage. Additionally, quit smoking to reduce your risk of blood vessel damage. Doing so will prevent worsening neuropathy symptoms.


Neuropathy Prevention


You can reduce your neuropathy risk by managing your underlying health conditions. Doing so will help deter nerve damage. Limit your alcohol consumption to prevent damaging your nerves. Maintain a healthy diet by consuming a diet rich in nutrients and vitamins. They can help prevent vitamin deficiencies that lead to neuropathy. Additionally, take the necessary precautions to avoid injury to prevent nerve damage.

For more about neuropathy, visit Pleasant Life Health Center at our office in Daniel Island, South Carolina. Call (843) 428-7900 to book an appointment today.

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