Neuropathy — a loss of strength and sensation in your feet and legs — can predispose you to injuries, painful wounds, and loss of balance. Effective neuropathy treatment from the team of podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Concepts Inc. can help you feel comfortable and stable on your feet again. With locations in Oxnard, Palmdale, Westlake Village, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Camarillo, California, you can get expert care close to home. Call or schedule a consultation online today to learn more about treatment options.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects your peripheral nerves and disrupts the normal communication between your extremities and your brain. The nerves in your extremities — including your arms, legs, hands, and feet — are responsible for sending signals to your brain about pain, temperature, and pressure.
Without these signals, your brain cannot respond properly. For instance, if you step on a sharp object, your nerves can’t send the pain signal to your brain and your brain can’t respond by signaling you to lift your foot off the object.
Common symptoms of neuropathy include:
With neuropathy, you can experience injuries like cuts, open wounds, and burns more easily due to the lack of pain sensation. Neuropathy can also weaken your muscles, putting you at risk for tripping, stumbling, and falling.
In 60% of cases, neuropathy is caused by diabetes. Uncontrolled high blood sugar damages your nerves and restricts blood flow — especially in your feet — until you develop neuropathy. Even with good blood sugar control, neuropathy can develop after many years due to the chronic inflammation associated with diabetes.
Approximately 25% of neuropathy conditions have an unknown cause. Other causes of neuropathy include HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy, and other neurological conditions. The Foot & Ankle Concepts Inc. team works with you to identify the cause of your neuropathy and develop a treatment plan to help you.
To diagnose neuropathy, your doctor conducts a series of tests, including an assessment of sensation and strength in your legs and feet, blood tests, and genetic tests. Additional testing may include nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests, electromyography (EMG), nerve biopsies, and imaging — like an MRI or CT scan.
With testing and a comprehensive exam — including your medical history — your doctor determines the cause of your neuropathy and recommends an appropriate treatment strategy.
The first step to neuropathy treatment is treating the underlying cause. This may include better management of diabetes, quitting smoking, losing weight, or exercising more — including rehabilitation to strengthen muscles weakened by neuropathy.
The second step is the management of the pain, numbness, and tingling associated with neuropathy. The podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Concepts Inc. may use medications and injections to reduce pain and inflammation These include serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, gabapentin, and lidocaine patches.
Get help for your neuropathy symptoms from the experts at Foot & Ankle Concepts Inc. Call or book an appointment online now.