Chances are, it’s because you have some form of peripheral neuropathy. It’s a condition in which the nerves become damaged, mostly in the hands and feet. It usually starts with a gradual dulling of the senses, leading to numbness, tingling, and eventual loss of feeling if left untreated.
There are many causes for peripheral neuropathy in the feet. Among the causes commonly treated by our podiatrists are:
● Diabetes: Peripheral neuropathy is one of the major complications you have to watch out for after a diagnosis of diabetes, in addition to higher risks of heart disease, kidney disease, and loss of eyesight. The excess sugar levels in the blood can cause damage to the nerves, causing you to feel weak, numb, and tingly. Long-term damage can cause loss of feeling in the lower extremities, especially the feet.
● Excess alcohol intake: Another cause of peripheral neuropathy is excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption. Ethanol (the main component of alcohol) is toxic to nerve tissues and causes permanent damage to the nerves.
● Autoimmune disease: Certain autoimmune diseases, like Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis, attack the nervous system and damage the nerves.
● Traumatic injury: Car accidents, falls, and sports-related injury can damage the nerves, causing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
● Other: Additional causes of numb or tingly sensation on the feet include medication side effects, infections, tumors, vitamin deficiencies, and other disease complications.
Depending on when you notice symptoms and receive a diagnosis, treatments and therapies to ease symptoms will vary. If you have painful symptoms, our podiatrists might suggest using pain relief medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or more powerful drugs with opioids. Otherwise, you might be prescribed anti-seizure medication, topical treatments, or antidepressants. Different therapies to relieve symptoms include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), physical therapy, and possibly surgery, especially if a nerve is being pinched or has pressure on it from another body part or tumor.
If you’ve experienced symptoms of neuropathy in your feet, it’s best to get it checked out instead of hoping it will go away. The sooner it’s treated, the sooner you’ll find relief. Make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Our foot doctors can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office.