Neuropathy poses significant challenges for those who suffer from it. When your feet and your brain are having a hard time communicating with one another, the symptoms can include everything from burning or shooting pain to tingling or complete numbness.
More than that, though, a lack of sensation magnifies other risks. If you can’t feel your feet, you’re more likely to fall. If you can’t feel an injury, you might not notice until it gets infected. That’s an especially tough problem for those with conditions that affect circulation, such as diabetes.
While the nerve damage that leads to neuropathy may not always be completely reversible, the good news is that in most cases you can successfully manage symptoms and improve nerve function, especially if you take action early. Even better, most of these management strategies can be performed at home by making healthy choices, although it usually takes a mix of lifestyle and medical intervention to produce the best results.
As with any other part of your body, nerves need nourishment to thrive. A healthy, balanced diet with lots of vital nutrients (particularly B vitamins) will provide your peripheral nerves with a steady supply of fuel to keep them working at optimal efficiency.
Likewise, a good exercise routine (check with your doctor first before starting a program) can help you reduce the amount of pain and cramping you experience, as well as strengthen muscles and supporting structures. Even walking for 30 minutes 3 times per week can provide significant benefits.
Studies have demonstrated a link between nerve damage and smoking, as well as alcohol abuse. To prevent further damage, we strongly encourage you to quit if you’re a smoker, and to limit your consumption if you drink.
Many cases of neuropathy are linked with other underlying conditions. We’ve already mentioned diabetes, but other potential causes include Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Lynme disease, and others. If you have one of these conditions, managing them is usually your top treatment priority.
Whatever the source of your peripheral nerve problems, the important thing is to seek help as soon as possible. The earlier we can assess the damage and prescribe a treatment course, the better your long-term prognosis. Be proactive and call Dr. Corey Fox of Massapequa Podiatry Associates today. You can reach us at 516-541-9000, or you can fill out our online appointment request form.