If you’re experiencing unusual sensations in your foot or ankle, you might be suffering from peripheral neuropathy. Diagnosing and treating this condition is an area of specialty for Philip Garrett, DPM, and Dong Kim, DPM, at Landmark Foot and Ankle Center in Alexandria, Virginia. When you’re ready to find answers and explore solutions to peripheral neuropathy, call the office to book a visit or schedule online.request an appointment
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Your central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord. The nerves that extend throughout the rest of your body make up your peripheral nervous system. These nerves send messages to and from your brain.
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that arises when your peripheral nerves are damaged or subject to disease. It can be a very painful issue and can impact your ability to complete daily tasks or even get a good night’s sleep.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
Lots of things can contribute to peripheral neuropathy. Some of the known causal factors include:
- Infections like Lyme disease, diphtheria, or shingles
- Bone marrow disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
- Kidney or liver disease
- Hereditary factors
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Nerve trauma
- Certain medications
It’s important to understand that it isn’t always possible to identify the exact cause of peripheral neuropathy. That’s why it is so important to see a specialist at Landmark Foot and Ankle Center if you notice changes in the way your foot or ankle feels. This is especially true for diabetics, who often experience numbness from neuropathy that prevents them from feeling developing wounds.
What are some symptoms of neuropathy?
Knowing what to look for can help you understand when to seek treatment for neuropathy. Some of the symptoms include:
- A sensation of muscle weakness
- Feeling as though you’re wearing socks when you are barefoot
- Sensitivity to touch
- Sharp, burning, throbbing, or jabbing pain
- Pain when performing normal tasks that don’t usually cause discomfort
- Lack of coordination
An occasional symptom like those mentioned above is usually not a cause for concern. However, if these symptoms persist, you should schedule a visit with Landmark Foot and Ankle Center.
What are the treatments for peripheral neuropathy?
If your specialist determines that you have peripheral neuropathy, there are several treatment options to pursue. Medications might play a role in your treatment plan, including pain relievers, topical treatments, and even anti-seizure and antidepressant medications.
Physical therapy can make a world of difference with peripheral neuropathy, especially if you have muscle weakness in your foot or ankle. Surgery is an option in some cases, including when tumors are causing nerve damage.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is an innovative treatment that uses high-energy acoustic waves, also called shockwaves, to induce healing. It is an outpatient procedure and does not require extensive recovery time.
If you’d like to learn more about neuropathy treatment options, schedule a visit at Landmark Foot and Ankle Center, either online or by phone.