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Don't Be Burdened by Neuropathic Foot Pain

Neuropathic Foot Pain

Damaged nerves do much more than leave you feeling numb. A common type of neuropathy – the medical term for nerve damage – occurs in your feet. Frequently, this is due to complications of high blood sugar, but it may also result from injuries, infections, or other reasons. Neuropathic foot pain can affect your daily life in several ways, since damaged nerves can send a variety of random and confusing signals to your brain. These may interfere with concentration, sleep, or general enjoyment of life, and damage to motor nerves can even make it difficult to get around.

Peripheral neuropathy

Your body’s nervous system is roughly divided into two sections: the central and peripheral nervous systems. Your brain and spinal cord comprise the central system, while nerves in the rest of your body make up the peripheral system. Any injury, damage, or condition affecting nerves of the peripheral nervous system is therefore called peripheral neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathy

One of the more common sources of foot neuropathy is the uncontrolled blood sugar levels present in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. When not balanced with insulin or other drug therapy, high blood sugar takes a toll on nerve and blood vessel tissue. Left untreated, high blood sugar causes progressive damage over time.

Symptoms of neuropathy in your feet

Typically, early symptoms of neuropathy present as tingling or numb sensations. This could progress to more extreme signs, with sharp, jabbing sensations of pain or feelings of burning or freezing. Your feet may become sensitive to touch. If motor nerves are damaged, the muscles of your feet may become weak or unresponsive to movement commands.

Treating neuropathic foot pain

Whenever possible, treating or controlling the condition that causes neuropathy is usually the first step. For instance, a type 2 diabetic may start medication and alter their diet to control blood sugar, preventing their neuropathy from progressing. This may not have an effect on existing symptoms, however.

For simple, mild neuropathic pain, over-the-counter pain medications may reduce or eliminate symptoms. Your doctor may recommend prescription pain relief, but since neuropathy is often a chronic condition, medications that tend to produce drug dependency are a “last resort” solution.

Some drugs used to treat epilepsy are effective at treating nerve pain, even though you may not suffer from seizures. Antidepressant medications sometimes work in the same way, reducing foot pain, even when you aren’t depressed. Topical creams, such as those with capsaicin, provide pain masking for some neuropathy patients. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may also prove effective, changing the way in which nerve signals transmit pain.

Chiropractic care is also effective for reduction of foot neuropathy for some. Chiropractic adjustments restore balance and alignment and often reduce effects of referred pain. Irritation of a nerve may create phantom pain anywhere along the path of the nerve, so some pain you feel in your feet could actually originate elsewhere.

The team at Integrated Medical Solutions of Knoxville are specialists in treating neuropathic foot pain, so they are ideal partners as you navigate your way through the wide range of pain relief options. Call the office, or use the online appointment tool to schedule your initial consultation.

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