The smartest way to prevent neruopathy in your feet is to be cognizant of the potential causes (diabetes, toxins, medications) and do your best to avoid these situations. However, this is not always possible, but even if you already have diabetes or have been exposed to hazardous toxins, you can still help reduce the amount of damage you incur by keeping a close eye on your feet and by reporting any critical symptoms (like burning, tingling, or numbness) to your podiatrist.
Patients who develop pain with peripheral neuropathy describe the pain using a variety of words, including “burning,” “throbbing,” “deep ache”, “raw skin,” “skin sensitivity,” “tingling”, “sharp,” “electric-like,” “pins and needles,” “freezing cold,” “like walking on ground glass,” “itchy,” and others. Some patients say they don't have pain but have unpleasant and irritating sensations (Allodynia), which may include “itching”, “buzzing,” “like bugs crawling,” “like leather or sand paper”, “hard ball on bottom of feet”, and “aching. Some people feel like they have socks on, even though they are barefoot. Over time, this feeling can spread to the legs and hands.
Patients may find it harder and harder to walk. Their legs feel heavy and they may have to drag them selves up the stairs. Some patients have constant pains, day and night, whereas others only have noticeable pain at bedtime. Often, patients may complain that the pain interferes with their sleep and they may develop Restless Leg Syndrome and or Insomnia (difficulty sleeping). As with all chronic pain, patients with painful peripheral neuropathy may also develop depression. Patients with advanced neuropathy may also have trouble with their sense of positioning; and therefore, have difficulty with their gait or balance.
Title: Innovative Treatments for Diabetic and Other Forms of
By Cortese Foot and Ankle Clinic
We are lucky to be living at a time when new treatments for
medical conditions are being introduced at a rapid pace. Many medical problems that had few solutions
several years ago can now be treated with excellent results. Such is the case with peripheral neuropathy.
What is Peripheral
Peripheral neuropathy is
a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system — the vast communications
network that transmits information between the brain and spinal cord to every
other part of the body. Neuropathy means nerve disease or damage. There are
close to 300 causes of neuropathy and approximately 21 million Americans are
affected by this condition.
Most often, a doctor is able to diagnose peripheral neuropathy solely on a patient’s description of symptoms, and a simple neurological examination. But many people with the condition may not even have any symptoms of neuropathy: in this case, a doctor may order special nerve tests to assess the functioning of the small and large nerve fibers. These tests help determine whether you have neuropathy, the specific nerves involved, and the severity of your symptoms.
The first step in treating peripheral neuropathy is to address any contributing causes such as infection, toxin exposure, medication-related toxicity, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, or compression that can lead to neuropathy. Peripheral nerves have the ability to regenerate axons, as long as the nerve cell itself has not died. Correcting an underlying condition often can result in the neuropathy resolving on its own as the nerves recover or regenerate.
The adoption of healthy lifestyle habits such as maintaining optimal weight, avoiding exposure to toxins, exercising, eating a balanced diet, correcting vitamin deficiencies, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption can reduce the effects of peripheral neuropathy. Self-care skills such as meticulous foot care and careful wound treatment in people with diabetes is important. Strict control of blood glucose levels has been shown to reduce neuropathic symptoms and help people with diabetic neuropathy avoid further nerve damage.
Two new FDA approved procedures, Combination Electroanalgesia Therapy (CET), have shown great promise as an effective treatment solution for diabetic and other forms of neuropathy. The procedures used in the CET protocol are an ankle block, performed with local medication, and Electronic Signal Treatment (EST), as delivered by a unique sophisticated electromedical wave generator, specifically invented for neuropathy and several types of neuro-muscular pain. CET is showing tremendous results in the immediate treatment of neuropathy symptoms and has positive overall long-term benefits, without regression of neuropathy symptoms.
Neuropathic pain is a common, often difficult to control symptom of sensory nerve damage and can negatively affect overall quality of life. If you are experiencing any symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, see a physician right away. They will diagnose and treat you with the least invasive, most effective therapy available with the goal being to successfully manage both short-term and long-term pain.
For more information on CET treatment for peripheral neuropathy, or any foot problems, contact Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic at 309-452-3000 or visit them online at www.Cortesefootandankle.com. They are located at 1607 Visa Dr., Suite 5B in Normal.