Recognizing the Early Signs of Peripheral Neuropathy

Are you experiencing abnormal sensations or pain in your feet? If you have chronic tingling, pain, or numbness in your feet and hands, you could have a more severe issue than you realize — for example, peripheral neuropathy. 

Evan Breth, DPM, and Neha Khanna, DPM, along with the rest of the team at Progressive Podiatry, PLLC, have the experience needed to help you find relief from a wide range of foot and ankle problems, including peripheral neuropathy. Here, we describe the condition and its early signs so you can get needed care promptly.

What is peripheral neuropathy?

The nerves outside of your central nervous system make up your peripheral nervous system. Your peripheral nervous system takes care of many different functions using three types of nerves:

If any of the nerves in your peripheral nervous system become damaged or diseased, the signals they send to your central nervous system are interrupted. This hinders muscle movement, and normal sensations you experience in your feet, legs, hands, and arms may become impaired. 

If you’re experiencing chronic pain or numbness in these areas, the root cause may be damaged peripheral nerves, or peripheral neuropathy. Different peripheral nerves can be affected, so peripheral neuropathy isn’t a single disease but rather describes many possible disorders that result from this kind of nerve damage. 

What causes peripheral neuropathy? 

Peripheral neuropathy has a number of causes. The most common cause is diabetes because chronically elevated glucose levels can lead to nerve damage. Other possible causes of the condition include: 

Sometimes the exact cause of peripheral neuropathy can’t be diagnosed. In this case, your doctor at Progressive Podiatry may call your condition idiopathic neuropathy.  

What are the early signs of peripheral neuropathy?

The early signs of peripheral neuropathy differ depending on the type of damaged or disrupted nerves. Some people have only one symptom, while others experience multiple symptoms. 

One of the earliest signs of peripheral neuropathy is a gradual onset of prickling, tingling, numbness, or burning in your feet or hands. Sometimes, these sensations spread to the legs and arms. Other common early signs of the disease include:

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact our team at Progressive Podiatry. We can get you started on a personalized treatment plan. 

How is peripheral neuropathy treated?

The best treatment option for peripheral neuropathy depends on the underlying cause of the condition. For example, if the underlying cause is diabetes,  alcoholism, or a vitamin deficiency, lifestyle changes such as losing weight and switching to a healthy diet can result in improvement.

If the underlying condition causing your neuropathy requires more than lifestyle changes, we create a customized treatment plan that may be accompanied by rehabilitative exercises and stretches.

At Progressive Podiatry, our experienced and compassionate team works hard to ensure you get the safe and effective treatment you need. Call the Brooklyn office most convenient to you, or book an appointment online now!

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