Neuropathy, which is short for peripheral neuropathy, is a condition referring to damage done to the peripheral nervous system. This particular condition affects the nerves in your fingertips and toes. When these nerves are damaged, your fingers and toes will not work as they should. Here are some other frequently asked questions about neuropathy:
What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy?
Neuropathy can be caused by alcoholism, arthritis, or even heredity. Some medications can contribute to neuropathy and so can acute injury. Some neurological disorders such as fibromyalgia and spina bifida can also cause neuropathy. Other causes include:
- Previous surgeries
- Joint disease
- Idiopathic (no known cause)
What are the Symptoms of Neuropathy?
Symptoms of neuropathy include tingling in the feet and hands. Other symptoms such as burning pain, extreme sensitivity to touch, or skin and nail changes could indicate neuropathy. A loss of sensation is also common in the hands and feet.
How is Neuropathy Diagnosed?
First, your general doctor or podiatrist may take a clinical history to find out your lifestyle, exposure to medications, and alcohol intake. Next, they will perform a physical examination to test your reflexes, check for your ability to feel certain sensations, and assess your posture. Electrical tests may also be used to measure your nerve function.
What are the Treatment Options?
Some of the first treatment options may include a lifestyle change such as giving up alcohol or cigarettes, losing weight, and exercising more. You should invest in proper-fitting footwear and always inspect your feet for sores or injury.
You should also see a podiatrist who specializes in managing peripheral neuropathy to keep your feet healthy and functioning. The Edmond/Normal Foot and Ankle Clinic is one of the few places in the United States that offers a full variety of treatment options for neuropathy, including surgery.
If you feel you may be suffering symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, it’s important to see your doctor or podiatrist right away to begin treatment. There is no cure for neuropathy, but early treatment can help to manage the pain and symptoms of the condition.
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