Nerve damage to your peripheral nerves can cause pain and other symptoms like weakness and numbness. The most common type of nerve damage is neuropathy, which comes on gradually and often begins with numbness and tingling in your feet.
Neuropathy is a disease or dysfunction of sensory and motor nerves that connect the spinal cord and brain to the body. Along with numbness, you may feel a burning or sharp pain and may experience a lack of coordination and even falls.
Prompt treatment is necessary for this condition or permanent damage may result.
Diabetes is a Common Cause of Neuropathy
Nerve fibers may be damaged by prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels such as those experienced by patients with diabetes.
Neuropathy may also be caused by trauma to the nerve, alcoholism and some autoimmune diseases.
Because of lessening feeling and numbness in the feet due to the nerve damage, often those with peripheral neuropathy are prone to falling and injuries from falls. Patients with neuropathy experience are at an increased risk for falls due to decreased lower leg strength, loss of sensation and balance impairments.
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy
To relieve symptoms of nerve damage, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen believe that it’s important to treat the underlying cause. For example, patients with diabetes should follow their doctor’s advice to control their blood sugar levels. Gentle exercise like walking, along with tai chi and yoga, can improve circulation, and patients who smoke should stop.
Our Ardmore and Paoli, PA offices offer electrotherapy treatments to stimulate nerve and muscle cells and improve circulation.
To reduce the risk of a serious fall for those with balance problems, the board certified and board qualified foot doctors of Your Next Step often prescribe the Moore Balance Brace. This lightweight foot and ankle support fits under the sole of your foot and extends up the back of your leg to the mid-calf area. The Moore Balance Brace fits into most shoes and stabilizes the foot and ankle to improve balance and coordination.
Contact us at 610-642-8837 or visit our website for an appointment if you or a loved one is experiencing the pain and numbness of neuropathy. We can prescribe medications to relieve the pain and develop a plan including physical therapy to address balance and coordination problems.