Can You Recognize the Early Signs of Peripheral Neuropathy?


Peripheral neuropathy affects millions of people in the United States, and it is the goal of Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, and Cassandra Stache, DPM of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center to control these numbers through early diagnosis and excellent care. And because May is Neuropathy Awareness Month, we’re sharing information regarding the symptoms and risks associated with this condition today.

Neuropathy is a general name given to nerve damage that can develop in all types of nerves, most often in the legs and feet but also the hands and arms.

Risk Associated with Peripheral Neuropathy

One of the most effective ways to prevent this condition is to be aware of your risk factors. Diabetes is one of the largest drivers of neuropathy, and the disease affects about 60-70% of those living with this chronic disorder.

In addition to diabetes, neuropathy is also associated with:

  • Obesity
  • Cancer drugs
  • Infection
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Trauma
  • Heavy alcohol use.

If any of these risk factors apply to you, it’s important you remain watchful for any changes in the nerve function in your feet.

Early Signs of Neuropathy

In the earlier stages, you may not notice this condition, but as it advances, you may begin to feel the following in your feet:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Loss of ability to feel changes in temperature
  • Burning, sharp, or stabbing pain
  • Severe sensitivity
  • Cramps or spasms
  • Loss of coordination.

If you don’t act early, you can develop ulcers or sores in your feet that are slow to heal, putting you at a higher risk for infection. Once infection sets in, it can be difficult to treat and may kill off the affected tissues.

Our goal is to diagnose and treat your neuropathy long before you have to face these more serious consequences. By recognizing the early warning signs of developing neuropathy, especially the tingling, numbness, and pain, we can intervene and stop the damage and, in some cases, reverse it.

If you’d like to learn more about neuropathy, contact the team at Greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center. You can click here to locate contact information for the nearest office to book your appointment.

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