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Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers

Podiatrists, Foot & Ankle Surgeons located in Arlington, TX & Mansfield, TX

The nerve damage that triggers neuropathy causes pain and disability for at least 20 million Americans according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and is a common problem for people with diabetes. If you’re experiencing neuropathic symptoms in your feet or you have diabetes, get your feet checked by one of the podiatrists at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, with two locations in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas. The team has specialized expertise in treating peripheral neuropathy in the feet and can help you manage your neuropathic condition. Call the practice today or book an appointment online.

Neuropathy Q & A

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy refers to conditions affecting your nerves, the most common being peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is a sign of damage to the peripheral nervous system and can occur as a symptom of many different health issues, including:

  • Alcoholism
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Certain medications, e.g. chemotherapy drugs
  • Hereditary disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Injury or crushing of the nerves due to trauma
  • Cancerous and benign growths
  • Vitamin B deficiencies
  • Bone marrow diseases
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

Some viral and bacterial infections also cause neuropathy, including AIDS, shingles, Lyme disease, Epstein-Barr, and hepatitis C. Some cases of neuropathy have no identifiable cause.

What are the symptoms of neuropathy?

The precise nature of your symptoms varies according to which nerves are affected. Sensory nerves transmit sensations such as pain, heat, cold, and touch. Motor nerves control muscles, and autonomic nerves control those processes that you don’t consciously regulate, such as heart rate and digestion.

Because one or a combination of these different types of nerves may be affected by neuropathy, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Numbness in your extremities
  • Prickling or tingling sensations that can spread into your legs and arms
  • Pain, often described as either a sharp, stabbing, throbbing, freezing, or burning sensation
  • Allodynia (extreme sensitivity to touch)
  • Reduction in normal coordination
  • Falling and tripping
  • Weakened muscles
  • Intolerance to heat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Digestive upsets
  • Urinary problems
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded

Patients with diabetes and other conditions that lead to reduced circulation in the feet are more vulnerable to developing neuropathy, particularly if they’re not managing their condition well.

Decreased sensation in your feet can mean you may not notice injuries or sores, which can then become infected, so it’s essential for patients with neuropathy to have their feet examined by a podiatrist regularly.

What treatments are available for neuropathy?

The first step in treating neuropathy is to address any underlying health conditions that are causing the problem, such as diabetes. Leading a healthy lifestyle and taking your doctor’s advice on exercise and avoiding risk factors makes a significant difference to the symptoms of neuropathy.

There are also a variety of treatment methods available to improve neuropathic symptoms, including:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Capsaicin cream
  • Lidocaine patches
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Plasma exchange
  • Intravenous immune globulin
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery

Your doctor discusses all the factors involved in your case during your consultation, so you can decide together which approach is most appropriate for your type of neuropathy.

Don’t let the pain and inconvenience of neuropathy affect your quality of life. Call Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers today, or book an appointment online.