Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage of the peripheral nerves that connect the core of the body with the periphery, especially your legs. When your nerves are damaged, they don't work they way they should and you may experience decreased or abnormal sensation in your feet and toes. You may develop mobility issues as well.

Podiatric peripheral neuropathy typically begins with numbness, prickling or tingling in the toes, eventually encompassing the entire foot. You may feel ongoing or intermittent pain that gets worse at night. The sensation is usually felt equally on both sides of the body. Some people develop peripheral neuropathy symptoms suddenly, while others progress more slowly over months or even years.

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can include:

$1§  Sharp (jabbing or shooting) pain

$1§  Feeling like you are wearing an invisible glove or sock

$1§  Sensations of extreme temperature -- burning or freezing pain

$1§  Extreme sensitivity to touch

$1§  Limited sensation in the feet

$1§  Loss of balance and coordination

$1§  Muscle weakness

$1§  Muscle cramping or twitching

$1§  Difficulty walking

$1§  Insomnia because of foot and leg pain

Diabetesis the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop neuropathy within their lifetime.  It’s a bit like the chicken and the egg: for some people diabetes comes first, and neuropathy follows. For others, it’s the opposite – neuropathy symptoms lead them to the doctor’s office, where they find out that they have diabetes.

Other causes of peripheral neuropathy include:

$1·       Serious injury to the peripheral nerves

$1·       Advanced age

$1·       Family history

$1·       Arthritis, especially when the spine is involved

$1·       Certain medications, including some chemotherapy drugs

$1·       Heavy alcohol use

If any of this sounds familiar, or if you are experiencing unusual sensations in your feet, you should call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 or click here right away to set up an appointment with Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM in our conveniently located Pikesville office. Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova will examine your feet, diagnose the source of your discomfort, and create an effective treatment plan to get you feeling better as soon as possible.