If you're experiencing tingling, numbness, or pain in your feet, you don’t need to suffer in silence. The skilled Magic Valley podiatrists at Canyon Foot + Ankle can help you effectively manage neuropathy in your feet so you can get back to making the most of each day.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a nerve disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system—those nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. This condition disrupts the normal functioning of these nerves, leading to a range of distressing symptoms. While neuropathy can manifest in various parts of the body, it often strikes the feet and legs.
Neuropathy can be caused by various factors, each contributing to nerve damage in its own way.
- Diabetes. Diabetes is one of the most common causes of neuropathy, as consistently high blood sugar levels can damage nerves over time.
- Autoimmune diseases. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Guillain-Barré syndrome can result in nerve inflammation.
- Vitamin deficiencies. Lack of essential vitamins like B12 and folate can contribute to nerve damage.
- Toxic exposure. Certain medications, chemotherapy drugs, and environmental toxins can harm nerves.
- Alcohol abuse. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to nutritional deficiencies that affect nerve health.
- Infections. Infections like Lyme disease, shingles, and HIV can cause neuropathy.
- Kidney and liver disorders. These conditions can lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body, damaging nerves.
- Genetics. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to developing neuropathy.
Neuropathy is a serious condition that will worsen over time if it is not properly addressed. The reduced sensation associated with peripheral neuropathy can also increase your risk of developing dangerous foot ulcers and infections.
What Are the First Signs of Neuropathy in Your Feet?
The symptoms of neuropathy can vary widely from person to person. Some common symptoms include:
- Tingling and numbness. A sensation of pins and needles or a loss of feeling in the affected area.
- Burning or shooting pain. Intense pain that may feel like an electric shock or a stabbing sensation.
- Muscle weakness. Difficulty in moving the affected area due to weakened muscles.
- Sensitivity to touch. Even gentle touch can be painful for those with neuropathy.
- Coordination problems. Difficulty walking or performing tasks that require fine motor skills.
What Is the Most Effective Treatment for Neuropathy?
While neuropathy itself may not always be curable, effective management can greatly improve the quality of life for individuals living with this condition. At Canyon Foot + Ankle, our Magic Valley podiatrists develop tailored treatment plans to address your specific neuropathy symptoms, taking into consideration your lifestyle, medical history, and overall health.
Traditional neuropathy treatment often involves pain relievers, topical treatments, and medications targeting nerve pain (e.g., gabapentin, pregabalin) as well as physical therapy exercises, lifestyle changes, and orthotic inserts. However, if these measures aren’t successful in helping you manage your pain, we have two advanced treatment options for you to consider: Neurogenx and MLS laser therapy.
The only FDA-approved device of its kind, Neurogenx is an electromedical treatment tool that delivers a sophisticated electronic signal deep into your tissues, through adhesive electrode pads placed on your skin. A typical course of treatment might feature one or two weekly sessions of roughly 20 to 30 minutes for four to six weeks or so. Results vary, but we’ve found that most of our patients notice a significant improvement in their condition within the first three to four sessions.
MLS laser therapy, which harnesses the energy of light to relieve pain and accelerate your body’s natural tissue repair and regeneration functions, has also shown great promise as a treatment for peripheral neuropathy. The laser we use in our office uses two synchronized beams—a lower power 808nm wavelength laser and a higher power pulsed 905nm laser—that work in tandem with a fine-tuned computer control that allows us to tailor the treatment to the specific needs of each patient.
Clinical studies, as well as the experiences of patients in our Burley and Twin Falls locations, show an approximately 90% success rate in improving nerve health with these advanced treatment options.
Don't let those pins and needles hold you back any longer—take the first step towards a more comfortable future by reaching out to the Canyon Foot + Ankle team today.