causes of peripheral neuropathyIf you have started to experience pain, numbness, tingling, or decreased feeling in your feet, Canyon Foot + Ankle can help. Our experienced podiatrists can determine if you are experiencing neuropathy and treat your condition before it becomes worse

Peripheral neuropathy results from issues within a person’s peripheral nervous system and it is not a condition that will get better on its own. Allowing it to go untreated can lead to permanent, irreversible nerve damage. Neuropathy can be treated, but time is of the essence.

Symptoms of Neuropathy

The symptoms of neuropathy within the feet start out mild and become increasingly severe.

  • Numbness, prickling, or tingling sensations in the hands and feet, sometimes even moving into the legs and arms
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch or loss of sensation, somewhat like you are wearing socks or gloves when you are not
  • Pain during activities that should not cause pain
  • Weakness
  • Lack of coordination and falling
  • Inability to move the affected area

Because peripheral neuropathy is a condition related to the peripheral nervous system, and not just the feet, it can cause symptoms beyond the feet.

  • Blood pressure changes—either increases or decreases
  • Sweating too much or not enough
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Swelling
  • Eye problems

Causes of Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a condition that can be caused by a number of factors. Identifying what is causing you to experience neuropathy is a critical first step in effectively treating it. 


Type 2 diabetes is highly correlated with neuropathy, with around half of all people diagnosed with diabetes believed to also suffer from peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can result in diabetics when their blood sugar is too high for too long.

Alcohol Abuse

Drinking heavily for a prolonged period of time can also lead to peripheral neuropathy, as the high level of alcohol consumption can cause nerve damage.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Not having enough of certain vitamins and minerals, especially copper, Vitamin E, and certain variations of Vitamin B, can damage nerves.

Certain Medications and Toxins

Chemotherapy, some antibiotics, and certain medications used to treat gout and heart arrhythmias can lead to neuropathy, as can exposure to heavy metals and some industrial chemicals.

Autoimmune Diseases

Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Sjorgen syndrome, and vasculitis are just a few of the autoimmune diseases that can lead to neuropathy.


Whether they are benign or malignant, tumors can interrupt the workings of the peripheral nervous system and cause neuropathy symptoms.


A wide range of viruses and bacteria can cause peripheral neuropathy, including HIV/AIDS, shingles, and Lyme disease. 

Trauma and Surgery

Injuries and medical procedures can cause swelling or stretching that leads to neuropathy, which can be either temporary or permanent.

Circulation Issues

Inadequate blood flow can create temporary (when your foot or arm falls asleep) or long-term peripheral neuropathy.

Additional Causes

There are additional causes beyond those identified here. Seeking medical attention can help to pinpoint why you are experiencing symptoms and how best to move forward with treating the issue.

How Is Peripheral Neuropathy Diagnosed?

Diagnosing neuropathy can include several steps. These include:

  • Gathering a comprehensive medical history
  • Completing a physical examination
  • Testing how well nerves and the cells that control them are functioning
  • Imaging studies such as ultrasound, MRI, or CT scans

Treatments for Neuropathy

How neuropathy is treated depends on the cause of the condition. For diabetics who struggle with neuropathy caused by prolonged high blood sugar, using diet and exercise to lower the blood sugar can help to address the problem. If the underlying cause of the neuropathy is alcohol abuse, it is recommended to stop drinking alcohol right away.  

At Canyon Foot + Ankle, we offer two additional treatments for peripheral neuropathy that may not be available through other practitioners.


Neurogenx is a treatment method that sends electronic signals through damaged nerves to help them absorb energy more efficiently, flush out waste products, and reduce inflammation.

MLS Laser Therapy

MLS laser therapy uses painless lights to relieve pain and improve your body’s ability to repair tissue and regenerate cells.