Some 25-30% of people in the United States will develop neuropathy at some point. If you’re among them already, you know how bothersome the symptoms can be. Thankfully, neuropathy can be treated once you and your medical providers know the cause.
Take a few minutes to learn more about neuropathy, including common causes that can affect your feet and ankles.
Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is another term for nerve damage or dysfunction. It can affect one or more nerves and often starts in your hands or feet.
Depending on which nerves are affected, you might experience:
In severe cases, untreated neuropathy affecting your motor nerves can even lead to paralysis.
A broad range of conditions and scenarios can lead to or worsen neuropathy. While some of these causes are genetic, others derive from lifestyle factors.
Conditions that cause neuropathy include:
Other contributing factors may include alcoholism, a severely restrictive diet, or exposure to poisons, like certain heavy metals and industrial chemicals. Medications, such as chemotherapy drugs and injuries such as falls, sports injuries, or car accident injuries can also be to blame.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with neuropathy, Dr. Oexeman may recommend conservative or surgical options — depending on your age, the cause of your issues, and your overall health — to relieve your symptoms.
In addition to getting treatment for any underlying condition, she may recommend:
With an appropriate treatment plan, you can expect not only less pain, weakness, and numbness, but greater mobility and overall life quality. And neuropathy can grow progressively worse, so the sooner you get started the better.