Peripheral Neuropathy

Nerve treatment damage for your feet

Peripheral Neuropathy

Your peripheral nervous system connects the nerves from your brain and spinal cord, or central nervous system, to the rest of your body. The job of these nerves is to deliver signals about physical sensations back to your brain. They also make sure your body’s internal functions, like blood circulation and food digestion, work as they should.

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when these nerves don’t work properly because they’re damaged or destroyed. This disrupts the nerves’ normal functioning. They might send signals of pain when there’s nothing causing pain, or they might not send a pain signal even if something is harming you.

Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can cause pain (stabbing, burning or tingling), numbness or weakness and occasional hypersensitivity. Most neuropathies affect all three types of nerve fibres to varying degrees; others primarily affect one or two types. Damage can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes, exposure to toxins and alcohol.

One of the most common causes is diabetes, followed by stroke, anaemia, peripheral vascular disease and smoking. Peripheral neuropathy can occur in one or both feet, is not a condition that is easily cured: the aim is to recognise and manage the symptoms, treat underlying causes and stop further deterioration.

How we help with Peripheral Neuropathy

The important issue is to get a diagnosis and appropriate support to avoid any trauma to your feet. On assessment we will use a monofilament and other equipment to give us a base line. Once we have flagged an issue we can offer health education advise, a free leafet will be issued ,
monitor your feet and sign post or refer you on to appropriate services.

The significance to your feet of you having neuropathy is that you may experience muscle wastage and structural changes thus developing pressure and friction where previously there was none, leading to damage in the joints and on the skin.

You may have extremes of skin conditions: sweating too much leading to maceration and athlete’s foot and not sweating enough leading to dry skin and associated fissures, corns and callous. You may not be aware when you have sustained any damage e.g. stood on a splinter, which leads to an ulcer and infection and due to this inability to feel and take action quickly the infection can lead to cellulitis and eventually sepsis.

Your proprioception may be impaired leading to poor balance and overloading of the foot leading to bony damage and pressure sores. You may experience pain or burning sensation when there is no evidence on the skin of damage which when at rest is worse.

To stay well and mobile follow the general foot health advice listed, control diabetes etc., stop smoking and be aware.