Are you noticing abnormal sensations in your hands or feet, or possibly your arms or legs? Tingling, pain, or numbness in these areas may indicate a greater issue than you realize. You could be experiencing peripheral neuropathy, a condition caused by nerve damage.
Samuel Cox, DPM, and the rest of our team at Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists in Goodyear, Arizona, have the expertise to help you find relief from the pain and discomfort of a wide range of foot and ankle problems, including peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy explained
Your peripheral nervous system is made up of the nerves outside of your central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord), and it serves various functions. There are three types of peripheral nerves:
- Sensory nerves process skin sensations, such as temperature, touch, vibration, and pain
- Motor nerves make muscle movement possible
- Autonomic nerves control basic bodily functions, such as respiratory rate, heart rate, pupillary response, digestion, urination, and sexual arousal
When these nerves become damaged or diseased, the signals sent between them and the nerves of your spinal cord are interrupted. As a result, muscle movement can become impaired and normal sensations in your arms, legs, hands, and feet are hindered.
This can occur as a result of:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Traumatic injury
- Genetic predisposition
- Exposure to certain toxic substances
- Vitamin deficiencies
If you’re experiencing chronic pain or numbness, you may be suffering from peripheral neuropathy.
What are the signs?
Peripheral neuropathy symptoms indicate which type of nerves are damaged or disrupted. You may experience only one symptom, or you may experience multiple symptoms.
A key indicator of peripheral neuropathy is the gradual onset of tingling, prickling, burning, or numbness in your hands and feet, which may spread upward to your arms and legs. Other common signs include:
- Lack of coordination
- Frequent falls
- Temperature intolerance
- Extreme sensitivity changes
- Muscle weakness
- Irregular blood pressure
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Digestion, bladder, or bowel irregularities
- Excessive sweating or lack of sweating
If any of these symptoms apply to you, contact our team at Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists. We perform neurological testing as a first step to getting you started on a personalized treatment plan.
Determining the underlying cause of your peripheral neuropathy helps in deciding which treatment option is best for you. For instance, if the underlying cause is diabetes, alcoholism, or a vitamin deficiency, nutritional counseling and a subsequent change in diet may work wonders.
For other underlying conditions that require more than lifestyle changes, we offer regenerative medicine. Either of these treatment options may be accompanied by rehabilitative exercises and stretches.
Our experienced and compassionate team works hard to ensure a safe and effective treatment for your peripheral neuropathy. Give us a call at 623-935-5780 to book an appointment, or contact us via our website to take your next steps toward a pain-free life.