Let’s say you’re having trouble walking. Gradually, over the previous weeks or months, you’re not able to keep up like you used to. Your feet are tired. Walking has been causing you foot pain that you can’t really explain. There could be several reasons for foot pain. One reason that you want to address as soon as possible is a problem with your nerve function.
When a patient comes in to Montgomery Foot Care Specialists complaining of persistent foot pain, we perform a complete examination. We may find an obvious injury. Perhaps there’s tissue inflammation or tendinitis going on. But in the absence of any of these, River Region podiatrists Heidi M. Christie, DPM and Chanda L. Day-Houts, DPM would want to rule out peripheral neuropathy.
What’s peripheral neuropathy?
In a nutshell, peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves in your arms, legs, hands, and/or your feet. When they work, nerves send messages to the brain. When they’re damaged, nerves can’t convey feelings like hot, cold, pain, or even the touch of your own hands.
Nerves can get damaged in a number of ways, such as through an inherited condition, a metabolic disorder, a traumatic injury, contact with a toxic substance (including alcohol abuse), or even as a side effect of some medications. When neuropathy affects your feet, it’s often caused by diabetes.
What to look for
If you’re feet are suffering from nerve damage, you might have some or all of these symptoms:
- pain that stabs like a knife
- muscle weakness
- a feeling of imbalance or tendency to fall.
Get it checked out
It’s important to address the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy as soon as possible in order to
- slow down the progression of the disease
- determine any underlying cause, such as diabetes, and
- reduce or eliminate your pain.