A foot that has “fallen asleep” can certainly be annoying. In that moment, the nerves have become temporarily impaired, usually from a source of moderate pressure. You will likely try to shake your foot out to restore blood flow, which helps “wake” the nerves back up and restores your foot to its normal state.
When nerves are impaired for longer times or permanently, it is a condition known as neuropathy. This can happen for several reasons, but it can be a rather serious issue. The good news is that our staff here at Central Arkansas Foot Care can help. Your first step, though, is to recognize what is happening and then contact us for the treatment you need.
The Peripheral Nerves
Understanding the respective components of the nervous system can help you see how these play an essential role in your ability to experience physical sensations. The body’s nervous system has two parts—the central and the peripheral nervous systems. The first consists of the brain and spinal column and is charged with the responsibility of processing information. The second collects the data that is processed through a system of nerves that run throughout the body.
When we discuss neuropathy, our focus is on the peripheral nerves. One of the main duties they have is to relay signals of pain when an injury has been sustained. This allows the brain to orchestrate everything needed for healing processes.
An Introduction to Neuropathy
If everything is running smoothly and as intended, it is rather unlikely that you will give much thought to your nerves. When they become damaged, however, they can lead to several different issues. Damaged nerves may send faulty messages to the brain, including sensations of burning, tingling, and even pain, when none of these should exist. Nerve damage can also leave the peripheral nerves unable to convey messages to the brain when physical damage has been sustained.
Potential Causes of Nerve Damage
Although it is commonly associated with diabetes, there are several other possible causes of nerve damage. Tumors, infections, certain medications, physical trauma, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, and various other diseases can all lead to this condition. Some risk factors increase the likelihood that an individual might develop nerve issues. These factors include diabetes, alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiencies, repetitive movements, exposure to toxins, and family history.
Complications of Neuropathic Conditions
Nerves that send faulty signals of burning, tingling, and pain sensations can certainly be an issue when you have a neuropathic condition. Even worse, though, is when the nerves have cannot transmit any signals at all. This creates a situation where damage can be sustained to the body, but then not receive the treatment it needs. Left untreated, minor injuries and infections can become major problems.
Neuropathy Treatment and Prevention
The two main goals of treatment for a neuropathy are relieving symptoms and managing the root cause of the neuropathy. These can be achieved through the use of medication, electrical stimulation, plasma exchange, physical therapy, intravenous immune globulin, and surgical procedures.
Preventing such a condition from arising in the first place is certainly preferable to needing treatment, and there are ways to do so, including managing the underlying medical conditions that create risk. Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and alcoholism are all problems that should be properly managed. Making healthy lifestyle choices also helps. Regular exercise and diets rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins are particularly beneficial.
Arkansas Neuropathy Care
When damaged nerves impact your feet, and especially if they increase the risk of dangerous situations, it is time to seek professional care. Here at Central Arkansas Foot Care, we provide the help you need, so contact us today. Call our Hot Springs, AR office at (501) 321-4844, or our Arkadelphia office at (870) 245-3003. You can also schedule an appointment with either of our locations online today.