Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves that are farther away from the brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral neuropathy is a common condition for people with diabetes, but it is also commonly affects people who have undergone chemotherapy treatment, and people afflicted by alcohol abuse.
Other causes of peripheral neuropathy symptoms include other cancer treatments (radiation, surgery) or the cancer itself (or tumors pressing on nerves), peripheral vascular disease/poor circulation, shingles, poor nutrition/vitamin deficiencies (such as thiamine, folate, niacin, vitamin B6, B12, and E), HIV and certain autoimmune disorders, and injuries or infections of the spine or nerves.
Preventing peripheral neuropathy is an area that needs further research. Studies so far have had mixed results when looking at the effects of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and other substances such as amino acids and protein in preventing chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients.
Many symptoms of peripheral neuropathy affect the feet and legs, such as:
- decreased sensation – less sensitive to hot, cold, soft, rough, etc.
- stumbling or tripping
- chronic wounds
A visit to a chiropodist or podiatrist is an important step towards managing this uncomfortable and often painful condition.
It is also important that you inspect your feet and lower legs daily for cuts, bruises, or other wounds.
Decreased sensation combined with a tendency to stumble or trip mean that you are at an increased risk of hurting yourself and not even realizing it. If a wound is becoming infected, you are also less likely to feel early warning signs such as soreness or burning.
If necessary, your chiropodist or podiatrist can treat wounds and infections before they get out of hand.
How we treat peripheral neuropathy
We use a biophysical treatment called FREMS (Frequency Rhythmic Electrical Modulation System) to treat peripheral neuropathy. The goal of FREMS treatment is neurovascular rehabilitation of leg complications and chronic wounds.
This painless treatment is covered by many health care plans. Visit our website to learn more about FREMS treatment at Step by Step.