Peripheral neuropathy, a result of nerve damage, often causes numbness and pain in your feet. The pain is typically described as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation (numbness)to the feeling of wearing a a thin stocking or glove. Although diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy, there are numerous other potential causes, such as traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
The nerves of your peripheral nervous system send information from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to all other parts of your body and back again. Nerves that may be affected by peripheral neuropathy include:
- Sensory nerves that receive sensations such s heat, pain or touch
- Motor nerves that control how your muscles move
- Autonomic nerves that control functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder function
Most commonly, peripheral neuropathy starts in the longest nerves – the ones that reach to your toes. Symptoms can vary greatly, depending on which types of nerves are affected. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Gradual onset of numbness and tingling in your feet, which may radiate (spread) upward into your legs.
- Burning pain
- Sharp, jabbing or electric-like pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
Peripheral neuropathy may affect one nerve (mononeuropathy), two or more nerves in different areas (multiple mononeuropathy) or many nerves (polyneuropathy).
The doctors at the Michigan Foot and Ankle Center understand the great difficulty and pain that peripheral neuropathy can cause to patients. They work to establish the underlying cause of the peripheral neuropathy and they work closely with other specialists to formulate the proper treatment that each individual requires.