Neuropathy In Legs and Feet – Can It Be Cured?
Neuropathy in the legs and feet occurs when the nerves in these areas are damaged and unable to do their jobs. The result is numbness, tingling, throbbing, sensitivity, weakness, and pain in the lower extremities. It can also affect coordination, reducing balance and increasing the risk of falls. Though peripheral neuropathy can’t always be cured, the correct treatment can prevent worsening symptoms.
Several methods are available for reducing the issues associated with neuropathy, depending on the underlying cause and severity. As well as medication and topical treatments, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to combat the condition. A trained therapist customizes exercises to help with strength, flexibility, and motor control, possibly including TENS for pain management.
The following sections offer more information on peripheral neuropathy and its causes.
What Triggers Neuropathy in Legs and Feet?
The peripheral nervous system is complex, involving the central nervous system to accomplish its movement goals. The process begins when the peripheral nerves create messages in the brain and send them down the spinal cord and throughout the body. Sensory information is also delivered in the same manner using the sensory nerves.
When the peripheral nerves are damaged, they don’t create those messages as they are supposed to. They also lack the sensory interpretations used to detect touch, heat, and cold. The damage could result from several issues, such as injury, infections, or medical issues. The results include symptoms like burning, weakness, numbness, or pain in the legs and feet.
Can you have neuropathy without diabetes?
Diabetes isn’t the only issue causing such nerve damage, though it is the most common cause of neuropathy. In fact, there are over 100 types of peripheral neuropathy with several known causes.
For instance, neuropathy in the legs and feet could result from a medical condition. These include autoimmune diseases, bone marrow disorders, kidney or liver disease, tumors, or infections.
Other issues that could result in neuropathy include alcoholism, exposure to poisons, medication side effects, or low vitamin levels. Nerve damage could also be caused by an injury or pressure to the nerves. Some people even develop this issue due to their genetic history.
What can make it worse?
A few factors worsen neuropathy in the legs and feet and should be avoided when possible.
- Smoking – One issue is smoking, which narrows blood vessels, reducing the distribution of nutrients and oxygen to the extremities.
- Hormone levels and stress – Hormone levels and emotional stress also influence neuropathy, as stress can also narrow blood vessels. These can increase inflammation and pain, making it hard to go about your day and rest at night. Just having a stress-free life can improve any health condition, including neuropathy.
- Poor eating habits and high sugar levels – Even certain foods aggravate neuropathy, including items containing high sugar levels, gluten, or caffeine. Fried foods are also bad for this condition, as is alcohol, so avoid these to prevent worsening your neuropathy symptoms.
The symptoms of neuropathy in the legs and feet vary, depending on the cause. How quickly you seek treatment also determines the severity, so speak with your doctor as soon as possible.
This article is for educational and informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. For any questions about your own health condition, speak to a qualified physician or healthcare provider.