The National Institutes of Health says that more than 20 million Americans are living with neuropathy or permanent nerve damage. Left unmanaged, neuropathy can lead to more serious health problems and affect your mobility. The team at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle, in Decatur and Roanoke, Texas, regularly works with patients to minimize the symptoms and progression of neuropathy. If you or a loved one is suffering, call the office nearest you or click the online booking tool to make an appointment today.

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What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy occurs as a result of damage to the nerves outside of your brain and spinal cord, known as your peripheral nerves. Your peripheral nervous system sends messages from your spinal cord and brain to other parts of your body and also provides you with sensory information.

Neuropathy affects people of all ages and genders. Common causes of neuropathy include traumatic injuries, metabolic problems, diabetes, and exposure to certain toxins.

Are there different types of neuropathy?

At North Central Texas Foot & Ankle, the team specializes in diagnosing and treating two common types of neuropathy:

Diabetic neuropathy

If you have diabetes, it means your blood sugar levels are consistently too high. Left untreated, high blood sugar levels damage your peripheral nerve tissue, affecting your ability to experience sensations. If you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy, you’re also more likely to develop open wounds or ulcers on your feet and legs. Ulcers increase your risk of infection and amputation.

Mechanical neuropathy

Mechanical neuropathy, also known as compression neuropathy, occurs when one or more of the nerves in your lower back becomes squeezed or impacted. Common symptoms of mechanical neuropathy include pain and muscle weakness. This type of neuropathy is usually the result of repetitive injuries to your lower back. However, other health problems can also play a role, including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

What are the symptoms of neuropathy?

The most common symptoms of neuropathy are numbness, weakness, or tingling in your hands and feet. As the condition progresses, you might also experience:

  • Sharp, jabbing, or burning pain
  • Lack of coordination or falling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Paralysis

It’s also common for people with neuropathy to experience pain during activities that are harmless. For example, you might experience burning or tingling sensations when you stand up or cover your feet with a blanket.

How is neuropathy treated?

Treatment for neuropathy depends on the severity of your condition and the symptoms you’re experiencing. However, the team at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle works with you to develop a plan that manages your symptoms and addresses your pain.

Depending on your symptoms, your podiatrist might recommend taking medical-grade supplements, prescription medications, or participating in physical therapy. You might also benefit from custom podiatry, custom orthotics, or regenerative medicine injections such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell therapy.

Board-certified foot and ankle surgeon Ricky Childers, DPM, is a member of the Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons and performs all types of nerve surgery to the lower extremity, such as for entrapped nerves, injured nerves, and neuropathy. He can help determine the proper treatment for you.

To learn more about the treatment options for peripheral neuropathy, make an appointment at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle by calling the office nearest you or by clicking the online booking tool.