As humans, we rely on our senses for a variety of functions, including the overall ability to experience the world around us. More than that, we use senses to keep us safe from danger. The smell of smoke, taste of spoiled meat, and sound of a rattlesnake all trigger survival responses. The sense of touch also plays a valuable role in our safety. Neuropathy can hinder our ability to sense danger.
Pain might be thought of as “bad,” but it is actually essential for our health – it is a warning sign that something is wrong. Worse than pain is the inability to experience it, and thus not recognize trouble. Nerve issues can become a major concern, so it’s important to recognize them and know what to do.
The Peripheral Nerves
The body has two different subsystems of the nervous system – the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The spinal column and brain make up the central nervous system and are responsible for processing information. Information is collected and transmitted to the brain by the peripheral nervous system.
When we consider nerve damage in the feet and ankles, we are mainly focused on those peripheral nerves, but knowing how they work with the central nervous system will allow you to see their importance in keeping you safe.
The peripheral nerves can be found throughout the body. A major function they perform is relaying pain signals whenever an injury has occurred. This enables the brain to process the situation and coordinate everything necessary for natural healing processes.
An Introduction to Neuropathy
When there aren’t any issues and everything is running as intended, it’s not necessary to give much thoughts to the nerves. In the case of nerve damage several issues can arise. Nerves that have been damaged may send faulty messages to the brain, like tingling, burning, and painful sensations that should not be present. Even more concerning is when the peripheral nerves cannot transmit messages to the central nervous system that indicate an issue needs to be addressed.
Potential Causes of Nerve Damage
Neuropathy is commonly associated with diabetes—and rightfully so since over half of all diabetic individuals have some damage to the nerves—but there several other potential causes. Infections, physical trauma, tumors, vitamin deficiencies, certain medications, and various diseases and autoimmune disorders can all play a role.
Additionally, certain factors that make it more likely for an individual to sustain damaged nerves, including alcohol abuse, repetitive movements, family history, and exposure to toxins.
Complications of Neuropathic Conditions
It is certainly a problem when nerves send faulty tingling, burning and pain sensations, but a greater concern is when impaired nerves create mean your body can sustain damage, but because you are unaware of it the issue does not receive the care it needs. Left unaddressed, minor infections and injuries ultimately become larger issues.
Neuropathy Treatment and Prevention
There are two goals when treating a neuropathic condition – managing the root cause and relieving symptoms. Components of a treatment plan for this issue include electrical stimulation, physical therapy, plasma exchange, intravenous immune globulin, medication, and even surgical procedures.
Our Las Vegas, NV podiatrist office is proud to offer Combined Electrochemical Treatment (CECT) to our patients who suffer from neuropathic issues. This therapy is proven to not only relieve symptoms, but also to reverse nerve damage.
Even better than treating damaged nerves is preventing the condition in the first place. Fortunately, there are ways of doing so, especially by careful management of medical issues that increase risk. Alcoholism, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes should be managed. It also helps to make healthy lifestyle choices, especially with regard to diet and exercise. Regular physical activity and a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins are especially helpful.
Nerve Issue Treatment in Las Vegas, NV
The team here at Absolute Foot Care Specialists is ready to provide the help you need with neuropathy or other nerve issues that are affecting your feet or ankles. Contact our Las Vegas podiatrist office to receive effective treatment from the experienced, highly-skilled foot doctors on our staff. Schedule your appointment with us online today or simply give us a call at (702) 839-2010 for more information.