How Does A Podiatrist Help With Peripheral Neuropathy?
The nerves outside the brain and spinal cord are affected by the condition known as peripheral neuropathy. From tingling and numbness to muscle weakness and even organ failure, this can result in a variety of symptoms. Peripheral neuropathy may be treated with podiatry, even though it can be brought on by a number of different things, including diabetes or injury. We’ll discuss how a podiatrist can assist with peripheral neuropathy in this blog post, as well as possible treatments.
Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy
Numerous conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, as well as drug and toxin exposure, infections, and physical trauma can all contribute to peripheral neuropathy. In some instances, there is no known cause. Creating a successful treatment strategy requires an understanding of the underlying causes of peripheral neuropathy.
Symptoms Of Peripheral Neuropathy
The nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body are affected by the condition known as peripheral neuropathy. Several symptoms can result from it, such as:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
- Sharp or burning pain, especially in the limbs.
- Weakness in the muscles, particularly in the feet and legs.
- Difficulty with coordination and balance.
- Sensitivity to touch.
- Muscle cramps and twitching.
These symptoms can vary in severity, and some people may experience them more acutely than others. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist, to determine if peripheral neuropathy is the cause.
Role Of Podiatrists In Treating Peripheral Neuropathy
Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who specialise in the diagnosis, treatment and management of conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. This offers several benefits from reducing pain to improving mobility. Peripheral neuropathy can cause a range of foot problems and podiatrists can play a key role in the treatment and management of these issues.
One of the main ways podiatrists can help with peripheral neuropathy is through foot care. Peripheral neuropathy can cause a loss of sensation in the feet, which can make it challenging to detect foot problems such as blisters, cuts and other injuries. Podiatrists can examine the feet for any signs of damage and provide treatment to prevent infections and other complications. They can also advise on proper foot care and footwear to prevent further problems.
Another way podiatrists can help with peripheral neuropathy is by providing orthotics. These are custom-made shoe inserts that are designed to improve foot function and reduce pressure on certain areas of the foot. Orthotics can help to relieve pain and improve balance and stability, which can be especially beneficial for people with peripheral neuropathy.
Podiatrists can also provide education and advice on managing peripheral neuropathy. They can help patients to understand the condition and how it affects the feet, and provide guidance on self-care strategies and lifestyle changes that can help to manage symptoms. This may include advice on diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors that can help to improve overall health and reduce the risk of complications.
In summary, podiatrists can play a crucial role in the treatment and management of peripheral neuropathy. They can provide foot care, orthotics, education and advice to help patients manage the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and reduce the risk of complications. If you are experiencing foot problems related to peripheral neuropathy, it is important to consult with a podiatrist for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Techniques Used By Podiatrists To Manage Peripheral Neuropathy
Podiatrists play a vital role in managing peripheral neuropathy. They use a variety of techniques to help alleviate the symptoms of this condition. Some of these techniques include:
- Custom orthotics: Podiatrists can design custom orthotics to help redistribute pressure on the feet and reduce the risk of developing calluses and ulcers. These orthotics are designed to fit the unique shape of each patient’s feet and can help to reduce pain and discomfort.
- Footwear recommendations: Podiatrists can recommend appropriate footwear for patients with peripheral neuropathy. Shoes with wider and deeper toe boxes can help to reduce pressure on the toes and prevent the development of calluses and blisters. Additionally, shoes with good arch support can help to reduce foot fatigue and improve overall comfort.
- Foot care education: Podiatrists can provide patients with education on proper foot care techniques. This can include teaching patients how to inspect their feet for signs of injury, how to clean and moisturize their feet, and how to properly trim their toenails.
- Nerve stimulation: Podiatrists may use nerve stimulation techniques to help reduce pain and discomfort associated with peripheral neuropathy. These techniques involve using electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves in the feet and can help to alleviate symptoms such as numbness and tingling.
- Massage therapy: Podiatrists may use massage therapy to help improve circulation in the feet and reduce muscle tension. This can help to alleviate pain and improve overall foot health.
Benefits Of Podiatry For Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that can greatly affect a person’s quality of life. However, podiatrists are well-equipped to help patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall foot health. Here are some of the benefits of podiatry for peripheral neuropathy:
- Pain relief: One of the primary goals of podiatry treatment for peripheral neuropathy is to alleviate pain. Podiatrists may use a combination of techniques, such as massage, stretching exercises, and custom orthotics, to reduce discomfort and improve mobility.
- Improved circulation: Poor circulation can exacerbate the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, so podiatrists may recommend exercises or other techniques to improve blood flow in the feet and legs. This can help reduce swelling and improve overall foot health.
- Preventing complications: Peripheral neuropathy can make patients more susceptible to foot injuries and infections. Podiatrists can help patients reduce the risk of complications by providing education on proper foot care, including nail trimming, moisturising, and wearing appropriate footwear.
- Customised treatment plans: Every patient’s experience with peripheral neuropathy is unique, so podiatrists create individualised treatment plans that address each patient’s specific symptoms and needs. This approach can lead to more effective symptom management and a better overall outcome.
- Improved overall foot health: While peripheral neuropathy is the primary focus of treatment, podiatrists also aim to improve overall foot health. By addressing any underlying issues and promoting good foot care practices, patients can enjoy healthier, more comfortable feet.
Peripheral neuropathy can be a debilitating condition that affects many people. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options available to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. Podiatry is a specialised field that can be particularly helpful in managing the foot and ankle symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy. A podiatrist can use a variety of techniques to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve function. If you or a loved one is struggling with peripheral neuropathy, consider seeking the expertise of a podiatrist.
At Upwell Health Collective, our team of experienced podiatrists can provide a comprehensive evaluation and personalised treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.