Learn more about peripheral neuropathy and its symptoms and treatment options.
Peripheral nerves are the nerves in your toes, and peripheral neuropathy (PN) refers to the damage of these nerves. When these nerves are damaged, they don’t function properly, which leads to decreased or abnormal sensation your toes. In addition to decreased sensation, PN can lead to more serious issues, like an inability to move your toes or feet.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of PN
- It can also be a result of medications, age, heredity, arthritis, alcoholism, neurological disorders, or injury
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The main symptom of PN is any sign of numbness in your toes. If you notice any changes in sensation in your toes, you should consult with a doctor. Common symptoms of PN include:
- Burning, numbness, tingling, shooting or stabbing pain in the toes.
- Noticeable change in sensation in the toes.
- Feeling of “pins and needles” in the toes
- Feeling like you’re wearing an invisible sock
If you are suffering from PN, it’s important to monitor it by inspecting your feet regularly. Since you may have reduced feeling in your feet and may not be able to feel changes or damage occurring, regularly looking at your feet is important to track any new changes.
- Daily exercise – This improves blood flow to the feet. Discuss an exercise program with your doctor.
- Ointment and medications – Your doctor can prescribe these treatments to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy, massage, and electrical nerve stimulation – These treatments can help to improve nerve function.
- Dietary changes – Foods high in vitamin B can improve nerve function.
- If you have diabetes, controlling and monitoring your blood sugar levels is an important factor in reducing PN.