A malfunctioning traffic light can create a chaotic mess of cars. If there is no longer a signal to tell drivers what to do, there may be confusion as to who should stop, who should go, and what you should do next. A similar circumstance is true if you have neuropathy. Nerve damage hinders the signals to your brain, making you unaware of injuries and extreme temperatures that can cause you harm. Fortunately, in this case, the experts at Podiatry Associates, P.C. can show you the way to relief.
The Road to Nerve Damage
Damage to your peripheral nervous system, called peripheral neuropathy, can occur for a number of reasons. Heredity, injury, and infections can all be contributing factors. Certain medications or exposure to toxins can also result in nerve damage. Alcoholism is yet another culprit, as is a vitamin-deficient diet. There may be underlying conditions putting you at risk as well. Autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can affect your nervous system, and more than half of those with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy which can lead to serious complications.
Heed the Warning Signs
The nerves in your body all have different functions, so symptoms of neuropathy depend on the type of nerve affected. Autonomic nerves control functions such as blood pressure and digestion. With this type, you may experience dizziness or digestive problems. Motor nerves control muscle movement, so symptoms can include weakness and a lack of coordination. Finally, sensory nerves receive sensation signals. Damage to these can result in sensitivity to touch, pain, numbness, tingling, and burning.
Paving the Way to Relief
Treatment of peripheral neuropathy focuses on addressing the underlying condition causing it, as well as relieving discomfort. Medications can alleviate pain and other symptoms, while physical therapy can improve strength and function. In certain cases when there is pressure placed upon the nerves, surgery may be an option. However, there are plenty of things you can do on your own to manage your neuropathy and prevent it from worsening.
Reaching a Fork in the Road
When you’ve reached this point, it’s time to make some decisions. If you continue down the same road, your condition will only get worse, and can even result in permanent damage. However, if you choose a new direction, you can live a comfortable, active life. A few lifestyle changes can go a long way toward stopping progression and relieving symptoms. If you smoke, get serious about quitting. Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Eat healthy meals with essential vitamins and minerals. Exercise daily to improve circulation, build muscle strength, and help control blood sugar levels—an important factor for those with diabetic neuropathy.
Getting the Green Light
Stop nerve damage before it goes too far. Proceed with caution by taking steps to eliminate contributing factors, and go to Podiatry Associates, P.C. to get the care you need to manage your neuropathy. Make an appointment with Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen or any member of our team by calling (303) 805-5156 today. You can also stop by any of our convenient locations in Parker and Castle Pines, CO. (Also serving the Denver, Aurora, and Centennial communities.)