What is neuropathy?
Your nerves can get damaged through neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve injury that affects your body’s lengthy nerves. Your spinal cord sends long nerves to your arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes.
You may perceive pain, touch, temperature, location, and vibration because to these lengthy nerves (sensory nerves). They are also utilized for coordination, muscle tone, and mobility (motor nerves).
The hands, feet, arms, and legs can also be affected by peripheral neuropathy, which initially just affects your fingers and toes.
You could have one of the following symptoms of damaged sensory nerves:
• Tingling, “pins and needles,” chilly, pinching, scorching, or electric shock sensations (paresthesia).
• Aversion to being touched or touching others (dysesthesia).
• Feeling numb or diminished (anesthesia).
• A sensation that you are unable to feel the contour of an object in your palm or the floor beneath your feet.
• Having a difficult time telling the difference between hot and cold temperatures.
• Difficulty keeping your shoes on if they don’t fit correctly.
Under your wrist and ankle, you might just experience numbness and tingling. “Stocking and glove pattern” is what is used to describe this.
Having issues with your motor nerves can cause:
- Tripping or falling; or, with balance.
- Fastening your shoe laces or shirt buttons.
- Taking and holding things in one’s hands.
- Performing actions requiring coordination and muscle strength.
Various other signs can be:
- Constipation (difficulty pooping);
If your hands or feet are extremely numb, it’s possible that you won’t notice a fresh cut. Having a cut opens you up to infection.
Will neuropathy symptoms improve?
Nerves in the periphery are able to recover. It’s possible that peripheral neuropathy won’t permanently harm you.
Your symptoms may go away once you stop using a medicine that is causing peripheral neuropathy in your body. Your symptoms could get worse for a few months before they go better as your nerves repair.
Your body can require a lengthy time to recover. Your symptoms could last for several weeks, months, or even years.
What are the treatments of peripheral neuropathy?
Your medical team will inquire as to whether you currently experience peripheral neuropathy symptoms as a result of anything else, such as diabetes, before you begin treatment with a medicine that could cause this condition. Peripheral neuropathy may begin sooner or manifest itself more severely than usual if you already exhibit symptoms.
If you experience any symptoms in your muscles or nerves, inform your medical professionals. Early symptom treatment is preferable to waiting for a worsening condition.
These pain management techniques might be suggested by your medical team:
- Lidocaine (a painkiller)
- Tiger Balm
- Capsaicin Cream
Medical treatments could alleviate your symptoms:
- With workout regimens and assistance devices, physiotherapy can be helpful.
- Occupational therapists can assist you in locating suitable footwear and practical equipment to facilitate tasks.
- Podiatrists can assist with foot care.
What can you do for yourself?
Speak with your medical team first if you have any questions about any of these suggestions or if you wish to use any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, or herbal supplements to treat your symptoms.
Keep your hands and feet safe:
- Always wear safety footwear that provides appropriate support and cushioning.
- Wear loose cotton socks. A supportive pair of shoes will also shield your feet from harm.
- Despite the fact that walking may hurt your feet, it does not damage the nerves or worsen your neuropathy.
- Examine your skin every day for any wounds or bruises.
- In chilly temperatures, put on warm gloves and shoes or boots.
- Whenever you are cooking, use a pot holder or oven mitt.
- When doing yard work or dishwashing, put on gloves.
- To relieve stiffness, massage your hands and feet.
You could find it dangerous to perform some tasks due to a lack of feeling, diminished strength, or inadequate muscle control. Falls may be a possibility for you. Be cautious.
Bring up driving with your medical team. Driving may make it difficult for you to lift your foot from the gas pedal and onto the brake.
- Keep your home clear of junk, and tape rug edges down to prevent trips.
- If necessary, instal bars in the shower and a higher seat on the toilet.
- Before taking a bath or doing the dishes, test the water’s temperature with your elbow or a durable thermometer. Less than 43.3°C, or 110°F, should be the water’s temperature.
- Ensure that your home has adequate lighting. Put a night light in the hallway if you need one.
- Put non-skid mats or strips in the shower or bathtub.
- Make use of lightweight cookware, dishes, and utensils. Try to use glass that won’t break.
- Always grasp mugs by the handle, not the cup.
- Clear the stairway. Verify if the stairway’s railings are located on both sides.
- Get rid of any furniture with protruding corners or sharp edges. Use electric tools sparingly, especially drills and saws, and avoid using wheels on furniture. In your garage or backyard, don’t let tools fall on the ground.
Your muscles will remain flexible if you walk and stretch.
Your risk of getting hurt may be higher. Inform the staff that you have peripheral neuropathy if you work out in a gym.
Food and drink
You won’t be able to “poop” if you become constipated, so watch out for that. Tell your medical provider as soon as possible if you experience constipation.
Your injured nerves may benefit from taking vitamin B. The following foods are high in vitamin B: leafy green vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy.
A possible treatment for peripheral neuropathy is alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant.
- It is better to avoid consuming alcohol and drugs that could make you clumsy.
- Take your time standing up after sitting. Consider moving slowly. Don’t hurry.
- Employ useful tools: Special knives, forks, pens, and pencils may be more comfortable to hold. Dressing can be made simpler using specialized equipment (zipper pulls, buttoners, and stretchy shoelaces).
- Keep your blood sugar levels under good control if you have diabetes.