Tingling, aching or unusual feelings in your feet? How about no feelings at all?
You may have neuropathy, a condition caused by damage to areas of the nervous system that control signals to different parts of the body.
The peripheral nervous system relays sensory information between body parts, like the feet, and the central nervous system. This allows an appropriate response to signals like temperature, pressure, vibration or pain, such as tightening the muscles or sweating.
Red Mountain Footcare tells us that in the case of general neuropathy, some of these signals may get mixed up, resulting in people feeling like their feet are cold on a warm day, or burning on a cool day.
Some people who have different types of neuropathy in feet report everything from pins and needles to feeling like they’re wearing socks when they’re bare feet.
Yes, we said different types, since there are actually many different causes and types of neuropathy.
Science is still researching how and why neuropathy happens to some people and what kind of treatment and management options are available. But there are more answers to what’s happening than there were a decade or so ago.
The team at Red Mountain Footcare is especially interested in educating people about what might be going on when the peripheral nerves misfire, and seeing if there are ways we can help them.
Neuropathy can actually take place anywhere, but we’re especially interested in focusing on the different types of neuropathy in feet.
Causes can include injury to the feet or brain that may alter the signals. It also could indicate problems with the kidneys or hormone imbalance. It could be an infection or a side effect of chemotherapy or other medications. It’s also common for people with diabetes, since this condition sometimes causes loss of feeling in the extremities like hands and feet.
Neuropathy is also something that may be hereditary/genetic and certain people may be more susceptible. Of course, some lifestyle conditions that can contribute to diabetes and other health conditions also could increase the possibility of general neuropathy, such as smoking and heavy alcohol use.
Footcare professionals evaluating someone for possible neuropathy need to look at the different types. These can include:
Compression mononeuropathy. This happens when one nerve is damaged, or a blood vessel is blocked that provides blood to the nerve. In the hands and wrists, this leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Unilateral foot drop. If the peroneal nerve in the leg is damaged, it could make it difficult for someone to pick up their foot when they walk or try to move it.
Charcot’s Joint. This one happens when nerve damage causes a joint to break down. It’s also called neuropathic arthropathy. It can lead to no feeling in the foot, no ability to feel where foot joints are positioned, and a decline in muscle tissue that supports the foot. This lack of sensation can lead to inflammation, sprains and breaks, and general mobility problems.
Focal neuropathy. This is less common in the feet, but is still what happens if a group of nerves become weak or start sending out pain signals.
Contact Red Mountain Foot Care
If you are experiencing possible symptoms of neuropathy or other foot conditions, the team at Red Mountain Footcare is ready to get you the help you need.