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Banishing Foot Pain Once And For All » Is Foot Pain Making You Neurotic?

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Is Foot Pain Making You Neurotic?

Although itching and blistery feet may be a sign of Athlete’s foot, those who have constant numbness or tingling in their feet may be suffering from a condition known as peripheral neuropathy.   This is the general term given to disorders that affect the body’s peripheral nerves. 

The peripheral nervous system is comprised of nerves that spread from the spinal cord to various parts of the body.  This nervous system is responsible for motor and sensory nerves; the nerves that help us move and feel.  When a peripheral nerve is damaged, the affected area (particularly the lower extremities) may become increasingly numb or hyper sensitive (sensory nerve) and/or weak or paralyzed (motor nerves).  Either one or both sets of nerves can be affected.

Peripheral neuropathy that affects the feet is most common in people with diabetes, and in those who inherit the condition from their parent - hereditary neuropathy.   However, foot neuropathy isn’t limited to these groups.  It can occur in anyone.

The most common symptoms of foot neuropathy involving the sensory nerve include:
• Pain – sharp, stabbing or electric
• Extreme sensitivity to touch
• Numbness
• Tingling
• Burning or freezing sensation
• Lack of feeling

If the motor nerves are damaged in the feet, a person may experience weakness or paralysis, which can cause the muscles to waste due to the fact that they are no longer working as they should.

There is no cure for peripheral neuropathy.  Therefore, without proper foot care, the feet of an infected person are in danger of blisters, thickened calluses and cuts that can lead to ulcers.  Ulcers need to be looked after to prevent an infection that can lead to amputation.

Approximately 15% of people with neuropathic feet will develop foot ulcers that become infected.  However, amputation can be prevented in 80% of cases by practicing daily foot care such as:

• Thoroughly wash and dry feet
• Inspect the bottom of your feet upon waking up and before going to bed. 
•  Look for redness, blisters or cuts. 
•  Touch your feet.  If one feels particularly hot, this could be a sign that a bone is broken.  Seek your doctor’s attention immediately. 
•  A callus is a sign that an extreme amount of pressure is being forced upon a particular area of your foot.  Almost all ulcers begin as a callus.   The most common callus areas are the big toe and the ball of the foot.  If you have calluses consult your podiatrist on ways to relieve the pressure.
•  If you see openings in the foot or there is blood under the surface of the skin, see your doctor right away.
• Wear shoes that have lots of room.  Tight shoes cause pressure and cause and ulcer.  Have a qualified pedorthist (shoe specialist) fit shoes to your feet.
• Take a walk.  Walking helps increase the flow of blood to your feet.  This reduces the chance of ulcers and infection.  Note: stay off your feet if you have an ulcer.
• Foot stretches help improve circulation.
People with neruopathic feet should refrain from:

• Smoking
• Excessive alcohol intake
• Walking barefoot
• Soaking feet
• Wearing shoes without socks
• Wearing flip-flops or slip-on shoes
• Sleeping with ankles crossed
• Cutting calluses or corns
• Cutting toenails (a podiatrist or pedicurist should do this for you)

If you are experiencing tingling or numbness in your feet, see your doctor to get your feet checked out.  He or she will be able to refer you to the right specialist to help you treat and monitor your condition.

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Banish Foot Pain Once and For All

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One Response to “Is Foot Pain Making You Neurotic?”

  1. Nancy Says:

    I have chronic foot pain all over my feet. I have heel pain, sides and tops of feet pain, ankle pain, toe pain, ball of foot pain. I read the descriptions of different foot conditions but I never see any syndrome listed that includes multiple conditions in both feet on a chronic basis. Can anyone direct me? Thanks.

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