Neuropathy is a commonly associated complication with uncontrolled diabetes. In this condition, the nerves that control muscle movement and sense of touch suffer from irreversible damage. Too much sugar in the blood is detrimental to the nerve that passes through the blood vessels. Apart from diabetes, other factors that can cause neuropathy are physical injury and excess alcohol consumption. Foot neuropathy indicates damage to the peripheral nerves, the ones that regulate movement of arms and legs.
One of the simplest physical activity, walking, becomes a daunting task for patients with neuropathy in feet. In such circumstances, walking without pain seems to be next to impossible. The symptoms have been elaborated below:
Tingling feet is the term often used in context with foot neuropathy. It is an uncomfortable sensation that is often compared to pricking of pins and needles. These 'pin pricks' are particularly felt while moving the feet. The stinging feeling of 'pin pricks' keeps on lingering with every step that you take to move forward while walking. The pain of pins and needles pricking is usually experienced in the soles of the feet, but it can also affect the toes. This nerve disorder being a progressive disorder, the pain worsens over time. Also, the prickling discomfort does not remain confined to the foot but can spread to the entire leg. Even touching the feet triggers unbearable pain and wearing any kind of footwear may become quite challenging.
Damage to the nerve can also cause numb feeling in the foot. Numbness accompanied by painful feet is a common complaint in this type of neuropathy. The numb sensation is especially strong when the person is not moving and is sitting in one position for a considerable amount of time. However, the numbness soon vanishes, once you start moving the feet. Foot neuropathy is indeed a debilitating condition as movement of feet causes 'pin pricks' pain whereas resting at one position eventually makes the feet numb.
Foot muscles becoming weak is yet another symptom of neuropathy of peripheral nerves. If the condition is severe, nerve damage may occur extensively. In such circumstances, coordinating muscle movement required to perform any physical activity can be exceptionally difficult. There is a high possibility that the patient may lose his balance while walking due to low foot muscle strength associated with neuropathy.
Diabetic patients need to understand that managing their chronic condition is extremely important to alleviate and prevent foot neuropathy. Following a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle will ensure that the sugar levels do not reach the 'dangerous' region that triggers neuropathy in the feet. Massaging the foot is yet another home remedy to combat discomfort associated with neuropathy. A proper foot massage can stimulate blood flow in the feet. This in turn can provide substantial relief from tingling feet. Exercises like rotation of the ankles in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions also enhance blood circulation, which helps to alleviate symptoms. Use of painkillers and antidepressants may also help to reduce neuropathy pain. One should also avoid any excessive physical activity that puts too much strain on the feet because it may further damage the nerve.
Although there is no permanent cure for this medical condition, it can be certainly managed effectively, so that it does not interfere much with your day-to-day activities. Following the aforementioned treatment guidelines will definitely keep the neuropathy pain within tolerable limits and allow you to live your life to the fullest.