Recognizing the Early Signs of Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States, though experts suspect that this number is far higher thanks to poor reporting and misdiagnoses. Whatever the final tally may be, our goal is to better control these numbers through early detection and excellent care.

At Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, our team of podiatric health care experts has extensive experience identifying and treating peripheral neuropathy in the feet, one of the primary locations where nerve damage develops.

One of the keys to success is early intervention, before the nerve damage becomes permanent. And this is where you come in. By recognizing the early signs of peripheral neuropathy and coming to see us right away, you can avoid some of the very serious outcomes of untreated nerve damage.

Understanding neuropathy

Let’s quickly review what neuropathy includes. Neuropathy is a catchall term for nerve damage and the problem can develop in all types of nerves, including your:

Peripheral neuropathy most often develops in your feet and legs, but it can also affect your arms and hands.

Know your risks

One of the best ways to prevent peripheral neuropathy is to know your risk factors. As we mentioned, diabetes is one of the largest drivers of peripheral neuropathy and the problem affects 60-70% of those with this chronic metabolic disorder.

Outside of diabetes, peripheral neuropathy is also tied to:

If you fall into any of these categories, it’s important that you remain vigilant for any changes in nerve function in your feet.

The early signs of neuropathy

In its earliest stages, you may not recognize neuropathy, but as it progresses, you may start to feel the following in your feet:

If you don’t take early action, you can develop sores or ulcers in your feet that are slow to heal, which puts you at greater risk for infection. Once infection takes hold, it can be very hard to treat and may cause the death of the affected tissues.

Our goal, however, is to identify and treat your neuropathy long before you face these serious consequences. By recognizing the early signs of developing neuropathy, especially the pain, tingling, and numbness, we can intervene and halt the damage and, in some cases, reverse it.

If you’d like to learn more about neuropathy, please contact one of our locations in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Murfreesboro, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, or Lebanon, Tennessee, to schedule an appointment.

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