Countless individuals across the centuries have spent time contemplating the human experience. From a medical perspective, there are many different facets of being human, including how we are able to perceive the physical realities of our existence. In order to do so, we all rely upon our senses to process how things appear and feel. When we cannot trust our senses, such as in the case of neuropathy, it can lead to dangerous situations.
The Peripheral Nerves
The focus of this condition is the peripheral nerves. Understanding the respective components of the nervous system can help us see how these play an essential role in the ability to experience physical sensations.
The body’s nervous system has two subsystems – the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system is made of the brain and spinal column and has the responsibility of processing information. The peripheral nervous system collects the data that is processed by our brains.
Peripheral nerves run throughout the body. One of the main duties they have is to relay signals of pain when an injury has been sustained. This allows the brain to orchestrate everything needed for healing processes.
An Introduction to Neuropathy
If everything is running smoothly and as intended, you probably won’t think much about your nerves. When they are damaged, it can lead to several issues. Damaged nerves can send faulty messages, including burning, tingling, and painful sensations when none should exist. Damaged to peripheral nerves can also make them unable to convey messages to the brain when physical damage has been sustained.
Potential Causes of Nerve Damage
Though commonly associated with diabetes, neuropathy has several other potential causes as well. Tumors, infections, certain medications, physical trauma, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, and various other diseases can all lead to this condition.
Certain risk factors can increase the likelihood that an individual will sustain damage to his or her nerves, including:
- Alcohol abuse
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Exposure to toxins
- Repetitive movements
- Family history
Complications of Neuropathic Conditions
Nerves that send faulty signals of burning, tingling, and pain sensations can certainly be an issue for patients with neuropathic conditions. Even worse, though, is when the nerves have an impaired function to transmit any signals. This creates a situation wherein damage can be sustained to the body, but then not receive the treatment it needs. Left untreated, minor injuries and infections can become major problems.
Neuropathy Treatment and Prevention
The two main goals of treatment for a neuropathic condition are relieving symptoms and managing the root cause of the nerve problems. These can be achieved through the use of medication, electrical stimulation, plasma exchange, physical therapy, intravenous immune globulin, and surgical procedures.
Preventing such a condition from arising in the first place is certainly preferable to having to treat it, and there are ways to do so, including managing medical conditions that create risk. Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and alcoholism are all examples that should be properly managed. Making healthy lifestyle choices also helps. Regular exercise and diets rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins are particularly beneficial.
Oklahoma City Source for Neuropathy Care
When damaged nerves impact your feet, and especially if they increase the risk of dangerous situations, it is time to seek professional care. Here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma, we provide the help you need, so contact us today. Call our OKC office at (405) 418-2676 or schedule your appointment online.
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