The peripheral nervous system is your body’s great communications relay network—think of it like an old-fashioned telephone switchboard operator, or maybe a network of cell towers. Connecting your brain and central nervous system to your limbs and organs, it allows you to feel and respond to sensations. When this system is damaged—known as peripheral neuropathy—it can lead to symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, and burning sensations in the feet and lower legs.
Neuropathy is unfortunately all too common in America today, but fortunately you can help significantly lower you risk of developing it, stop it from progressing further, or manage your symptoms through adopting healthy lifestyle habits, including:
Make sure you stay on top of managing your sugar levels if you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Poorly managed diabetes often leads to significant nerve damage in the legs, but careful management can prevent problems.
Quit smoking and avoid alcohol abuse. Both activities can negatively affect your circulation, which can significantly damage your peripheral nerves over time.
Explore developing a regular exercise routine with your doctor’s guidance. Even a relatively simple program, like walking for 30 minutes three times per week, can go a long way toward promoting healthy circulation, controlling sugar levels, improving strength, and reducing neuropathy pain.
Eat a healthy, nerve-nourishing diet. Opt for low-fat dairy and lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Also make sure you’re getting all your essential vitamins and minerals.
While healthy lifestyle changes are absolutely essential for helping you halt neuropathy, sometimes you may require a little extra professional assistance, whether that be treatment for an underlying condition, or certain medications and therapies. While these should never be thought of as a replacement for healthy habits, they can be quite effective when combined with a commitment to better personal health.
If you notice tingling, numbness, or painful sensations in your feet or ankles, we urge you to visit Family Foot and Ankle Center as soon as possible—this will give you by far the best chance to control your symptoms, prevent permanent damage, and avoid life-altering complications.
To schedule an appointment at one of our 6 offices in and around Cincinnati, please fill out our contact form or give us a call at 888-689-3317.