Your peripheral nervous system sends information from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. Neuropathy in the hands and feet, known as peripheral neuropathy, is a result of damage to those nerves. When these nerves are damaged, they don't function properly and can result in decreased or abnormal sensation in the toes and fingers. Sometimes, problems moving these extremities develops as well.
According to the American Diabetes Association, the most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes, with about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes developing neuropathy in their lifetime.
Other causes of peripheral neuropathy include:
The most common symptoms reported of peripheral neuropathy include burning, numbness, tingling, or shooting or stabbing pain in the toes or the fingertips. Any change in sensation in the feet and toes should be checked by a podiatrist. A proper diagnosis will be made on the basis of a physical exam, health history, and your symptoms. A blood test may be ordered to check your blood sugar level, as high blood sugar levels and diabetes are major causes of peripheral neuropathy. The doctor will also perform a thorough foot check to look for any injuries or infections and will also show you how to take care of your feet at home. People who have peripheral neuropathy should have their feet examined by a podiatrist at least once per year. Treatments focus on slowing the progression of the disease to maintain foot health, decrease pain, and improve the quality of life. If you have diabetes, the podiatrist will work closely with you and other healthcare professionals.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!