A common comment that I hear from my patients is that their feet are numb. And this is not the "usual" numb that many of us feel from time to time. It's the kind of numb that people describe as feeling like they are wearing multiple pair of socks, even when they aren't. They feel like their feet are encased in wax. It doesn't hurt, but it's not right. These patients are suffering from a condition known as peripheral neuropathy.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where the nerves that run to your lower extremities no longer function efficiently and effectively. This can result in a burning or stinging pain or a sensation of numbness...and both are extremely bothersome. Although diabetes is a common cause of peripheral neuropathy, it is far from the only cause. In fact, it is unfortunately common to not find any apparent cause for your peripheral neuropathy. These factors make it difficult to treat. It also leads to frustration when symptoms linger.
How do we Treat Neuropathy?
There a number of medications that have been marketed for treating the pain of neuropathy. These include Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Neurontin. But, these medications are only effective when your neuropathy presents with pain. And, they often come with unpleasant side effects. They will not help patients whose neuropathy makes their feet feel numb or as if they are encased in wax. In those situations, vitamin supplements have often proven to be effective in alleviating the symptoms.
Neuremedy is a medical food neuropathy vitamin containing a fat-soluble form of thiamine, which is Vitamin B1. Metanx is another medical food that has a multitude of vitamins and nutrients that aids in nutritionally supporting the nerves. Both can be taken without fear of interactions to other medications. Even better? They carry no side effects. If effective, these vitamins must be taken on an ongoing basis to continue their effect.
Another exciting therapy available at my office is MicroVas, an FDA approved, non-invasive treatment that increases the circulation of blood in your feet and legs. This allows more oxygen to reach your nerves, improving or, in some cases even eliminating, the neuropathy symptoms that other treatments just can't help.
What does that mean for my patients? If you felt numbness, or like your feet were stuck in wax, your sensation could be restored. If you experienced pain and tingling, your comfort level would improve--and without medications! I've seen great results with this form of therapy, which is why I was the first podiatrist in Houston to offer MicroVas treatments.
Of course, with any of these treatment options, I can't guarantee that you will realize relief. Each of my patients is unique, which is why every neuropathy treatment works differently on different people. But want to know what I can guarantee? Many people with neuropathy are told that nothing can be done to relieve their discomfort. And I promise you: that statement can't be farther from the truth. Give your podiatrist in Houston, TX a call and see if one or more of these neuropathy treatment options may be right for you.