Are Your Feet or Hands Numb or Tingly? It Could Be Peripheral Neuropathy

Are Your Feet or Hands Numb or Tingly? It Could Be Peripheral Neuropathy

You rely on your feet and hands a great deal, so when you start to feel odd sensations, such as tingling or creeping numbness, you’re understandably concerned. Your concern isn’t misplaced, as these symptoms can be a sign of peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage.

To help you better understand this condition, Sachida Manocha, MD, and the team here at Interventional Pain Center in Worthington and Newark, Ohio, are focusing on peripheral neuropathy in this month’s blog post.

The basics of peripheral neuropathy

There are two main parts to your nervous system: 1) Your central nervous system, which consists of your brain and spinal cord; and 2) Your peripheral nervous system, which consists of all of the nerves that lie outside of your brain and spinal cord.

Your peripheral nervous system serves as a vast communications network that sends and receives information from your brain, including important sensory information. When there’s damage to your peripheral nervous system, the condition is called peripheral neuropathy.

If sensory nerves are damaged, you may experience a wide range of symptoms, including:

These symptoms typically strike your extremities first, meaning your feet and hands, and they can start to spread up your arms or legs.

If there’s damage to your motor nerves, you may experience muscle weakness, cramping, and loss of coordination.

Peripheral neuropathy can also involve your autonomic nerves, which are nerves that regulate involuntary processes, such as your heart rate and blood pressure, but we’re going to focus on sensory and motor nerve damage here.

The causes of peripheral neuropathy

There are many ways in which your peripheral nerves can incur damage, from acute trauma to tumors that press up against your nerves. The most common driver of peripheral neuropathy in the United States, however, is diabetes.

About one in 10 adults in the United States has diabetes, and one in three adults has prediabetes. Of those with diabetes, about 60-70% have mild to severe forms of peripheral nerve damage.

Treating peripheral neuropathy

If you’re just starting to experience numbness or tingling in your hands or feet, it’s important that you come see us right away. These are early signs of peripheral neuropathy, which means we can help prevent irreparable nerve damage.

There are many steps we can take to protect your peripheral nerves, including:

If your peripheral neuropathy stems from an infection, antibiotics can go a long way toward clearing the infection and resolving your symptoms.

If, like many people, your peripheral neuropathy is diabetes-related, one of the most important steps you can take is to better manage your blood sugar levels. 

Our point in all of this is that numbness and tingling in your hands or feet are often early signs of what might become a much larger problem, so early intervention is critical. For expert diagnosis and treatment of peripheral neuropathy, book an appointment online or over the phone with Interventional Pain Center today.

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