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Neuropathy – I keep hearing that word, what is it?

What exactly is neuropathy?

Neuropathy means damage to nerves. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common and affects the arms, hands, legs and feet. Sensory nerve involvement causes tingling, burning and numbness. Motor nerve involvement causes difficulty in walking and doing tasks with the hands.

There are many causes but the most common cause is diabetes. Idiopathic neuropathy means there is no known cause.

The neuropathy is symmetrical affecting both legs and both feet. With sensory nerve involvement, the numbness may be so severe there is no feeling at all. This can result in serious foot injury. A cut or bruise that goes unnoticed and untreated can result in infection so serious that amputation is required. The infection can even be life-threatening.

Motor nerve involvement causes people to be unsure of their step and to fall easily. Seventy-five percent of all neuropathy sufferers have balance problems.

Adolph Kiefer, 1938 United States Olympic Gold Medal winner for swimming, has peripheral neuropathy. He works with The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy helping to find a cure. He recently celebrated his 94th birthday and still swims every day.

It is important for neuropathy sufferers to see a podiatrist who can intervene before problems become severe.

Getting Professional Treatment

The Podiatrist is a specialist in spider veins and other related foot, knee or lower leg problems. The time to see a podiatrist is when you even suspect something may be wrong or when pain will not subside.

It is always our express intent to recommend that you take no chances with foot, ankle or knee pain, or injuries. Professional treatment to relieve the pain is available from doctors such as Delray Beach’s Dr. Ian Goldbaum of Delray Beach Podiatry, who has provided us with this blog. If the pain continues, a podiatrist with Dr. Goldbaum’s experience should be consulted. You must get proper treatment to prevent permanent damage.

Our Staff writers are freelance writers with higher education related to, or experience researching and writing for, medical blogs; with education or experience equal to under graduate and graduate degrees in the fields of medicine.

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