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Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy

Nerve care for your lower limbs is one of the services we are better equipped to provide—both by state-of-the-art technology and our highly-educated, skilled doctors—than any other practice in the greater Richmond community.

As with any part of your body, your feet and ankles are connected to the larger nervous system, which controls movement and enables physical sensations to be experienced. Sometimes issues arise within in this system, but our experts at Achilles Foot and Ankle Center can accurately diagnose the issue, and then provide effective treatment to resolve it for you.

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY EXPLAINED

The best starting point when it comes to peripheral neuropathy is your nervous system. This essential system is divided into two subsections–the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. Essentially, your central nervous system is comprised of your spinal column and brain. It is responsible for processing information and determining appropriate responses. The peripheral nervous system is an elaborate network of nerves running throughout your body. These nerves are, in part, responsible for collecting information and then conveying it to your brain.

Neuropathy Treatment Richmond VA

SYMPTOMS OF NEUROPATHY

  • Burning or tingling sensations
  • Nerve pain
  • Cramping or muscle tightness
  • Numbness

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of damaged peripheral nerves that are no longer able to do their job in the intended fashion.

Additional problems that can develop include faulty sensations (the feeling as though you are stepping on a nonexistent object, like a pebble, is fairly common), difficulty walking, and disrupted gait cycles.

  • Kidney problems
  • Infectious and inflammatory diseases (like HIV or Guillain-Barré Syndrome)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Exposure to toxins and heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic, etc.)
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Arthritis
  • Heredity

Nerve damage often results from systemic diseases, but a full 30% of causes are idiopathic (which means they stem from unknown causes).

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Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment and Prevention

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The key for successful treatment is early detection. For this reason, make sure you schedule the earliest possible appointment with one of our Richmond, VA offices if you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms. When you come in for your appointment, we will begin by evaluating your situation so we can ascertain an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnosing neuropathy begins with an examination, including asking questions about your symptoms, medical history, exposure to toxic substances, and others centered on establishing potential root causes. We also check muscle strength and sensation at this point.

We use additional tests and diagnostic tools like:

  • Nerve Conduction Velocities (NCV) testThis measures how capable nerves are at sending electrical signals to the spinal cord.
  • Electromyography (EMG).EMG testing measures electrical discharges made by muscle tissue.
  • Pressure-Specified Sensory DeviceWe use this to determine subtle symptoms of nerve entrapment, injury, or neuropathy.
  • Diagnostic imagingUltrasound, X-rays, and MRI (magnetic resonance images) are diagnostic tool used to determine if biomechanical structures are affecting the nerve.
  • Blood tests.We may order blood tests to find out if underlying issues like diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, or vitamin deficiencies are present.

When we have properly diagnosed the condition and determined the root cause, we will create a treatment plan that can vary, based on your specific condition. Depending on our findings, we may use any of the following to provide the relief and care you need:

  • MedicationEither over-the-counter or prescription medication may be used to relieve painful symptoms. Topical medications can also relieve lower extremity nerve pain.
  • Physical therapyOur physical therapy is staffed with physical therapy experts who can utilize NeuroMobilization (“nerve gliding”) to improve your condition
  • Laser therapyOne of the advanced treatment options we are proud to offer our patients is multi pulsed laser therapy. This state-of-the-art technology uses specific wavelengths of light to penetrate through tissue and accelerate cellular growth and reproduction in damaged nerves.
  • SurgeryWhen nonsurgical options have failed, you can take comfort in the fact that we have expert surgeons on staff who are committed to continually improving their surgical skills. This means you always have the best foot and ankle surgeons in the greater Richmond area performing your procedure.

This might be a lot of information to process, but the key takeaway we want you to remember is that if you are experiencing nerve issues—like peripheral neuropathy—in your lower limbs, come in and see our medical experts as soon as possible. Doing so is essential for successful treatment and the pain relief you need.

Contact Achilles Foot and Ankle Center for additional information, or to schedule a visit with either of our Richmond, VA offices, by calling (804) 273-1717. If you’d prefer, you can also request your appointment with us online right now.

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