Foot neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy, causes pain and numbness in the feet. The feeling can be described as a burning or tingling sensation, which can affect basic movement and daily activities. The underlying cause of foot neuropathy can be many things, ranging from infection to injury to a problem with one’s metabolism. According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most common causes of the neuropathy is complications relating to diabetes. Since the ailment is usually caused by an underlying condition, the symptoms usually improve over time as the underlying condition gradually stabilizes with treatment.
While it is important to treat your neuropathy, it is equally important to treat the condition causing your symptoms, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. If you treat that condition, then the neuropathy will improve. If you are experiencing relatively mild pain, then taking over-the-counter pain medicine may be enough to help your symptoms. Aside from over-the-counter medication, there are three main options that can treat symptoms recommended by the Mayo Clinic, all of which require a prescription. The first drug is anti-seizure medicine, which helps ease nerve pain. The second treatment is a Lidocaine pain relief patch, which is applied to the region where the pain is the worst. The final option is taking antidepressants, which block the pain signals in the brain, helping you feel less pain in your feet. These options are only for those experiencing pain, and most people find relief when dealing with the condition causing the neuropathy. If you show symptoms of neuropathy, but are unaware of having a condition, it is highly advised that you see a doctor to determine if you have any undiagnosed health issues.
Since many cases of foot neuropathy are related to untreated diabetes, taking care of your feet can help to minimize the odds of developing pain in the area. Creating a regular exercise plan can help to reduce the symptoms of foot neuropathy, because physical activity helps to keep your blood sugar low and gets the blood flowing throughout your body. If you happen to be a regular cigarette smoker, it is important to quit because smoking can negatively impact your blood flow, which leads to an increased risk of developing foot problems. Massage your feet or have someone else do it for you, which will increases the blood flow and relieve pain in your feet. Avoid putting your legs into any cramped position, as that decreases the blood flow to the lower extremities and increases your chance of developing foot neuropathy.