Neuropathy is a condition where one or more nerves become damaged. Nerves are responsible for transmitting messages around the body, from breathing, to running. Any nerve can get damaged in a neuropathy, the effect caused or symptom experienced is dependent on where the damage lies. For example damage to the nerve in the lower leg, could cause foot drop as seen in people who have experienced a stroke.
The nervous system can be separated into two main divisions;
Nerves/neurons are long cells which transmit messages between the brain and the nerve endings which lie everywhere within the body. Nerves can be categorised into three divisions, depending on their function.
Nerves involved in the sensory system relay messages regarding the sensations felt throughout the body, that could be, pain, touch, tickling or heat.
Motor nerves are responsible for the movement of the body, anything which involves our muscle performing an action such as, typing on a keyboard, walking, drawing and swimming.
Nerves which control the autonomic system are responsible managing everyday functions, such as the beating of the heart, breathing, digestion and temperature regulation.
Some cases the cause is unknown. A person can develop neuropathy as a result of number of different factors which include:
The effect neuropathy has on a person will vary depending on nerves that have been affected. There are three main categories that nerves can be separated into, each causing different symptoms.
The role of a podiatrist in the treatment of a patient suffering from neuropathy is to control the secondary effects of the disease. This may include;
Carrying out regular foot checks. How regular these are depends on the risk category a person falls in.
Advising and educating patients on the disease, its effects and how to prevent secondary complications.
Treating ulceration - through regular dressings and treatment of the wound, implementing treatment plans to reduce re-ulceration.
Carry out a footwear review to ensure shoes fit correctly and will not predispose problems.
A podiatrist can use various padding techniques to protect areas of high pressure and recommend products such as orthotics to reduce plantar pressures.
Reduce any corns and callus which increase risk of tissue breakdown if left untreated.
Podiatry treatment is a necessary and valued part of the management plan of patients with neuropathy. The benefits of this podiatry treatment include;
If you have a problem with your foot or lower limb, and you are unsure whether or not podiatry can help you, then why not contact us. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0151 558 0099.
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