Peripheral Neuropathy (tingling, numbness,pain in legs/feet/hands)

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of the nerves in the feet/legs and or hands that causes:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Loss of balance sensation
  • Loss of light/dull/sharp touch/vibration/temperature sensation

The picture above is from the website:

The condition can occur due to:

  • Diabetes- if the blood sugar levels are not controlled with medications/diet properly
  • Infections like Lyme disease, Shingles, Epstein Barr, HIV, Diphtheria
  • Alcoholism
  • Autoimmune disorders like Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Guillan Barre
  • Vitamin Deficiencies like B1, B6,B12 , Niacin
  • Tumor
  • Poisons
  • Medications like chemotherapy
  • Inherited disorders like Charcot Marie tooth
  • Bone Marrow disorders

A different cause of numbness down the legs could be from:

  • Sciatica from a herniated disc- this would be termed radiculopathy
  • Intermittent claudication- an artery disease in which the arteries are clogged, hardened, or damaged from excess smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure
  • Lumbar Stenosis- closing of the lumbar spine (low back area)  area caused usually with standing and sitting offers great relief

The common treatments are:

  1. For diabetes getting the blood sugar under control with proper medications from your physician they can be oral medications or injections. Also eating a proper diet. Your physician will help you with helping eat foods with low glycemic index. A general number for blood sugar that is good to be below is 150mg/dL- if the blood sugar is higher than this the blood becomes more thick like sludge which is not good. Check the feet daily in between the toes, bottom of feet for wounds.  If there is a wound the healing is much slower so immediately see your physician. If it is not treated quickly it could become gangrenous and it may need to be amputated
  2. Infections-working with your specialist physician like a rheumatologist, infectious disease physician
  3. Alchoholism -Working with your physician, working in Alcoholics Anonymous, working with a Church leader
  4. Vitamin Deficiencies -check with your Doctor for blood testing for vitamin deficiencies-Vitamin B 12 deficiencies may be more common
  5. You may need a cane or walker due to balance impairments due to the feet not having good sensation
6. Light treatment for diabetic neuropathy-Some studies show it is effective and others show that it is the same as using a placebo. Below is a picture of light therapy from a device called anodyne.  Ask your Doctor or physical therapist about this treatment. Is some studies it shows it helps reduce pain, increase sensation and help improve balance.
Image result for laser treatment for neuropathy image
Diabetes Care. 2004 Jan;27(1):168-72.Restoration of sensation, reduced pain, and improved balance in subjects with diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study with monochromatic near-infrared treatment.
This study showed that using the light therapy reduced pain, increased balance, increased sensation in those with diabetic neuropathy.
The Diabetes Care Journal found that anodyne laser therapy was as effective as a placebo.
Diabetes Care. 2008 Feb;31(2):316-21. Epub 2007 Oct 31.Does anodyne light therapy improve peripheral neuropathy in diabetes? A double-blind, sham-controlled, randomized trial to evaluate monochromatic infrared photoenergy.Lavery LA1, Murdoch DP, Williams J, Lavery DC.



3 thoughts on “Peripheral Neuropathy (tingling, numbness,pain in legs/feet/hands)

  1. That is interesting how many causes there can be. I don’t have problems with that but looking at the pictures above reminded me of my ability to concentrate in a way that I am not ticklish on the sole of my feet. I can drive others nuts with that… haha!

    Liked by 1 person

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