Foot Soak and Care Options for Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to nerve damage that can cause weakness, pain, and numbness most commonly in your hands and feet. Peripheral nerves communicate information from the brain to your arms and legs, so when they are damaged it can affect functioning in your arms, hands, legs, and feet. Some may experience symptoms from peripheral nerve damage because the nerve isn’t able to send normal, healthy communication through to your arms or legs, which can lead to numbing or weakness. Others experience symptoms when the nerve sends out the wrong signals to your arms or legs, leading to pain and discomfort. Peripheral neuropathy treatment is all about minimizing the symptoms and associated conditions of this disorder.

Peripheral Neuropathy in Your Feet

There are a few different causes of peripheral neuropathy. The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, which can lead to pain, numb or tingling feet. Other reasons for developing peripheral neuropathy include injuries where your nerves are damaged, certain cancers, smoking, alcoholism, and blood disorders. While there is no cure for peripheral neuropathy, there are ways to safely manage your symptoms and reduce their effects on your daily life.

Caring for Feet with Peripheral Neuropathy

When it comes to peripheral neuropathy treatment, many types of care involve reducing pain and uncomfortable symptoms in addition to addressing the root cause. Here are a few ways to help ease symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in your feet:

Foot Soak

Soaking your feet in warm water is a great way to relieve pain and stress while also encouraging healthy blood flow. If your feet are swollen, a foot soak on cool water can actually help bring down inflammation. You can enhance a warm foot soak by using Epsom salts, herbs, and essential oils, which can also encourage the muscles in your feet to relax. You can soak your feet at home in the bathtub or invest in an at-home foot spa so you can treat your feet to regular soaks. Some foot spas even come with massagers that can also encourage blood flow and relieve foot pain.

Gentle Exercise

Gentle exercises and stretches will get your heart pumping and allow for more oxygen to reach your affected muscles and tissues. While some exercises like running can be hard on the body, and especially your feet, there are more gentle options that can still get your heart rate up and help ease the pain in your feet. Some examples of gentle exercise options for peripheral neuropathy treatment include walking, yoga, and swimming. Scheduling a nice walk 3-4 times a week can keep your muscles and nerves fresh with oxygen and blood flow.  As a diabetic neuropathy treatment, walking has an added benefit of helping to maintain your blood sugar levels.

Healthy Diet

For people who do not have peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes, there are ways to update your diet to incorporate healthier, vitamin-rich foods. Sometimes neuropathy can be caused by vitamin deficiencies and certain foods can help you meet your recommended vitamin doses for the day. Additionally, doctors generally recommend avoiding some food and alcoholic drinks when you suffer from peripheral neuropathy because alcohol can negatively affect your nerves and even restrict blood flow. Your doctor may also recommend supplemental vitamins or other natural oils to help improve your nerve function.

Foot Protection

It is important to keep an eye on your feet and make sure you aren’t getting any cuts or scrapes that can lead to infections. When numbness is a main symptom of peripheral neuropathy, you may not notice right away that you have injured your foot. Avoid walking barefoot, especially outside or anywhere you might accidentally harm your feet. There are also types of shoes that doctors and others who have peripheral neuropathy can recommend. Generally, slip-on shoes that are not too tight can help support your feet and also provide proper protection.

Pain Management

While pain medications are the most obvious way to manage your pain, there are other options as well. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help with peripheral neuropathic treatment that can treat pain, some of which are specifically for those who have a root cause of diabetes. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about taking medications like opioids that come with side effects like drug dependence and increased tolerance. Alternatives to pain management can include acupuncture, massage, and warm compresses.

The best way to help reduce your pain and discomfort from peripheral neuropathy is to address the root cause. Meet with your doctor at least once a year to discuss your symptoms and treatment options for what is causing your peripheral neuropathy. Call now to schedule an appointment at Fox Integrated Healthcare. We offer healthy, non-invasive treatments like chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and physical therapy for peripheral neuropathy so you can experience reduced symptoms and feel like you are back to your old self again.