Modern citizens are familiar with foot pain. Sometimes it’s just a bit uncomfortable. Other times, you’d much rather be hit by a car. Many reasons could lead to foot pain. However, the top two reasons behind foot pain are plantar fasciitis and neuropathy in the foot, officially known as peripheral neuropathy.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Since “neuro” is the root for “nerves” and “-pathy” is the suffix indicating illness, it’s not too hard to guess the meaning. So, peripheral neuropathy is the damage to the peripheral nervous system — the nerves on the edge of your body, like hands and feet.
What Causes Neuropathy in the Foot?
So, what causes peripheral neuropathy?
Overall, we can categorize the causes behind this specific type of foot pain into three categories:
- Family inheritance
- Injuries, diseases, and disorders
- Results from other treatments
Here, we will go deeper into each category to have a better understanding. Then, hopefully, this helps you seek prompt and appropriate help to live a pain-free life.
Peripheral neuropathy can be inherited from your parents. This specific type of disease is called HNPP — hereditary neuropathy with pressure palsies. If that’s what you have, you should start experiencing symptoms in your 20s. It could cause muscle weakness in the foot or pain in the limbs, making it challenging to enjoy life at your peak age.
Physical injuries, also known as traumatic injuries, are one of the main causes of peripheral neuropathy. These can come from car accidents, severe falls, sports injuries, etc.
Diabetes is the most common reason for peripheral neuropathy in America. In this case, chronic high blood sugar causes neuropathy in the foot and the limbs. Primary symptoms include numbness, loss of sensation, and sometimes pain in your feet, legs, or hands. Sadly, neuropathy is the most common complication with diabetes.
Should you be surprised? After all, hormones are the foundation of human health. Imbalanced or low reproductive hormones, specifically testosterone and estrogen, may increase your likelihood of developing peripheral neuropathy.
Chemo-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)
It has been proven that chemotherapy and other cancer drugs can cause peripheral neuropathy. CIPN is a common result of antineoplastic agents used in chemo and is highly prevalent among cancer patients. Along with other mobility issues caused by chemo, since it can lead to degeneration of peripheral sensory and motor nerves, CIPN is often painful and debilitating.
Reducing Nerve Pain at Home
Now that we know what causes neuropathy in the foot, let’s talk about solutions. First, you should always seek professional care if the pain is unbearable. In the meantime, certain selfcare routines would make your life easier. Therefore, consider investing in a foot massager for neuropathy. They are more effective than regular massage machines you can find at a Walmart or Best Buy.
Meanwhile, heat therapy and aromatherapy may also help relieve foot pain caused by neuropathy. Finally, if your condition is caused by other diseases like diabetes, keeping the root cause under control would make your life much easier.