There will be a program on foot numbness and painful, burning feet at the Senior Center at 11 a.m., Monday, March 26 presented by Mike Crossman, Payson Care Center physical therapist.
Crossman will demonstrate on how to do self-assessments to check for the severity of foot numbness. To attend the lecture, please call (928) 951-2305.
Neuropathy generally refers to damage of nerves in the arms or legs, Crossman explained. It manifests most frequently with numbness and aching of the lower legs and feet. Numb feet with poor sensation are prone to injury, skin breakdown and contribute to poor balance and falls. Constant numbness that does not go away with changes in position or activity is strongly suggestive of neuropathy.
There are many causes of neuropathy such as diabetes, shingles, vitamin deficiency, alcohol, toxins, etc., Crossman said.
Treating neuropathy includes medications to reduce the discomfort, eliminating the cause if known (controlling diabetes, vitamin supplementation, remove toxins) and various physical therapy modalities that can address and even reverse the numbness and aching. Electrical stimulation has long been a physical therapy treatment for neuropathy, but helps primarily with symptom management.
There are new infrared light modalities that have been shown to dramatically increase circulation to the nerves involved helping them to heal. Some of these devices are available on the Internet, but usually are of inadequate energy or lack energy density to be of much value, Crossman said.
Devices that employ LEDs, supraluminous LEDs and low level infrared laser are all light modalities that have proven effectiveness in not only eliminating the symptoms, but can reverse the nerve damage associated with neuropathy. It is important to keep in mind, that the longer a condition has been present the less likely it will respond to these therapy modalities.
Numbness is a symptom that should be evaluated by your physician, as there are many causes. For more information, please consult your physician or health care professional.