Peripheral Neuropathy Specialist
Peripheral neuropathy is a neurological disorder that can cause your feet to feel like they are being stabbed with pins and needles. Dr. Levi of Manhattan-based Grand Central Podiatry brings both extensive experience and compassionate care to treating peripheral neuropathy pain in patients throughout New York City.
Peripheral Neuropathy Q & A
by Ernest S. Levi, DPM
What is peripheral neuropathy?
This is a condition that occurs when the peripheral nervous system is damaged. The peripheral nervous system serves as a communications network, sending information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Patients with peripheral neuropathy may suffer decreased sensation in their toes and fingers and/or feel a burning, tingling, or shooting sensation. Some find it difficult to move their fingers and toes. Symptoms may or may not subside on their own for periods of time.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
One of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. In fact, up to 70 percent of diabetics will develop neuropathy in their lifetime. Other causes include certain medications (such as some chemotherapy drugs), certain types of arthritis, alcoholism, and neurological disorders (such as fibromyalgia). Peripheral neuropathy is more common in adults over age 55 and can also run in families.
What treatments are available for peripheral neuropathy?
There is not cure for peripheral neuropathy. However, with early intervention and treatment, the progression of the condition can be slowed and pain effectively managed. If you have symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, it is important to visit your podiatrist for an evaluation. There is no one approach for every patient. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of each patient’s case. That said, the most commonly used approaches include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, stretching, massage, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Moderate exercise can also be helpful. In some situations, if, for example, your pain is the result of nerve pressure from a tumor, surgery may be recommended. Peripheral neuropathy patients must routinely examine their feet at home. Dr. Levi will show you how to do this. Self-care is crucial because those with peripheral neuropathy that have lost sensation in their feet may not feel injuries or infections. Anyone with peripheral neuropathy should also have their feet professionally examined by Dr. Levi at least once a year.
Ernest Levi, DPM | 30 East 40th Street | Suite 401 | New York, NY 10016