Fall is a great time to go outside and take a walk in the fresh breeze of fall weather. The changing vibrant colors of tree leaves just ask for us to go outside to look at them and do some much-needed exercise. Unfortunately, many people are afraid of taking a walk due to fear of falling. Their fear is due to the feeling of unbalanced gait and leg weakness due to a common condition known as neuropathy.
Neuropathy in laymen's terms simply means damaged nerves. Nerves come out of our spinal cord like a large tree trunk and make their way down our legs branching as they go into smaller and smaller nerve fibers. These fibers give us the ability to feel things such as heat, cold, sharp, dull, among others. They also stimulate our leg muscles to allow us to move and walk and to give us stability while moving. However, when these nerves get damaged, we slowly lose our ability to feel things and start to feel unbalanced.
There are many reasons why nerves would be damaged. The most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes. Diabetics are at very high risk for developing neuropathy due to elevated levels of glucose in the blood. Other causes of neuropathy include alcohol drinking, thyroid disease, chemotherapy, and trauma. Many people have neuropathy for no apparent reason.
No matter what the cause, neuropathy can be a devastating disease that denies the patient their ability to walk, drive, and be independent. Not to mention the high risk of falling and breaking a hip.
Common signs of neuropathy are burning, numbness, tingling, sharp pains to feet and legs, weakness in the legs, pins, and needles, and cramps.
The good news is that there is something that can be done about neuropathy pain. We can help! So, if you or someone you love suffers from these symptoms call the office. We will be happy to schedule an appointment right away so you can get back to doing the thing you would love to do this fall.