Steps for Keeping Nerves in the Feet Healthy
If you want to protect yourself against the worst foot injuries and complications—broken bones, open wounds, gangrene, Charcot deformity, and other problems that could even force an amputation—it’s absolutely critical that you keep your nerves healthy and strong. Nerves are how your feet communicate pain and problems to your brain, and the nerves in feet are especially vulnerable. If they aren’t working properly, you might not detect an injury until extensive damage has already been done.
Take Care of Your Nerves
Fortunately, if you take good care of your feet, you can usually avoid significant nerve damage, though some people are at higher risk than others. Here are some of the most effective strategies.
- Keep your sugar in check. Without a doubt, the most common cause of nerve damage (by far) is diabetes. Too much sugar in the bloodstream is poisonous for nerve health, and that’s why so many people with diabetes end up with nerve damage in their feet. But it isn’t inevitable! The better you manage your condition, the less likely you are to develop lasting damage.
- Although diabetes is the clear No. 1 underlying factor, it isn’t the only condition that can cause nerve damage. Others include liver disease, endocrine disorders, kidney dysfunction, auto-immune diseases, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and others. In any case, managing these conditions will be important in preventing nerve damage.
- Get regular exercise. It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain, and it’s good for your nerves, too. At minimum, you should shoot for 30-60 minutes of sustained exercise at least three days per week, and try to avoid too much sitting throughout the day.
- Eat healthy. In particular, nerves need B-complex vitamins like B-12. We know this advice won’t exactly blow your mind, but fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein should be mainstays on your plate.
- Don’t smoke, as it can reduce your circulation (and therefore reduce the flow of nutrients and oxygen to nerves).
- Don’t abuse alcohol.
While there’s a lot that can be done to promote healthy nerves, perfect prevention isn’t always possible. If you detect the signs of nerve damage in feet—tingling, prickling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness, and other symptoms—make an appointment with the Kansas Foot Center as soon as possible. Swift treatment, using measures such as medications, orthotics, MLS laser therapy, or surgery, can help you stall progression and retain as much function as possible. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (866) 222-5177.