If you could eliminate your ability to feel pain in your feet, would you do it? Some people certainly would. The idea can seem tempting—after all, no more pain means no more aching after a long day of walking, or discomfort from stubbing your toe, or limping after you step on something sharp. Here’s the catch, however: not feeling pain doesn’t mean your feet never get hurt. You just can’t feel it when it happens. This is actually a real problem with a real condition – neuropathy.
Neuropathy means you have deadened, impaired nerves that limit your lower limbs’ ability to feel. The resulting numb feet have much higher risks for serious injuries than normal, healthy feet. Why? Well, imagine stepping on a sharp pin. Healthy feet immediately sense a problem because of the pain. You’d limp to a chair, pull out the pin, and clean and bandage the little hole so it wouldn’t get infected.
Numb feet from neuropathy aren’t able to feel the pin. You might not even notice you’ve hurt yourself until later. At that point, walking around with a pin in your foot would make an otherwise small hole much worse. You’ve also given your feet more time to get infected. You aren’t in pain, but the result is more serious.
Problems like neuropathy put you at risk for a whole host of problems. You’re more likely to develop ulcers from small wounds that don’t receive care. Infections are able to spread out of control because you don’t realize you had one. Damage like stress fractures can become far worse or even lead to deformities because you don’t know you need treatment.
That’s why you can’t take numb feet for granted. If you notice difficulty feeling with your feet, have the problem investigated. If you know you have diabetes, autoimmune diseases, kidney or liver problems, cancer, or injuries to your nerves, watch carefully for signs of neuropathy, and get in the habit of maintaining great foot care. Our team at Carolina Podiatry Group is happy to help you with this. Make an appointment at our Fort Mill or Lancaster, SC, offices today to address any numbness. Use our website or call to reach us: (803) 548-FEET for Fort Mill, or (803) 285-1411 for Lancaster.
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