The Nervous System and Nerve Issues
Whereas it is often referred to as a single system, the nervous system is actually comprised of two, equally-important parts: the central nervous and peripheral nervous systems. When we consider nerve pain in the foot and ankle, we are often looking at issues in the peripheral nervous system.
The central nervous system—formed by the brain and spinal column—is responsible for receiving and processing information, which enables us to experience sensations. The information the brain processes is collected and transmitted to the spinal column via peripheral nerves.
When the peripheral nerves are healthy, there is usually no issue. Problems begin when these nerves become damaged or receive abnormal pressure from an external source (like a tumor, for example). At this time, the usually-helpful nerves can become a source of pain or phantom symptoms like tingling or burning sensations. In some cases, patients report feeling as though they have a pebble in a sock or shoe, when none is actually present.
There are several conditions which can cause nerve pain and other symptoms. Neuropathy (nerve damage), neuromas (enlarged, thickened nerve tissues), and tarsal tunnel syndrome are some examples of conditions we sometimes need to treat for our patients. We treat all these nerve conditions but the Neurogenx treatment is specifically for peripheral neuropathy.
Tips for Optimal Nerve Health
The best way to prevent issues from developing is to have strong, healthy nerves. There are several ways to do this, including:
- Exercise regularly. As always, make sure to check with us and your primary physician to assess your fitness levels and help you create a safe, effective workout program.
- Quit all tobacco usage. Smoking and other forms of tobacco use restrict blood vessels and can deprive your nervous system of essential nutrients.
- Manage diabetes, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions. Diabetes and neuropathy are closely linked, but keeping on top of the disease can lower the risk.
- Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is essential for several reasons, and you can add “nerve health” to that list.
- Eat a balanced diet. Help your nerves by eating a diet centered on fresh veggies, fruits, and whole grains. The nutrients in these foods will protect the nervous system and enable it to function at full capacity.
Looking For More Info? Download Our Guide!
Exercise is just one component of living a healthy lifestyle despite your peripheral neuropathy. You also want to make sure you maintain a healthy diet, and of course work closely with your medical team (including the folks here at Sunshein Podiatry Associates) to make sure you get the advanced treatments you need.
To help you with the “at home” component, we’ve written a brief downloadable guide on health and wellness. Keep it on your phone or print it out to keep those diet and exercise guidelines easily accessible and top of mind!