People living with diabetes are at risk of developing several common conditions, including one called peripheral neuropathy. Roughly 50% of diabetic adults will eventually be affected by peripheral neuropathy. The fact that neuropathy is so prevalent means that it’s important to understand what it is and how it can affect you.
So, what is this condition? Is peripheral neuropathy a neurological disorder? Is it curable? What sort of symptoms do neuropathic patients experience — and how can you manage your symptoms wisely? We’ll go over all of these questions and more below.
What is a neurological disorder?
Neurological disorders are conditions or diseases that affect the central or peripheral nervous system. These conditions may result in physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, or even both, depending on where damage has occurred.
Some of the most common neurological disorders include:
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Bell’s palsy
- Brain tumors
Neurological diseases have many different causes, including genetic abnormalities, nutritional deficiencies, infections, brain injuries, and more. Likewise, symptoms vary, as neurological conditions can affect everything from movement and sensation to breathing, speech, memory, and mood. Outcomes and treatments are diverse as well, though the majority of neurological conditions and their related symptoms are chronic and will require lifelong care.
What is peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the nerves that connect your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body are damaged. It has a variety of causes, with some of the most common being:
- Conditions such as diabetes
- Infections, injuries, and trauma
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Prolonged pressure on a nerve
Peripheral neuropathy may be acquired (for example, through a traumatic accident or exposure to radiation), or may be inherited. Peripheral neuropathy is commonly broken up into different categories depending on how many nerves are damaged. The two common types of peripheral neuropathy are:
- Mononeuropathy — in which only one nerve or one type of nerve is damaged
- Polyneuropathy — in which many nerves have sustained damage
One of the most common types of peripheral neuropathy is diabetic neuropathy. It is often characterized by the appearance of foot problems, including numbness, loss of feeling, ulcers, dry skin, ingrown toenails, and more.
Is peripheral neuropathy a neurological disease?
The answer is a resounding yes. Because peripheral neuropathy affects the peripheral nerves, it is indeed considered a neurological disease. In fact, not only is peripheral neuropathy a neurological condition, but it is also one of the most commonly occurring neurological disorders today.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when peripheral nerves (the nerves that help control muscles, skin, internal organs, etc.) become damaged and can no longer communicate with the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Understanding and treating peripheral neuropathy
Is peripheral neuropathy a neurological condition? It is — and as such, it requires the proper care and concern to help ensure that it doesn’t continue to develop. Neuropathy symptoms vary widely from merely inconvenient to life-threatening. In some cases, symptoms may only affect a small part of the body, such as a single finger; in other cases, symptoms may impact whole limbs.
No matter your symptoms, it is important to seek medical assistance to find the right treatment. This may help prevent further damage and also make life more enjoyable by mitigating painful or uncomfortable symptoms.
While most neuropathies can’t be cured, many can be treated to effectively limit symptoms. Treatment success usually depends on identifying an underlying cause and combining the proper treatment options. There are many different tactics you can use to help treat neuropathy pain, including:
- Physical therapy or other therapies
- Mechanical aids such as braces or splints
- Surgery or other medical treatments
- Lifestyle changes to help treat the underlying condition
- Avoiding certain substances (i.e. certain medications, toxic substances, alcohol, etc.)
- Pain management techniques
It is important to work closely with your doctor or healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of your neuropathy. Doing so will allow you to create the most effective treatment plan to help prevent continuous damage and make your current pain or discomfort more manageable.
Remember that many options are available to help you treat neuropathic pain at home. From simple lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and maintaining your blood sugar levels, to cutting back on alcohol and quitting smoking, there are many simple steps you can take to start managing pain more effectively. One of the most popular and deceptively simple options? Investing in a high-quality pair of diabetic socks.
Managing peripheral neuropathy pain with diabetic socks
Many people living with neuropathy experience chronic pain, especially in the extremities. This can make it extremely difficult to live as you’d like. Resources such as diabetic socks can help you achieve your pain management goals so that you can enjoy a higher quality of life.
Taking care of your feet is an important task. Non-binding diabetic socks are designed to help protect and comfort your feet without creating the painful pressure marks common to compression socks. At Viasox, we’re proud to offer diabetic socks that are even stretchier than most and can accommodate calves that are up to 30 inches in circumference.
In addition to providing foot support and comfort, our diabetic socks and compression socks can help you manage pain associated with neuropathy. They can:
- Help relieve numbness
- Reduce swelling in the lower extremities
- Improve blood flow
- Help prevent injuries and infections
Shop online at Viasox for North America’s finest diabetic socks
Here at Viasox, we’re proud to provide comfortable, beautiful, ultra-stretchy diabetic socks throughout North America. Whether you’re looking for a classic pattern or funky design, want to buy in bulk, or only need a single pair, the Viasox team is happy to help.
Our range of diabetic socks includes both non-binding and compression options in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors to ensure that you’ll be able to find the style that best fits your needs. Shop online with us today to discover diabetic socks that can help change your life for the better.