• There is Hope for Nerve Pain

    by Howard Kimmel, DPM
    on Jun 17th, 2018

Nerve pain can be debilitating. Many Americans suffer from this problem. In the leg,foot, and ankle, this nerve pain can also cause issues with balance and the muscles of the lower extremity. Some times nerve pain is called neuropathy. This neuropathy can cause a wide variety of symptoms. These include but are not limited to pain, cramping, muscle twitches, loss of muscle, bone degeneration, and changes in the skin or nails. There are many different causes of peripheral neuropathy. Systemic disorders, such as diabetes and leprosy are common causes. Certain medications, such as chemotherapy medications or antibiotics are also common causes. Radiation therapy after cancer can possibly cause neuropathy.

There are 3 different types of neuropathy. The most common is sensory neuropathy. Some times this is referred to as peripheral neuropathy, where it affects the extremities. Usually this affects either the hands or feet and is sometimes described as a stocking and glove distribution. Motor neuropathy affects the muscles and can cause loss of balance or movement. Finally autonomic neuropathy affects certain things like sweating, blood pressure and sometimes the bladder.

So how do we treat this? The first step is conservative measures. Usually this is a medication. Most often a topical medication is the first line. One over the counter remedy is called Zostrix or Capsacin. Sometimes it is referred to as arthritis relief cream. This medication is made from seeds of chili peppers. Other topical medication can be compounded. This is a prescription that consists of multiple medications such as lidocaine (anesthetic) and gabapentin. There are oral medications that are commonly used. Tri-Cyclic Anti-depressants such as amitryptyline are used along with gabapentin which is an anti-seizure medication. Lyrica/pregabalin is the only approved medication for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

In severe cases, which the pain is not controlled, certain surgeries can be performed. Sometimes a nerve stimulator can be placed by the spinal cord to help with the neuropathy. In cases of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, surgical releases of the three major nerves of the lower extremity can be performed which sometimes relieves the pain. Dr. Kimmel has been trained in this technique and also has advanced training in micro-surgical technique.

 

Author Howard Kimmel, DPM Dr. Howard M. Kimmel, DPM provides advanced care for foot problems for patients in Brook Park, Willoughby, and Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Kimmel offers wound care, orthotic devices, comprehensive foot and ankle surgery, and several other forms of Podiatric treatment at Buckeye Foot Care. He is the only podiatrist in the state of Ohio to have a residency in pediatric foot and ankle problems. Dr. Kimmel is dedicated to providing patients in Ohio with top-notch care for foot and ankle problems, wound care, and other related issues. He also continues to build on his knowledge of podiatry and remains up-to-date on the latest technology and treatments in the podiatry field.

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