Do you have numbness, tingling, weakness, cramping, or pain in both feet or lower legs?
You may have peripheral neuropathy. As a result of decreased circulation from diabetes, vascular disease, or chemotherapy, for example, the peripheral nerves can become damaged. The causes of peripheral neuropathy are numerous, and the symptoms may vary widely from one person to the next, depending on which type of nerve fiber is damaged. Motor nerve damage causes weakness, while sensory nerve damage can cause alterations in the ability to detect temperature changes, positioning, and touch.
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy is multifaceted.
Balance impairments create increased fall risk and are invariably present in those with peripheral neuropathy. Therefore, your treatment will likely include exercises to improve your proprioception, or ability to detect where you are in space in order to make rapid corrections before a fall can occur. Strengthening of the muscles of the lower limbs as well and the hands and arms if affected is also a critical component to management. Manual therapy can also be effective in helping with pain and cramping, and may include myofascial release, massage, and tissue elongation for tight tendons and muscles.