Your whole body needs two key things to survive and thrive: nutrients and communication from your brain. Without oxygen and energy, the tissues in your feet will die. Without information from the brain, you won’t be able to move or respond to the forces acting on your lower limbs. All this is accomplished through your circulatory and nervous systems. Vascular and nerve problems damage these systems in your feet and put your lower limbs at risk for serious, limb-threatening complications.
Being so far away from your heart and your central nervous system puts your feet at a higher risk for painful vascular and nerve problems. The blood flow to your feet is naturally weaker than in other places, especially since it must fight gravity to return to your heart. Impulses must travel much farther along long nerve cells to reach your toes. Conditions that damage these systems don’t have to be severe to create symptoms.
Excessive alcohol consumption has a severely detrimental effect on your nervous system. No one is quite sure why, but the alcohol deadens and completely impairs nerves over time. The nervous tissue in your extremities is particularly at risk. You end up with numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, pain, and pin-and-needle sensations in your feet. This can lead to permanent disability, if not addressed.
Insufficient blood flow severely limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients able to reach the tissues in your lower limbs. This causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including muscle cramping during activities, skin discoloration, ulcers, temperature changes, and general breakdown of the skin. Improving circulation is vital for avoiding serious complications.
Nerve tissue can sometimes thicken and create benign tumors. Usually, this develops as a result of repeated irritation or pinching. The most common neuroma found in the feet forms between the third and fourth toes and is called a Morton’s neuroma. Usually you feel pain, burning sensations, tingling, and even numbness around the affected area.
These are sudden, painful, and involuntary contractions of the muscles in your feet or lower legs. Sometimes the symptoms are simply cramps, but twitching and rapid, uncontrolled movement can also occur. Sometimes you experience numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and general fatigue. A variety of problems can cause spasms, from severe nerve damage to dehydration.
Other uncomfortable issues can develop from vascular or nerve problems with the feet, like acrocyanosis, erythromelalgia, and venous stasis. Like other issues resulting from damage to the circulatory and nervous systems, these are treatable with conservative remedies. The sooner they are addressed, the less likely you’ll develop severe or potentially permanent complications from the conditions.
Your blood and nerves are vital players in your foot and ankle health. When they are damaged, your feet feel the loss. If you’re experiencing any sort of symptoms of vascular or nervous system issues, don’t wait to have them evaluated. Investigate your discomfort and head off problems before they become conditions that threaten your overall health and mobility. Contact Dr. Darren Silvester at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic here in Pleasanton, TX, to make an appointment. Use our website contact page or call (830) 569-3338 to reach our office.