Identifying Vascular Problems and Nerve Problems in Your Feet
When you use your computer, the processor takes data and computes it to spit out answers you need, and the motherboard contains the circuitry needed to operate the drives and memory. However, problems with these systems can also occur in remote parts like your monitor, keyboard or mouse. Likewise, your heart and brain are major organs that control the circulation of your blood and the movements of your body and limbs. We know things can go wrong with these organs, but vascular problems and nerve problems can also occur in the parts of your body quite distant from them—your legs and your feet.
Circulation Gone Wrong
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is one condition that can cause problems in your extremities. When plaque builds up on the artery walls, it constricts the flow of blood. That can result in painful cramps when you walk, because your legs and feet don’t get enough blood and oxygen to fuel your activity. The pain will go away again when you rest. Hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking all contribute to this condition.
Ischemic foot is also caused by narrowed or blocked arteries from cholesterol deposits, clots, spasms, or other injury to the vessels. It can cause cold feet, discolored toes, cramping of muscles, and ulcers.
Venous stasis occurs when your veins do not function properly to return the blood back to your heart. This can be because of damaged valves in the veins, which allow the blood to pool, causing bulging or varicose veins, clots, and slow blood flow.
Circuitry Not Behaving
Alcoholic neuropathy is caused by alcoholism or heavy drinking over a period of years. It is characterized by numbness and painful sensations (pins-and-needles) in the legs, as well as muscle cramps, weakness, and intolerance to heat. Some of these symptoms can also be caused by peripheral neuropathy, a complication of diabetes, which also causes pain and a loss of feeling in the extremities. This is a result of nerve damage from years of volatile sugar levels in the blood.
Neuromas in the feet are a thickening or swelling of nerve fibers. A common location is between the third and fourth toes, when it is referred to as Morton’s neuroma. The pressure from the nerves can cause swelling and pain. The condition is aggravated by wearing shoes that are too tight or heels that put too much pressure on the ball of your foot.
Spasms and cramping in your feet are common in older people and can have a variety of causes, including dehydration, muscle cramps from activity, thyroid problems, brain disorders, and more. This uncontrolled twitching or painful cramping can disturb your sleep.
Troubleshooting Your Pain Issues
If you experience any of these symptoms of vascular problems or nerve problems, we want to help you get to the bottom of them and find a treatment that relieves your pain. Contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Center by calling (302) 623-4250 and setting up an appointment at our office in Newark, Glasgow, or Wilmington, Delaware. We want to help you improve the health of your feet and legs so you can enjoy your life fully!