Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that can affect the feet with a sensation of burning, tingling or numbness that may be periodic or constant. It is a frequent symptom of nerve trauma or pressure, vitamin B deficiency, alcoholism, diabetes, autoimmune diseases (such as HIV, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) and diseases of the liver, kidneys and thyroid. Because peripheral neuropathy is involved in so many conditions, treatments vary widely.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Most drugs prescribed specifically for peripheral neuropathy will block or decrease the nerve sensations. They may include codeine, lidocaine, anti-seizure medications and antidepressants. Because some of these can cause dependency over long periods of time, other solutions may be tried first. Rubbing cremes on the feet or immersing them in warm water periodically may be an alternative.
- Most drugs prescribed specifically for peripheral neuropathy will block or decrease the nerve sensations.
- Rubbing cremes on the feet or immersing them in warm water periodically may be an alternative.
Stocking & Glove Neuropathy
The best treatment for peripheral neuropathy in the feet is to eliminate the cause. If the cause is clear -- abstain from alcohol, supplement vitamin B, brace joints to relieve pressure and so on -- those treatments should relieve the neuropathy. Many causes, however, are chronic and are not easily eliminated.
For those with chronic conditions causing their neuropathy, seeking treatment with a hypnotist trained in medical hypnosis may lead to more complete and convenient pain control than with oral pain relievers. Regular acupuncture treatments, perhaps with moxibustion, may also lead to a decreased pain sensation. In addition, t'ai chi ch'uan (taijiquan) may increase sensory perception for those with numbness in the feet.
Stocking & Glove Neuropathy
Could Numbness in Feet Be Caused by a Vitamin Deficiency?
Numb Toes With Running Shoes
What Causes Numbness in Fingers and Feet?
How to Cure Tingling Pain in the Foot
Reasons for a Numb Foot
Can Vitamins Help Control Excessive Sweating?
How to Treat Face Numbness and Tingling
Causes of Body Tingling
What Are the Causes of Neuropathy in the Feet & Legs?
- Richard G. Petty, MD
- Multiple Sclerosis. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Published November 19, 2019.
- Peripheral Neuropathy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Published February 1, 2018.
- Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. August 13, 2019.
- Misra UK, Kalita J, Nair PP. Diagnostic approach to peripheral neuropathy. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008;11(2):89-97. doi:10.4103/0972-2327.41875
- Hurwitz BJ. The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and the clinical subtypes. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2009;12(4):226-30. doi:10.4103/0972-2327.58276
- De angelis F, John NA, Brownlee WJ. Disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis. BMJ. 2018;363:k4674. doi:10.1136/bmj.k4674
- Codron P, Cousin M, Subra JF, et al. Therapeutic plasma exchange in chronic dysimmune peripheral neuropathies: A 10-year retrospective study. J Clin Apher. 2017;32(6):413-422. doi:10.1002/jca.21530
- Suanprasert N, Taylor BV, Klein CJ, Roforth MM, Karam C, Keegan BM et al. Polyneuropathies and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2019 Feb 27;30:284-290. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2019.02.026.
Mark Salzwedel, writing professionally since 1992, is a hypnotherapist, masseur and game designer in New York. He studied seven languages and worked in publishing, childbirth education, film/TV and foreign policy. Since receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English from Macalester College in 1984, Salzwedel has studied biology, astrophysics and world religions.