Sharing of information is most effective when there is open communication between two people who understand each other. If one person spoke a different language, there would be a significant barrier, and the message would be unclear. The nerves in your body have one main role: to transmit messages. When there is a barrier in the way, such as compression, the message is interrupted. We understand how your nervous system works, and how your foot and ankle health can be affected by peripheral nerve compression. Knowing the symptoms of this condition will enable you to understand why you may have discomfort and why it is so important to seek timely, appropriate treatment from Dr. Harvey Danciger.
The Peripheral Nervous System
The peripheral nervous system is one division of your nervous system, which is outside of the spinal cord and brain. The main function of the nerves within the peripheral system is to connect the central nervous system to the organs within your body, your limbs, and your skin. Within the peripheral system there are three categories of nerves: sensory, motor, and autonomic. The sensory nerves allow you to touch and feel heat, cold, and pain. Your motor nerves are in direct contact with your muscles, allowing them to move. The autonomic nerves help your body control some of your bodily functions such as breathing, sweating, blood pressure, and the regular beating of your heart.
Peripheral neuropathy is a term used when there has been damage to one or more of your peripheral nerves. This means that there is an interruption in the messages between the peripheral and central nervous systems. There are many conditions and causes that can lead to peripheral neuropathy, but one common cause is nerve compression.
Nerve compression, also called nerve entrapment, is simply when a nerve becomes pinched and cannot transmit any type of message. Imagine holding a water hose with the water turned on. If you were to step on it or put a kink in it, the water would not be able to flow through. A compressed nerve works in this same way.
What Causes a Compressed Nerve?
Compression to a nerve happens when there is too much pressure being applied by surrounding tissues. It is common for this to happen in narrow areas where nerves must travel through. Narrow places usually leave the nerve with little tissue to protect them. This commonly the case with nerves between tendons, ligaments, and bones.
Some of the common causes of compressed nerves include injury, arthritis, blunt trauma, stress from repetitive movement, obesity, and certain hobbies and sports activities. Symptoms to look for include pain, numbness, tingling, a burning or “pins and needles” sensation, and weakness.
Seek Treatment Early
Peripheral nerve compression can result in minor or severe damage. Your symptoms may be temporary, or a lack of treatment could cause long-term problems. The earlier you get a diagnosis and treatment for nerve compression, the more quickly you'll find relief and reduce the likelihood of permanent damage. We have several treatment options to alleviate your symptoms and to prevent them from worsening. Treatment for nerve compression may involve anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroids, laser treatments, physical therapy, splints, orthotics, and surgery when conservative methods fail to improve your condition.
Contact our office as soon as you experience any of the symptoms mentioned here for accurate diagnosis and quick, effective treatment. Call Dr. Harvey Danciger at (760) 568-0108, or request an appointment at our Palm Desert, CA office online.