Pins and Needles – Causes of Neuropathy

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Pins and needlesThere are plenty of sayings that rely upon where our feet are at the moment. We could “walking on eggshells” or “on thin ice.” We don’t necessarily care why you might be using those metaphors, but being “on pins and needles” might pique our concern. A tingling, uncomfortable feeling in your feet can be a sign of peripheral neuropathy, which likely means another problem is at play. Determining the causes of neuropathy can go a long way toward effective treatment and management.

The term “neuropathy” itself simply refers to damage or a problem with nerves. In this respect, neuropathy causes can run the gamut. Diabetes is perhaps the cause most people think of first, as it can result in reduced circulation that damages the nerve endings in the feet. If diabetes is not a consideration, however, there are plenty of others, including:

  • Vitamin deficiencies—notably B and E vitamins, which can sometimes come as a side effect of alcoholism
  • Toxins—including exposure to heavy metals or certain chemicals
  • Infections—including hepatitis C, Lyme disease, and shingles
  • Certain medications—such as chemotherapy drugs
  • Trauma and injuries
  • Tumors—which can develop around or interfere with nerves
  • Family-inherited conditions—such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

This is not an exhaustive list. There are times when a medical professional may have to dive deep to determine the causes of neuropathy in a patient. At Parker Foot & Ankle, we’re all about staying on the trail and being thorough in our diagnoses. If pain, tingling, or numbness are affecting your feet, don’t delay. Contact our Houston office by calling (281) 497-2850 today.

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