By Dr. Jackie Sutera
Neuropathy is a general term meaning nerve dysfunction. Causes include diabetes, vitamin deficiency, side effects from medications, alcoholism, inflammation, infection, or nerve compression, like after an accident or swelling. If no cause can be identified, this is called idiopathic neuropathy. The first step is to determine the cause of the neuropathy, followed by treatment and prevention of potential complications.
The nerves in your feet are responsible for balance, as well as temperature and indicating pain. If you have neuropathy, you may have diminished or no feeling at all in your feet. This can lead to tripping, falling, or not even knowing if you are stepping on a thumbtack! If you have neuropathy, it is imperative to avoid walking barefoot, especially for long periods of standing and walking. To minimize the discomfort and protect your feet, you should wear supportive and cushioned slippers and shoes. Flat, thin, old, and worn-out shoes are not healthy for your feet in general, especially if you have neuropathy. Replace old shoes and have a variety of shoes to alternate throughout the week and day, shoes that are appropriate for whatever activity you are doing, and even add insoles or arch support to your existing shoes that may be lacking this feature.
Neuropathy could lead to limb and life-threatening infections and complications. Shoes are essential to help provide protection, cushioning, support and stability. Avoid shoes that are not too tight or narrow, and opt for styles with a wider toe box with ample room for toes to move around without feeling cramped. Choose styles like those from Vionic, with “three-zone comfort” technology built into every pair! Vionic shoes provide a deep- seated heel cup for stability, arch support, and forefoot cushioning.
About the Author:
Dr. Jacqueline Sutera is a surgically trained doctor of podiatric medicine specializing in the prevention and treatment of foot pathology. She graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Philosophy. She later attended the New York College of Podiatric Medicine where she earned the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). Dr. Sutera received her postgraduate residency training at the busy level-one trauma center at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, NY and Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. During her time there, she served as chief surgical resident and received and completed training in all aspects of podiatric medicine and surgery. Dr. Sutera is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons. She is also a proud member and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association and the New York State Podiatric Medical Society. As one of NYC’s premier podiatric physicians, she is a caring, conscientious and extremely personable doctor who prides herself on being holistic in her approach to foot care. Where other doctors treat feet only locally, she has a unique gift of being able to link some foot problems to other underlying conditions taking place in the body.