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Make Smart Footwear Choices if You Have Neuropathy

Because neuropathy causes pain and numbness in the feet, it’s important to choose footwear wisely if you suffer from this condition.

The peripheral nerve system ranges all over the body and includes all the nerves except those in the brain and spinal cord. This system links the brain and spinal cord to the body’s muscles, glands and internal organs and sends messages to activate muscles and to report on pain. Peripheral neuropathy results when certain nerves are damaged.

Diabetes is a common cause of neuropathy but other causes include injuries, infections, metabolic disorders and toxin exposure. Beside numbness and pain, you may feel tingling or burning or experience weakness or paralysis.

Shoe Choices Are Very Important for Patients with Neuropathy

If you lose sensation in your feet, you will not feel it when you step on a sharp object or if something is inside your shoe. Patients with neuropathy should always wear sturdy and protective footwear. An undetected injury can cause an infection or ulcer. Avoid going barefoot.

Falls are all too common for those with neuropathy because they can’t feel the surface they’re walking on – especially unpaved areas or uneven ground.

If you have neuropathy and are confused about the right footwear, call Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, board certified podiatrist. We will give your feet a comprehensive exam and discuss any conditions we find as well as your neuropathy with you.

Carefully chosen footwear that is both comfortable and supportive can protect your feet and give you confidence while walking. Keep these tips in mind when selecting shoes and boots:

  • Always schedule your shoe shopping late in the day when the feet are largest. Have both feet measured each time you shop.
  • Look for shoes with extra cushioning and a wide, rounded toe box.
  • Lace-up shoes are best for support. Choose soft, stretchy leather for comfort and durability.
  • Consider shoes that are specifically made for patients with diabetes. Although your neuropathy may not be caused by diabetes, these shoes have good protection and extra comfort for those with neuropathy.
  • Women can wear fashionable high heels but only for short periods. Alternate these with flat, supportive shoes. If however you have another issue like poor blood circulation, bunions or hammertoes, avoid wearing high heels.
  • Don’t wear sandals with little protection or those with straps between the toes that can cause irritation or blistering.

In determining the best footwear for your unique issues, we may prescribe therapeutic shoes. These often come with extra depth and custom-fitted inserts to redistribute pressure.

We Can Help You Find the Right Footwear for Neuropathy

A visit to our Chicago practice and a complete foot exam and counseling will help you find the right shoes for comfort and protection. Call Dr. Alexopoulos at 773-561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. The right footwear for patients with neuropathy can ease your discomfort and put more confidence in your step.