27th February 2023
6 Ways To Test for Neuropathy in FeetDr. Devan Patel, PharmD
Do you experience numbness, tingling, or pain in your feet? These could be warning signs of neuropathy. Neuropathy can be caused by various conditions such as a traumatic injury, diabetes, and other illnesses.
Neuropathy is a disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system - the nerves connecting to your arms and legs. It can cause numbness, tingling, and even sharp pains in your feet and lower legs, which can have serious implications for movement if left unchecked.
Luckily there are ways to test accurately for neuropathy in the feet so you can act as soon as possible before any further damage occurs.
Below are 6 ways to test for neuropathy in your feet. Though you may be able to perform some of these tests yourself, it's best to consult your doctor to get a more accurate diagnosis.
1. Achilles Tendon Reflex Test for Neuropathy
The Achilles Tendon Reflex Test is a simple and effective way to test for neuropathy in the feet. This test involves tapping the Achilles tendon, located at the back of the ankle, with a reflex hammer (or other blunt, flat instrument). You should feel a slight jerk or contraction in your calf muscle when this occurs that will cause the front of your foot to dip forward. If there is no response, or if the response is weak, it may indicate that there is nerve damage in the feet.
2. Sharp and Dull Touch Test for Neuropathy
The Sharp and Dull Touch Test is a simple test you can perform on yourself. Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves, causing numbness in the affected area. This test can help diagnose neuropathy by determining if there is an impairment of sensation in the feet.
To perform the Sharp and Dull Touch Test, you will need two objects— one sharp (like a pin or needle) and one dull (like a Q-Tip). Start by pressing the sharp object against the skin of the foot (this should just be a prick, don't stab yourself).
If there is no sensation, or if the sensation is weak, it may indicate that there is nerve damage in the feet. Then, press the dull object against the skin of the foot. Again, if there is no sensation, or if the sensation is weak, it may indicate that you have neuropathy in your feet.
3. Vibration Test for Neuropathy
For the Vibration Test, you will need an instrument called a vibrating tuning fork. The tuning fork delivers vibration waves through the part of the body it's touching. Your doctor will place the tuning fork on the metatarsal or bunion area of your foot and ask if you feel any sensation. They may then continue to place the tuning fork on other areas of your foot to test for sensation.
For contrast, your doctor may place the tuning fork in one of your hands. If you feel the vibration there, you will know what you should be feeling in your feet. If you don't feel the same level of sensation or feel no sensation at all in your feet, this could be an indicator of nerve damage.
4. Temperature Test for Neuropathy
The Temperature Test is another easy and painless way to test for neuropathy in the feet. It simply involves using a cold and hot object (like a cold piece of metal and a mug of hot coffee) and placing it on the bottom of the foot. If you cannot feel either the cold or warm object (or both), that means you have lost temperature sensation in your feet, which is likely a sign of neuropathy.
5. Small Nerve Fiber Density Study for Neuropathy
A Small Nerve Fiber Density Study can be used to diagnose small fiber neuropathy, which is a type of peripheral nerve disorder that affects the small nerve fibers in the skin and other organs. This test measures the density of small nerve fibers in the skin of the feet, which can help determine if there is damage to these nerves.
The testing process involves obtaining a small skin sample through punch biopsy and examining it. A pathologist examines the amount and shape of tiny fibers after they are stained and prepared for evaluation. Decreased nerve fiber density or structural abnormalities are indicative of small fiber neuropathy. This procedure is quick, painless, and only takes about five to ten minutes to complete.
6. Electromyography (EMG) Test for Neuropathy
The Electromyography (EMG) Test is a more advanced way to test for neuropathy in the feet. This test involves inserting a needle electrode into the muscle of the foot and measuring the electrical activity of the muscle. If there is no activity, or if the activity is weak, it may indicate that there is nerve damage in the feet.
Ways to test for neuropathy: Bottom Line
If you have symptoms of neuropathy in your feet, it's advised to get checked out by a medical professional. Your doctor will be able to guide you in finding a treatment plan that works well for you.
NeuraZenx is an all-in-one dietary supplement formulated for supporting nerve health in those who suffer from neuropathy.* NeuraZenx is not a treatment for neuropathy in feet but may supplement your neuropathy treatment plan.*
Talk to your doctor about supplements for neuropathy and other ways you can relieve your neuropathy symptoms.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease