How to Test for Neuropathy in Feet

Foot examination

If you experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs, you may have neuropathy, a disorder affecting the nerves.

While neuropathy often affects the limbs, it can also affect the abdomen and urinary tract, causing unexplained back pain and other pains. Neuropathy can also cause loss of balance and difficulty walking.

If you are worried, a test for neuropathy in feet can help diagnose the condition.

Sensation Test

The Sensation Test is a common diagnostic tool used to test for neuropathy in the feet. It is a simple method with a few basic components. The test is done by first having the patient sit or stand with the feet bare.

The tester then uses tiny pins, feathers, or cotton swabs to lightly touch specific areas of the top, bottom, and sides of the feet. The patient will then be asked to report the sensation they feel from the touch, such as a prick, tickle, burning, or numbness.

If the patient reports feeling a sharp or burning sensation, then this could be a potential sign of neuropathy. The test should be performed bilaterally on both feet in order to gain an accurate assessment.

Timed Up and Go (TUG)

The Timed Up and Go TUG test is a commonly used method of testing for neuropathy in the feet. The patient begins seated in a chair, then stands and walks three meters, turns around, and returns to the chair, and sits down.

The time it takes for the patient to perform the task is then measured using a stopwatch. A normal time for the TUG test is 8-10 seconds. If the time exceeds 10 seconds, the patient may have evidence of neuropathy.

It is, therefore, important to pay attention to any unusual unsteadiness or apparent difficulty in performing the task. Additionally, the provider should observe any changes in the patient’s gait, such as hesitancy, swaying, or a shortened stride.

The TUG test is an easy and efficient method of screening for neuropathy in the feet and is a major component of the physical examination.

Single-Leg Balance

Testing for neuropathy in feet single leg balance involves using a standardized method that requires the patient to balance on one foot for a predetermined length of time. To begin the diagnostic test, the patient should stand in a comfortable position with their body facing forward and their arms at their sides.

The patient should then raise one foot off the ground, keeping the other foot flat and level, and hold the position for as long as they can. The patient should measure how long they were able to stay in the position and then put their foot back down.

Performance on the test can be used to determine whether or not neuropathy is present in the patient’s feet. Additionally, the patient’s balance and coordination should also be evaluated before and after the neuropathy treatment and test.

Learn How to Test for Neuropathy in Feet

A test for neuropathy in feet is essential for diagnosing potential underlying health diseases. Patients should be sure to tell their doctor if they experience any tingling, burning, or numbness in their feet.

With all the different tests and exams used, physicians will have the knowledge to help diagnose and answer questions. It’s important to identify neuropathy symptoms early for proper treatment and diagnosis.

Speak to your doctor today to get an accurate diagnosis of your neuropathic symptoms.

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Written by Patricia

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