Are Nerve Problems Causing Your Foot Pain
Between their structural complexities and the myriad ways feet are used, there are many possible sources of foot pain.
So, how do you know if the pain is neuropathic?
As noted, nerve pain can be very distinct. If you have a pins and needles sensation or it feels as though your foot is burning, the odds are pretty decent were looking at an issue in your peripheral nervous system.
Before moving ahead, what do we mean by peripheral nervous system?
Well, your overall nervous system is actually comprised of two different parts: central and peripheral.
Your central nervous system is essentially your brain and spinal column. This forms your bodys command center and it communicates with your peripheral nerves.
In turn, those peripheral nerves form an extensive network that runs throughout your entire body. They are responsible for collecting information , enabling movement , and controlling involuntary and semi-voluntary functions .
When you have nerve pain in your feet, the affected nerves are of the sensory variety. That said, please keep in mind that its possible to have issues with more than one kind of nerve.
Attempting to determine whether neuropathy is to blame for your pain is a great start. At the same time, remember that a professional diagnosis is always best for all foot and ankle conditions .
What Symptoms Are Associated With Nerve Damage
When a nerve is compressed, it can cause symptoms that extend beyond the damaged area. Nerve pain in the leg, as youve learned, can be caused by a variety of factors. That being said, many nerve injuries exhibit similar symptoms.
Typical symptoms include:
- Pain: Including burning, shooting, electrical, or radiating pain felt throughout the lower body.
- Pain after certain activities: Prolonged sitting or standing, as well as activities like walking, climbing stairs, or rising out of a chair, may increase pain.
- Numbness or tingling: Loss of sensation in the leg muscles, calf, foot, and/or toes.
- Weakness: Decreased muscle function in the hip, leg, thigh, foot, or toes.
- Foot drop: Difficulty lifting the foot, also known as foot drop.
- Loss of balance: Feeling unstable and more prone to falls.
Since symptoms alone may not determine the cause of your pain, it is essential to obtain an accurate diagnosis prior to starting any new treatments.
What Is The Outlook For People With Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is difficult to treat completely but is usually not life-threatening. Youll get the best results from combining rehabilitation with support for your emotional, social and mental wellbeing. You will be able to manage your pain to a level that improves your quality of life with the help of a pain specialist in using some or most of the methods mentioned above.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/07/2020.
Read Also: Can Neck Pain Cause Nausea
What Are The Symptoms Of Peripheral Neuropathy
If you have peripheral neuropathy, your feet, legs, hands, or arms may feel
- tingling, like pins and needles
You may feel extreme pain in your feet, legs, hands, and arms, even when they are touched lightly. You may also have problems sensing pain or temperature in these parts of your body.
Symptoms are often worse at night. Most of the time, you will have symptoms on both sides of your body. However, you may have symptoms only on one side.
If you have peripheral neuropathy, you might experience:
- changes in the way you walk
- loss of balance, which could make you fall more often
- loss of muscle tone in your hands and feet
- pain when you walk
- problems sensing movement or position
- swollen feet
What Is Diabetic Nerve Pain
Diabetic nerve pain is a complication that arises due to damage to the axons or myelin of peripheral nerves, which can lead to spontaneous or abnormal nerve activity.
This damage is primarily attributed to chronically high glucose levels, however more than just blood sugar have been implicated in disease progression. Other factors that can increase your chances of developing diabetic nerve pain, or neuropathy, are:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
The longer that you have diabetes, the more likely you are to experience this type of pain. Preventative measures early on can help to reduce your chances of developing diabetic neuropathy, or help to slow the progression and reverse the symptoms that have already occured.
It is thanks to this slow progression that it is of particular importance to pay attention to any signs or symptoms that may be attributed to this condition, and to speak with your doctor if they occur.
Don’t Miss: What Happens When You Slit Your Wrist
Hot Compress And Cold Compress
- Take two handfuls of wheat or rice bran. Heat it in a pan .
- Tie up the heated bran in a piece of soft cloth. Apply this homemade heat pack on the affected area. Repeat the process for as long as required.
- Take a handful of ice cubes. Tie up the ice-cubes in a polythene bag.
- Apply the cold compress on the affected area. Apply hot and cold packs alternatively.
How does this work?
Applying a heat pack on the affected area helps relax the tightened muscles and relieve the pain. The heat or cold pack helps release the compression on the sciatic nerve, which causes severe pain. The heat pack has a soothing effect and offers instant relief from the searing pain caused by sciatica or nerve pain.
It is important to take care not to apply the heat directly on the skin, it is better to spread a cloth over the skin before applying the heat pack. Similarly, ice cubes should not be applied on the skin directly. A heat/cold pack is one of the best home remedies for nerve pain.
The Remedy is not Good if:
- There is no reason why this remedy should not be good. However, if the pain and swelling are severe, consult your physician.
Treating Nerve Pain In The Foot And Ankle
by Dr. Robert J. Spencer | Jul 29, 2020
When you ask someone with nerve pain to describe what they feel, you might receive any number of possible answers:
- Its stabbing.
- Its tingling or numbing.
- Its electric.
There can be quite a range of symptoms, but it should come as little surprise given that what is in distress here are the tools responsible for pain signals themselves!
In the more normal pain we feel the dull, achy, throbby, or sometimes sharp kind nerves next to damaged tissue transmit pain signals through the nervous system and to the brain to alert us that something is wrong.
However, when a nerve itself is damaged or irritated, it can cause problems along the path of that nerve and the way it transmits its signals. Not only can that interfere with the sensation of pain, but also sensitivity to it. In our feet, that can mean the simple act of putting on socks or having a bedsheet rub up against our toes can be shockingly painful!
Nerve-related pain in your feet or ankles is never something you should hold off on addressing in hopes of it going away. If a nerve is in distress, getting to the source of the problem and addressing it directly can save a lot of pain and potential future trouble.
We will dive further into what could be causing foot and ankle nerve pain here, but never hesitate to contact us should any of the above types of pain be bothering you. The sooner, the better!
You May Like: Stomach Cramps Am I Pregnant
Identifying The Cause Of A Neuropathy
Your GP can usually identify the underlying cause of a peripheral neuropathy.
If diabetes is suspected, they can usually make a confident diagnosis based on your symptoms, a physical examination and checking the levels of glucose in your blood and urine.
If you’re taking a medication known to cause peripheral neuropathy, your GP may temporarily stop or reduce your dose to see whether your symptoms improve.
If the cause is uncertain, you may be referred to a neurologist for more extensive blood tests to check:
- whether you have a rare acquired cause that may be responsible
- whether you have a genetic abnormality, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
You may need a lumbar puncture to test the cerebrospinal fluid for inflammation.
Treatments For Peripheral Nerve Damage In Your Feet
Nerve damage is generally spoken of as a complication of diabetes but can also result from an injury. When damage to the nerves takes place, it is important to act to prevent Neuropathy from worsening. This is why the specialists at Metro Tulsa Foot and Ankle created this guide to help you recognize the warning signs and discover the steps you should take.
Don’t Miss: Stiff Neck On One Side Meningitis
What Is A Neuroma
A neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a pinched nerve or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.
The principal symptom associated with a neuroma is pain between the toes while walking. Those suffering from the condition often find relief by stopping their walk, taking off their shoe, and rubbing the affected area. At times, the patient will describe the pain as similar to having a stone in his or her shoe. The vast majority of people who develop neuromas are women.
Chronic Foot Pain Treatment
Through years of experience, weve figured out that good and long-lasting chronic foot pain relief doesnt work unless all bases are covered.
The best foot pain management combines pain-reducing treatments combined with other selected therapies like physical and psychological rehabilitation treatment.
TYPES OF TREATMENT
Recommended Reading: How To Fake Break Your Arm
A Popular All Natural Treatment
One new form of treatment is becoming increasingly popular. Nerve Renew is a natural supplement that contains clinically proven, highly powerful, B vitamins, antioxidants, Stabilized R Alpha Lipoic Acid, and herbal extracts.
This supplement is an affordable, over-the-counter remedy that has provided significant improvements to people with neuropathy, so much so, in fact, that physicians have started to recommend it instead of, or on top of, prescription medication. Those who suffer from neuropathy should speak to their physician about the possibility of using this supplement rather than self-medicating, however.
Caring For Your Hands And Feet
Diabetic nerve damage causes pain and can also affect your ability to feel pain, so its important to maintain your foot health.
To take better care of your feet, check your feet every day for cuts, sores, swelling, and other problems, even if you dont feel any pain there. They can get infected, and untreated infections can lead to serious complications, including amputation.
Wash your feet daily with warm water, and dry them completely afterward. Then apply a lotion to keep them moisturized. Avoid getting lotion in between your toes.
Wear comfortable, flexible shoes that give your feet room to move. Break in new shoes slowly so that they dont hurt your feet. Ask your doctor about customized shoes if regular shoes dont fit well.
Always cover your feet with shoes, slippers, or thick socks to cushion them and prevent injuries.
You May Like: Does It Hurt To Cut Your Wrist
Common Symptoms Of Peripheral Neuropathy
Because there are different types of nerves that can be affected by the condition, and because there are different causes as well, the symptoms can vary greatly. Some of the most common symptoms, however, include:
Usually, patients have these symptoms constantly, although they may have some flareups and periods of relative rest. Often, however, the condition does get progressively worse over time. It is important, therefore, to seek treatment for it as early as possible.
Signs You May Be Suffering From Nerve Pain
Where does it hurt?
Your arms, hands, legs or feet? Is your entire body suffering from a stabbing, throbbing or numbness that even the simple act of walking becomes like an everyday chore?
If so, this pain you are feeling is known as neuropathy pain, which is nerve pain as the result of a lack of blood flow to the heart. This can cause certain parts of the body to feel discomfort and pressure making every day activities such as standing, balancing or picking up a spoon near impossible.
But dont worry, youre not alone.
Nerve pain is common in most diabetic and chemotherapy patients, as well as individuals suffering from a broken ankle or foot. Lets take a moment to look at some of the more common signs to neuropathy pain. Ask yourself do I have one or all of these pain symptoms?
If you answered yes to one or all of these, you may be experiencing nerve pain. Recognizing this is the first step to getting the help you need.
So, how can you treat nerve pain?
Trust me when I say this will be a game changer in pain relief.
Imagine getting up each morning, standing on your own and walking outside without any pain. Thats what I like to call a success.
Are you ready to experience a pain-free life?
Read Also: Does Lidocaine Help With Swelling
What Tests Do Doctors Use To Diagnose Peripheral Neuropathy
Your doctor may perform tests to rule out other causes of nerve damage, such as a blood test to check for thyroid problems, kidney disease, or low vitamin B12 levels. If low B12 levels are found, your doctor will do additional tests to determine the cause. Metformin use is among several causes of low vitamin B12 levels. If B12 deficiency is due to metformin, metformin can be continued with B12 supplementation.
What Is Peripheral Nerve Damage
According to the Mayo Clinic, Peripheral nerves send messages from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, helping you do things such as sensing that your feet are cold and moving your muscles so that you can walk.
Peripheral Neuropathy is common in individuals over the age of 55 and refers to general diseases or malfunctions of the nerves as they try to carry messages from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.
Read Also: How To Sprain Your Wrist On Purpose
How To Stop Neuropathy Pain At Night
There are options we can explore if your neuropathy pain seems to be worsening at night, explains Dr. Claytor. There might be oral or topical medications we can prescribe, or maybe its getting your stress under control and being more mindful.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy and meditation may be complementary tools to reduce pain as well.
Dr. Claytor stresses the importance of talking to your doctor sooner rather than later. Often times people will wait so long to see their physician that theres permanent nerve damage that might have been avoided.
I think one of the most important things I can discuss with a patient who comes in with neuropathy pain at night is getting to the root cause of what is actually driving it, says Dr. Claytor. Depending on what the underlying cause is, treating that first and foremost can usually help reduce the pain overall especially at night.
Does A Heating Pad Help With Nerve Pain
The combination of hot and cold increases the circulation of fresh blood to the area, which may help relieve pain. Hold an ice pack over the affected area for about 15 minutes at a time, three times a day to help reduce inflammation. Heat pads can be applied for a longer period, up to 1 hour, three times a day.
Recommended Reading: Lidocaine Side Effects Topical
You Should See A Doctor
If you have what you think is nerve pain, you should go and see a doctor. They will check for diabetes and blood pressure to name a few things you will be looked at for. Because our feet have a lot of blood vessels, you will be checked for viral illnesses and toxin exposure. This is the best way to know what is going on inside your body.
What Is The Best Medication For Nerve Pain In Feet
The main medicines recommended for neuropathic pain include:
- amitriptyline also used for treatment of headaches and depression.
- duloxetine also used for treatment of bladder problems and depression.
- pregabalin and gabapentin also used to treat epilepsy, headaches or anxiety.
Recommended Reading: Lower Abdomen Pain In Early Pregnancy
Get Relief From Neuropathy Of The Feet
These home neuropathy treatments have had success in alleviating pain symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy.
You should always consult your doctor before starting a new treatment method.
If you begin experiencing irregular symptoms from natural remedies or your conditions worsen, contact your doctor right away.
Diagnosing Nerve Pain In The Leg
One of the best ways to relieve nerve pain is to find out exactly what is causing it. Symptoms of various nerve conditions often overlap. By knowing exactly what is causing your discomfort, you can take more proactive steps toward pain relief.
But, how do you find out whats causing your leg pain?
For most individuals, this starts with a trip to your doctor or spine care specialist.
During a consultation, your doctor will inquire into your medical history. This includes reviewing:
- When your pain started
- The events that led up to your pain
- What your pain feels like
- Other symptoms that youre experiencing
- What makes your symptoms better or worse
- Your current medical conditions
- Any related injuries or physical traumas
- Your lifestyle and working habits
- Your family history of medical conditions
- Any current medications or supplements that youre taking
Once your medical history is established, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination. Your doctor will check for pain in different regions of your lower body . In addition, your doctor will note any swelling, skin changes, muscle weakness, or reflex activity through a variety of simple tests.
After the initial consultation, your doctor will have obtained a better idea of why you are experiencing leg pain. That being said, some additional tests and diagnostics may be necessary to achieve an accurate diagnosis.
Don’t Miss: Whats Lidocaine Used For