The feet are a complex structure comprised of bone matter, joints, tendons, and nerves. Damage or injury in any one of these areas can lead to foot pain. And while foot pain is usually caused by damage to the joints and tendons, sometimes pain can be caused by nerve damage.
Common symptoms of nerve damage include numbness/weakness, tingling sensation, or a burning sensation.
4 Types of Nerve Damage Which Can Cause Foot Pain
If you are suffering from foot pain, consult with a professional foot and ankle specialist for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Here are four different kinds of nerve damage which can lead to pain in the feet:
Morton’s Neuroma is a condition in which the nerves located between the third and fourth toe get inflamed. Women who regularly wear high heeled footwear are more prone to this condition.
Common Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma
- A burning sensation or shooting pain between the toes while either walking or standing.
- Pain and inflammation between the toes.
- Numbness or tingling sensation.
- Pressure under the toe area often described as feeling like a bunched-up sock or a pebble.
Proper arch support and specific modifications to footwear can help in addressing these symptoms to a large extent. In some cases, your podiatrist might use cortisone injections as a way of reducing inflammation of the affected nerve.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is fairly common among diabetics. High blood glucose levels can impact the nerves over time. Among diabetics, the feet are particularly vulnerable to nerve damage.
Common Symptoms of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
- Shooting pain in the feet or a sudden burning sensation which mostly occurs during sleep.
- Peripheral neuropathy is not continuous and may occur in episodes.
- The patient might experience numbness or loss of any sensation starting from the toes and slowly moving upwards.
Good blood sugar control is the key to preventing diabetic complications. In addition, the patient might be prescribed specific medications (depending on the severity of the symptoms and the degree of blood sugar control) to treat peripheral neuropathy.
A pinched nerve can happen when the nerves that run towards the toes get compressed. In most cases, a pinched nerve develops from wearing tight shoes. It can also develop due to repetitive stress or trauma.
Common Symptoms of Pinched Nerves
- Sharp or shooting pain felt mostly at night.
- A radiating pain which moves down the foot and then moves back up again and is felt the most when walking.
Treatment of pinched nerves may include the following:
- Use of better fitting footwear.
- Use of inserts for footwear.
- Prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines and topical anti-inflammatory gels.
- Cortisone injections or surgical procedure are more effective in treating severe cases.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the tibial nerve (found near the ankle) is compressed or pinched as it moves through the tarsal tunnel. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome can develop from an existing condition such as flat feet, or other conditions such as inflammation due to arthritis and injuries.
Common Symptoms of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- A tingling or burning sensation in the affected foot.
- Radiating or shooting pain, in which the pain moves from the bottom of the foot towards the heel.
- Numbness and cramping which tends to become more acute when resting or sleeping.
Treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome usually involves the use of anti-inflammatory medication, addressing an existing condition (flat feet), and the use of cortisone shots. Your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure known as tarsal tunnel release if your case is severe.
No Reason to Wait
Timely medical attention can help prevent nerve damage from progressing and its associated symptoms from becoming acute. If you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned conditions, consult with a foot and ankle specialist to seek an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment as soon as possible.
Consult with Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle
Is chronic nerve pain in the feet affecting your normal life? Are you looking for relief from a painful foot condition? We at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle can help you. Connect with us here or give us a call today to set up an appointment!