Finding Relief from
Nerve Pain & Neuropathy
Pain is an important tool, alerting us when something is causing us harm. But what happens when the system responsible for this alert is itself in distress?
Nerve pain can be a consequence of a variety of different problems, but the feet are particularly vulnerable to this type of condition. Whenever there is a potential problem with nerves in the feet, it should not wait to be addressed! Do not hesitate to call us for an appointment, especially if you have a complicating factor such as diabetes.
Symptoms of Nerve Pain
The nervous system consists of two parts: the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (the network of nerves throughout the body, outside the central system). For the purposes of nerve pain in the feet and ankles, we are talking firmly about the peripheral system.
When functioning normally, the nerves in your feet will transmit signals across the nervous system well—including pain, when necessary.
When something damages, weakens, or places pressure on the nerves, however, it can be a cause of pain in itself. Different types of pain and other symptoms may be present as well, such as:
- Tingling or “electrical” sensations
- Instability or loss of balance
Causes of Nerve Pain
Various conditions can damage the nerves, also referred to as peripheral neuropathy. One of the more common and concerning issues is poor circulation, often as a result of peripheral artery disease (PAD) and/or complications of diabetes.
The nerves in the feet are particularly susceptible to the effects of decreased circulation. It already takes a significant effort for blood to be pumped to our extremities, and gravity is certainly not helping the return trip, either. When circulation begins to be impeded within the body, the feet will frequently start feeling the negative effects first, with nerves weakening and dying because they aren’t receiving enough of the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive.
When nerve damage in the feet becomes severe enough that sensations are barely felt (or not felt at all), foot injuries that go undetected may lead to catastrophic ulcers and wounds. Having diabetes makes this risk even higher.
Other potential causes of nerve pain can include:
- Nerve compression against a bone, muscle, or scar tissue.
- Heavy drinking
- Exposure to toxins
- Side effects of specific medications, including chemotherapy
Treating Nerve Pain
The best treatment for nerve pain depends on properly addressing what is causing it, and that requires an appointment to thoroughly evaluate and diagnose the situation.
If diabetes is in the picture, it is essential to do all you can to manage the condition and slow its effect on your peripheral neuropathy. That includes managing blood sugar properly and taking other proactive measures.
Depending on your situation, other potential treatments for nerve main may include:
- Changes to footwear, activity, and/or diet.
- The use of orthotic devices to shift excess pressure or weight away from sensitive areas.
- Rest and massage, to allow conditions such as neuromas to properly heal.
- Topical ointments and medications.
In cases of nerve compression, a surgical release procedure might be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerve and restore comfort.
Regardless of your options, we will discuss them fully with you, as well as answer any questions you have to ensure you can choose how to proceed with confidence.
Take the Pressure Off Your Nerves
Whatever is causing the nerve pain in your feet, it is important to your overall health to ensure the problem is being treated properly. Our doctors are more than happy to help you determine the best path toward relief and management.