Wound Care

What Causes Foot Nerve Pain and What Are the Treatment Options?

What Causes Foot Nerve Pain and What Are the Treatment Options?

Posted On: December 26, 2022

About 20 million Americans suffer from some form of peripheral neuropathy.

Any condition relating to nerves outside the brain or spinal cord is a type of peripheral neuropathy. It can be the result of nerve damage, genetics, or infections and has a variety of symptoms, ranging from pain to a loss of motor function.

Today, we’re specifically going to discuss foot nerve pain. We’ll look into what causes it, what the symptoms are, and what your treatment options are when you have this condition.

Your foot pain may not be debilitating, but if you don’t deal with it quickly, it can worsen and become untenable. Keep reading and you’ll have all the information you need to diagnose and treat your foot nerve pain now and in the future.

What Is Foot Nerve Pain?

When you experience nerve pain in your foot, it’ll either be the result of a pinched nerve or damage from neuropathy. It may start with slight pain or tingliness in the foot, but it can quickly devolve into shooting pains and complete numbness if you’re not properly treated.

If the condition worsens, it can keep you from running, walking, or even standing. Because you’re forced to stay off your feet, foot nerve pain can directly affect your overall health by preventing you from being active.

What Are the Foot Nerve Pain Causes?

Cancer treatment is one of the biggest causes of foot nerve pain and neuropathy in general. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment are well-known for adversely impacting the nervous system, causing it to send and receive false pain signals.

Another major cause has to do with mishandled diabetes. About 50% of diabetic people have some form of neuropathy. It occurs when you have poorly managed blood sugar for an extended period of time.

Injuries and infections play a role as well, although they’re less common. Those with back and neck injuries can end up damaging nerves, while those with things like shingles or bacterial infections like hepatitis, Epstein-Barr virus, and HIV can experience severe neuropathic pain.

Autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis and Guillain-Barre syndrome, are shown to affect the nervous system. Kidney disease, liver disease, and bone marrow conditions do as well.

Excess alcohol use is a common factor in nerve damage, as is exposure to toxic chemicals. Vitamin deficiency resulting from drug and alcohol abuse, or a poor diet, is at the root of many of these cases. This has a lot of crossover with those that remain inactive for long periods of time.

It’s also important to look at genetic factors. If you’ve got a family history of neuropathy, it puts you at higher risk of developing it yourself.

Nerve Foot Damage Symptoms

So, what do you feel when you have foot nerve pain?

Symptoms are generally different for different people. It depends on your physical makeup, as well as the underlying cause of the nerve damage. The most common symptoms include:

  • Tingling and prickling sensations
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Periodic or constant dull or shooting pain
  • Overall muscle weakness
  • Numbness to pain or temperature changes
  • Muscle twitching and cramping
  • Paralysis in some or all of the foot

In some cases, the nerve damage in your foot might just be one aspect of a larger neuropathic issue. If you experience any of the following symptoms in conjunction with the ones above, it’s important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis:

  • Dizziness and blurred vision
  • Bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Wild temperature changes in the body/sweating too much or not at all
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Big changes in blood pressure
  • Lack of sexual function
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Emotional issues such as anxiety and depression

How Is Foot Nerve Pain Diagnosed?

Neuropathy in the feet can be diagnosed in a number of ways. First, your doctor will probably examine your feet and ask about your symptoms. This gives them a starting point at which they can have the proper tests done.

Some of these tests might include bloodwork and nerve studies, as well as X-rays and ultrasounds. If it’s determined to be a nerve issue, they may use things like electrodiagnostic testing, quantitative sensory testing, or needlework to see how the nerves respond.

The prognosis, if properly diagnosed, is generally positive for patients with foot nerve pain. Nerve damage can be permanent, but identifying the underlying issue quickly and getting the proper treatment can also allow for the regeneration of damaged nerves.

Foot Nerve Pain Treatment

Your doctor may take an active approach to treat your foot nerve pain, whether it be through injections, oral or topical meds, or MicroVas treatment. At Graff Foot, Ankle, and Wound Care, we usually start with an oral medication to encourage the regrowth of the nerves.

MicroVas treatment stimulates blood flow and circulation, which works well in conjunction with oral or topical medications. In other scenarios, it might be best to use injection therapy to stimulate the repair and regeneration of nerves.

The type of injections you receive will depend on the type and severity of your nerve pain. For those with vitamin deficiency, a B12 injection may be in order, while plasma and bone marrow are better for those with more serious nerve damage.

In less severe circumstances, you may be able to deal with your neuropathy at home, without any treatment. It may involve a change in diet to get more of the right nutrients in your body or a change in lifestyle, whether it’s drinking less alcohol or being more active.

Deal With Your Foot Nerve Pain ASAP

Foot nerve pain and other symptoms of neuropathy can start mild but turn debilitating. For that reason, it’s crucial to see a doctor for a proper assessment as soon as you notice symptoms.

If you’re in Dallas, come and see us at Graff Foot, Ankle, and Wound Care to have your symptoms analyzed and get a proper treatment plan. With our help, you can put your foot nerve pain behind you and get your life back as soon as possible.