Everyone knows what “general” pain feels like. Nerve pain, however, tends to come with some extra “features,” for lack of a better term.
Do you have pain in your feet or ankles that is associated with any of the following?
- Shooting, burning, or electric sensations
If so, then your condition may be related to injured or damaged nerves.
Your nerves are responsible for many important functions in your body, including sensing factors such as temperature, touch, and pain. Normally, pain only comes as a response to a dangerous stimulus, such as stepping barefoot onto hot asphalt. When nerves themselves are damaged, however, the signals they send can go “haywire,” causing symptoms such as those above.
Common Causes of Nerve Pain in the Feet and Ankles
You may hear two common terms in reference to nerve pain.
Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. The feet are a very common location for such a condition.
Why is this? Nerves need healthy circulation to thrive. It is already a challenge for our circulatory system to reach our feet because they are the farthest parts of us from our heart. So, if anything begins to interfere with our circulation in some way, our feet tend to be the first areas to start feeling the consequences.
While several different conditions can contribute to peripheral neuropathy, one of the most common is diabetes. The effects of diabetes on circulation can be particularly devastating to feet over time; so much that special attention should be paid to diabetic foot care if you have this condition.
Nerve compression is another common condition. This occurs when a nerve becomes trapped up against a bone, scar tissue, or other surfaces, causing a disruption in its functions that often leads to pain.
A specific form of nerve compression that can affect the foot and ankle is tarsal tunnel syndrome. This happens when the posterior tibial nerve becomes compressed anywhere along its pathway from the inside of the ankle into the foot. It has many similarities to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrists and hands.
Treatment for Nerve Pain
Any case of consistent pain in the feet or ankles—whether you feel it is nerve-related or not—should be seen by a professional. Please do not hesitate to call us for an appointment.
We will conduct a full evaluation to get to the root of your painful problem and recommend the best courses of action for finding relief.
In some cases, this might mean conservative treatments such as custom orthotics that remove excess weight from damaged nerves, or even our advanced laser therapy to help relieve pain and restore injured nerves.
In some cases, especially with nerve compression, surgery may be needed to release a nerve. We will be sure to provide you full information on this procedure—if it is considered—to ensure you can make a treatment choice in full confidence.
Do not wait any longer than you need to if persistent foot or ankle pain has been plaguing you. Call our Lee’s Summit office at (816) 246-4222 to schedule an appointment.