We treat many lower limb conditions at Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida, including some which cause nerve pain. If you are already experiencing pain, our medical specialists will carefully evaluate your situation and then create a unique treatment plan to address it. We will offer you tips and information so you can take the right steps to keep your nerves healthy and reduce the risk of problems developing.
The Nervous System and Nerve Issues
While it is often referred to as a single system, the nervous system is actually comprised of two, equally-important parts: the central nervous and peripheral nervous systems. When we consider nerve pain in the foot and ankle, the peripheral nerves are involved.
The central nervous system—formed by the brain and spinal column—is responsible for receiving and processing information, which enables us to experience sensations. The information processed by your brain is collected and transmitted to the spinal column via peripheral nerves.
When the peripheral nerves are healthy, there is usually no issue. Problems begin, though, when they become damaged or receive abnormal pressure from an external source. At this time, the usually-helpful nerves can become a source of pain or phantom symptoms like tingling or burning sensations. In some cases, patients report feeling as though they have a pebble in their sock or shoe, when none is actually present.
There are several conditions which can cause nerve pain. Neuropathy (nerve damage), neuromas (enlarged, thickened nerve tissues), and tarsal tunnel syndrome are some examples of conditions our podiatrists treat for patients.
Treatments will depend on the condition responsible for the problem. Some of the more common treatment options include:
- Medication. This approach is mainly used to treat existing pain. Pain relievers, topical treatments, anti-seizure medications, and even antidepressants can all be beneficial to treat certain types of nerve pain.
- Shoe modifications. Switching from high-heeled, pointy-toed shoes to models featuring low heels and plenty of room in the toe box for toes to move can make a big difference.
- Rest and massage. When the source of pain is a neuroma, rest and a foot massage can provide relief.
- Orthotic devices. Inserts for your shoes that keep pressure off an affected nerve may be extremely helpful. These devices may be custom made or provided as over-the-counter inserts. Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida can suggest which options are appropriate for you.
- Surgery. Our goal is to use conservative care as often as possible, but sometimes nerve issues need to be addressed with surgical procedures.
Tips for Optimal Nerve Health
The best way to prevent issues from developing is to have healthy, strong nerves. There are several ways to do this:
- Exercise regularly. As always, make sure to check with your primary physician and your podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida to assess your fitness levels and help you create a safe, effective workout program.
- Stop all tobacco usage. Smoking and other forms of tobacco use restrict blood vessels and can deprive your nervous system of essential nutrients.
- Manage diabetes, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions. Diabetes and neuropathy are closely linked, but keeping on top of your diabetes can help lower your risk of developing neuropathy.
- Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is essential for several reasons, but you can add “nerve health” to that list for adding lots of water to your beverage consumption.
- Eat a balanced diet. You can help keep your nervous system healthy by eating a diet based on fresh veggies, fruits, and whole grains. The nutrients in these foods will protect the nervous system and enable it to function at full capacity.
Professional Nerve Treatment in Florida
If nerve pain is taking away your ability to perform favorite activities and diminishing your quality of life, contact Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida. The podiatrists on our staff are experienced, skilled, and highly-knowledgeable, and we want to help you find relief from your pain. We have offices located in Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Tavares, and Orlando, FL to better serve our communities, so contact us today and find out what we can do for you.
Give us a call at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if you are calling from Lake County) and we will be glad to answer any questions you might have. You can also take advantage of our online form to request an appointment for any of our offices.