Dealing with nerve pain in your foot and need relief now? While there are medical treatments available, there are also a few things you can do at home to ease your discomfort.
At Fixing Feet Institute, our Diabetic foot care specialist is here to help you reduce pain and increase mobility. Let's look at the causes, symptoms, and best ways to treat nerve pain in the foot at home.
Causes of Nerve Pain in the Feet
What can cause nerve pain in the feet? It's a common medical problem caused by a variety of factors. Here are the most common ones:
Neuropathy is damage to the nervous system. It's a common complication of diabetes and can occur in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In these cases, it's often referred to as peripheral neuropathy. If you have diabetes, it's essential to stay on top of your disease and manage the health of your feet.
Peripheral neuropathy is dangerous because it makes diabetics vulnerable to injury since they cannot feel pain. Engage in daily foot checks and closely inspect your feet for any changes that may have occurred.
To decrease your chance of sustaining further injury, ensure you wear foot coverings with padding at all times, even at home. You'll want to notify our doctors immediately if you notice anything out of the ordinary (scratch, bruising, swelling, etc.).
Also, when you keep your blood sugar levels down, you can reduce some of the overall foot pain you're experiencing.
Other conditions, such as alcoholism, cancer, or certain medications, can also cause neuropathy. Sometimes, it can lead to serious problems, such as infections or amputation.
A neuroma is a ball of nerve tissue that can press on nerves and cause pain. Neuromas commonly occur in the foot, also known as Morton's neuromas. Neuromas can also occur in other body parts, such as the hand or thigh.
Treatment for a neuroma may include wearing custom orthotics and wider shoes, massaging the affected area, and injecting steroids into the area. In some cases, surgery might be necessary.
Foot traumas include things like sprains, fractures, overuse, or infections. The bones, muscles, and tissue can compress or pinch the nerves when the foot gets injured. This leads to pain, numbness, and tingling in the affected area.
Additionally, inflammation from the injury can also put pressure on the nerves and cause pain. Treatment for foot trauma-related nerve pain typically includes rest, ice, and elevation of the affected foot.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when nerves in the body's extremities get damaged. The symptoms of neuropathy can vary depending on the nerves affected and the condition's severity.
The most common symptoms include:
- Shooting or stabbing sensations
- Changes in temperature sensitivity
If you have any of these symptoms, you should see our doctors to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan. In the meantime, use our tips for temporary relief at home.
Ways to Treat Nerve Pain at Home
Now that you know what causes nerve pain in the feet, and are familiar with the symptoms, let's explore the best ways to treat the pain at home. In most cases, treatment at home focuses on relieving pain and protecting the affected foot from further damage.
1. Soak in Warm Water and Epsom Salt
Soaking in Epsom salt can help ease the pain and discomfort associated with nerve pain. Soaking for 20 minutes a day can help improve symptoms. The magnesium sulfate in the salt helps reduce inflammation and promote healing.
2. Compression Socks/Neuropathy Socks
Compression socks help nerve pain in the feet by providing compression and support to the foot. This helps reduce inflammation and swelling, leading to pain relief. Additionally, compression socks can help to improve circulation in the feet, which can also help to reduce pain.
Take frequent breaks from walking, standing, or other activities that put pressure on your feet. When you are constantly on your feet, they're under a lot of pressure and tension, which can aggravate the pain.
Taking a break and giving your feet time to rest helps reduce the pain and give your body a chance to heal. Also, when you are resting, your body has an opportunity to repair the nerves.
4. Ice the Pain
Ice packs are a common treatment for nerve pain in the feet. They work by numbing the area and reducing inflammation. Icing is typically used for acute pain but can also be helpful for chronic pain.
Put the ice pack in a towel and apply it to the affected area for 15-20 minutes.
5. Check Feet Daily
Diabetics should check their feet daily for cuts, wounds, and infections. Diabetes can cause nerve damage and reduce blood flow to the feet.
It may be hard for them to notice if they have an injury. Regularly checking your feet can help prevent problems from getting worse.
6. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol negatively affects the absorption of several vital vitamins and minerals in the body. Some of the nutrients it alters, like thiamin, folate, vitamin B6, and B12, help normal nerve transmission. Alcohol also causes dehydration exasperating the condition further.
These nutrients also help with the production of myelin, which protects nerves from damage.
7. Anesthetic Lidocaine
Lidocaine is a local anesthetic for numbing the skin or surfaces in the body. It works by blocking the nerves that send pain signals to the brain.
When applied to the feet, lidocaine can help relieve nerve pain. The anesthetic effect of lidocaine can last for up to an hour, making it a helpful tool for managing pain.
8. Massage Your Feet
Massaging your feet can help with nerve pain by improving circulation and reducing inflammation. Massaging the feet can also help to release tight muscles and relieve tension.
Get Professional Help
Have more questions or need help with the nerve pain in your feet? We'd love to help!