As many as 28-32 million Americans have nerve pain in the lower extremities (feet and ankles). Sadly, we cannot help all of them here at Fixing Feet Institute. If you live in the greater Phoenix community and are one of those tens of millions affected individuals, however, you might want to come see us at our Surprise, AZ office.
We can help!
Dr. Peyman Elison actually specializes in diagnosing and treating nerve problems. On top of that, he is currently President of the Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons. And twice a year Dr. Elison teaches other doctors and surgeons across the country (and around the world) how to properly evaluate and treat nerve problems in the feet and legs, as well as how they can better help their patients find relief.
Understanding the Basics of Nerve Pain
There are two major reasons nerve pain is so prevalent:
- Anyone can develop nerve issues.
- There are many different possible root causes.
Some of the reasons nerves become damaged—thereby becoming a source of pain and frustration —include diabetes, exposure to toxins, nerve compression, malnutrition, infections, and inherited disorders.
If you have burning, tingling, shooting pain, cramping, or tightness in your foot or leg and aren’t sure what is happening, the odds are decent you’re suffering from a nerve issue.
While painful sensations are a concerning symptom, numbness within a limb or extremity could be a sign of extreme nerve damage.
Losing feeling in any part of your body can be stressful and frightening. These emotions are further compounded when your feet become numb. In addition to having to determine the source of the problem, you may fear you will lose your mobility as well.
Fortunately, you can find peace of mind by seeing an expert who understands the intricacies of nerve damage and is able to offer real solutions.
Dr. Elison is such an expert. He is highly-trained and experienced in diagnosing nerve conditions and providing effective treatment—and he can do the same for you!
Common Nerve Problems
Some of the more frequently-seen nerve issues we treat in our office include:
- Nerve Entrapments. Nerve entrapments are also known as pinched nerves and will frequently cause sharp, shooting, burning and/or stabbing pain, along with sensitivity. They can be caused by injuries, repetitive stress or metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Tarsal tunnel syndrome, an entrapment of the tibial nerve as it passes along the inside of the ankle, is a common example.
- Peripheral Neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is not just nerve pain; it is an actual disease. There are a variety of causes, but diabetes is a very common trigger. Peripheral neuropathy refers to the conditions that result when nerves that connect to the brain and spinal cord—your peripheral nerves—are damaged. This damage interrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body, which leads to the strange or painful feelings in your feet.
- Nerve Injury. Our feet take a beating, and really anything repetitive or traumatic can injure a nerve in your foot. If you are in pain or having odd sensations in your feet, it's best to consult an experienced podiatrist for their professional opinion.
- Neuromas. Sometimes confused with pinched nerves, neuromas are actually nerve tissues that have become thickened and enlarged on account of physical trauma. In theory, a neuroma could develop on virtually any peripheral nerve, but the most likely place of occurrence is in the forefoot, between the second and third toes. In fact, this is so common that the condition has its own name—a Morton’s neuroma.
Diagnosing Nerve Problems at Fixing Feet Institute
If you suspect that you have a nerve problem in your feet or legs, please contact our office for an appointment with Dr. Elison.
At your visit, you will be properly evaluated. As part of the process, Dr. Elison will listen as you answer a variety of questions relating to your pain. This is followed by a thorough, hands-on physical examination of the affected area(s).
In certain situations, you may undergo diagnostic nerve blocks to confirm the diagnosis of nerve entrapment. At other times, diagnosis can include a nerve conduction study (to determine if there is a problem higher up in your back). Once Dr. Elison has determined exactly what is happening, he will then discuss all available treatment options with you.
Treating Nerve Pain
In the same way there are several potential causes of peripheral neuropathy, there are several potential ways to address the condition. Nerve pain treatment options include measures like
- Medication. Some of the medications we may prescribe to relieve your nerve pain include topical compound treatments, anti-seizure medication, antidepressants, and, of course, pain relievers (often nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
- Electronic signal transfer (EST). This is a safe and effective treatment method which uses high-frequency electronic waves. These energy waves reach damaged nerves and initiate beneficial changes at the cellular level. The EST waves enhance natural healing processes and relieve pain by increasing cellular metabolism.
- Non-invasive laser therapy. Laser therapy can be used to regenerate peripheral nerves that have become damaged and are now causing painful sensations.
- Therapeutic nerve blocks. In this treatment, anesthetic is injected directly into an affected nerve, which then interrupts transmission of painful signals to the brain and thereby provides relief from the pain.
- Physical therapy. The exercises and activities physical therapists use can improve functions that have become limited on account of nerve pain. Nerve gliding activities, balance and coordination exercises, and moderate-intensity activities may all be beneficial. Physical therapists will choose the right exercises and create an appropriate program for you!
- Peripheral nerve surgery. Whereas Fixing Feet Institute is fortunate to have skilled, experienced foot and ankle surgeons, we generally reserve the use of surgery only for conditions that do not improve with conservative measures. We will help you understand your options and discuss this potential course of action together so you can have your questions answered and make an informed decision.
Don’t Delay—Get Help Today!
Your feet are the foundation of everything you do, so proper foot care and treatment is essential for your ability to do both necessary and favorite leisure activities. If you are experiencing numbness, tingling pain, or any other concerning symptoms, come and see us here at Fixing Feet Institute!
Our doctors have the experience and skill to address a wide range of foot and ankle problems, including those causing nerve pain.
There is no need to suffer from lower limb pain, so contact us today for the help you need. Either contact us online right now or give us a call at (623) 584-5556 and our staff will be glad to answer any questions or set you up with an appointment at our Surprise, AZ office.