Have you noticed a sharp, burning or radiating pain in your foot when exercising or walking for a period of time. Do heels or tennis shoes cause the pain to worsen? If so, you may be experiencing nerve pain! Nerve-related pain is not only a problem associated with the back or arms. Many people experience nerve pain in their feet as well! Certain foot types tend to be more prone to developing numbness associated with nerve pain on top of the foot. People that have higher arches tend to have more pressure along the top of their foot in restrictive shoes. Since there are several nerves located on the top of your foot, you can develop neuritis from the continuous pressure from your shoes. Neuritis is inflammation or irritation of a nerve. Most of the time, it can be alleviated by simple removal of the item causing pressure; however, sometimes a nerve can become so inflamed that it will not get better unless it is evaluated by your podiatrist. Neuritis can be alleviated with certain types of prescription ointments or cortisone injection, but the most important treatment is figuring out what the offending pressure is and removing it!
Nerve pain can also be related to a neuroma. A neuroma is when a nerve is irritated and inflamed by constant friction from soft tissue or bones. The nerve becomes enlarged and develops a “tumor-like” sheath around the nerve. But don’t worry, it’s not a tumor! High heels or activities that require you to be on the ball of the foot are common causes for neuromas. A small amount of cortisone can help reduce the inflammation around the nerve and strategically placed padding in high heels or narrow shoes can prevent the symptoms from recurring. Another cause for burning, tingling or numbness along the top or bottom of the foot is when a nerve becomes entrapped. An entrapment can occur anywhere but the most common area for an entrapment is along the side of the foot and ankle. This entrapment is call “Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.” Signs associated with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome include numbness that radiates along the side or bottom of the foot. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, although rare, is difficult to diagnose and treat. It should be treated quickly as delay in diagnosis could lead to more severe symptoms or long term complications. Treatment can range from cortisone injection, immobilization in a boot, physical therapy or surgery. If you are experiencing burning, tingling or numbness in your foot that is not resolving with home treatments, then call Advanced Podiatry at 813-875-0555. Our doctors are experts in diagnosing nerve-related problems in the foot and ankle. They will help promptly diagnose the condition causing your nerve pain and most importantly find the right treatment for you!