Foot Nerves

Everything you ever wanted to know about foot nerves


Foot nerves the cables that run throughout your feet and provide a pathway for impulses.  The impulses carry information about things you feel with your feet, whether on the outside or the inside of your foot.  There are all kinds of things that can go wrong with your foot nerves, so it’s important to examine all your symptoms when you’re trying to figure out what’s wrong.


One of the most common symptoms that can indicate a problem with your foot nerves is pain in the ball of your foot.  This is called metatarsalgia, and it’s a symptom of many different problems.  The most common reason you may feel pain in the ball of your foot is nerve damage.


There are many different causes for nerve damage in the foot.  One common problem is benign growths of foot nerves in the toes.  This is called interdigital nerve pain.  In addition to pain in the ball of the foot, symptoms also include pain, burning, and tingling around the third or fourth toe.  The pain, burning, and tingling may increase with certain types of shoes.  The burning will get worse as the condition worsens, often spreading to the tips of the toes.  You also may feel like you’ve got rocks in your shoes, even if you can clearly see there aren’t any rocks in your shoes.


Treatment for benign growths of foot nerves usually involves an injection of a corticosteroid.  Doctors may have to repeat the injections twice or even three times every week or so.  Another treatment option is cryotherapy, which involves applying extreme cold to the area of foot nerves.  Doctors may also prescribe an orthotic device to help relieve the pain.


Another common problem that causes pain in the ball of the foot is metatarsal joint pain.  This problem is caused by joints that are not properly aligned.  The misaligned joints then begin to press on the foot nerves, causing pain, swelling, stiffening, and even some heat.  Metatarsal joint pain destroys your cartilage, so it’s important to get this treated promptly.  It can also be caused by other health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. 


Patients who have metatarsal joint pain will have a lot of problems walking, and they may even find themselves unable to walk if the pain gets too severe.  Doctors usually prescribe an orthotic to take the weight off the most painful joints and place it onto joints that are not affected, but surgery is also an option if the orthotic does not work.


One other common foot problem is sesamoiditis.  This problem is usually caused by a repeated injury like a broken bone.  Athletes who are on their feet a lot commonly suffer from sesamoiditis.  In most cases, this type of foot problem can be relieved simply by wearing shoes that don’t aggravate it.  Doctors may also recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to help with the pain.  A corticosteroid injection may also help more severe pain from this type of disorder.