The foot can handle loads of force, such as the weight of your body in motion. Various foot components, including the toes, heel, and ball, collaborate harmoniously to facilitate your movement from one location to another. The amount of force thrown at your foot is precisely the reason why you can experience nerve disorders.

Also, the strain of supporting your body exposes your feet to a notably high risk of injury, surpassing any other body part. Foot discomfort is the initial indicator of a broader systemic problem.

An instance of this is gout, which frequently targets the foot joints initially. So, how can you take steps to recognize and effectively handle some prevalent foot-related concerns?

nerve disorders

1. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome or TTS

This nerve pain disorder arises from a compressed or damaged tibial nerve that affects the ankle area. The tibial nerve is situated within your ankle and goes through the tarsal tunnel, a channel formed by interconnected ligaments and bones.

Individuals experiencing TTS may encounter sensations like weakness, numbness, or foot pain. It can develop from excessive use of the foot and ankle. Those who engage in intense or regular physical activity, especially with a notably flat foot structure, are at a higher risk of developing TTS.

The exact prevalence of this nerve disorder needs to be well-established among experts. A significant number of individuals with TTS do not receive an official diagnosis. This condition can impact individuals across various age groups.

What Leads To TTS?

This syndrome arises when the tibial nerve encounters damage. The causes of this tibial nerve damage can encompass:

  • Anomalies like varicose veins, bone spurs, or ganglion cysts

  • Flat feet

  • High arches

  • Injuries like fractures or ankle sprain

  • The presence of masses such as tumors or lipomas close to the tibial nerve

  • Systemic conditions

Many individuals developing such nerve disorder symptoms know these conditions are linked to overuse injuries. Over two out of five people suffering from TTS have previously experienced injuries like ankle sprains, which harm the ligaments of the ankle.

If TTS symptoms remain severe even after attempting non-surgical treatments, your healthcare provider might suggest surgery as an option. Surgical procedures are designed to release the tibial nerve or widen the tarsal tunnel. In cases where a mass is exerting pressure on the nerve, the surgeon will remove it through the procedure.

2. Neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is one of the many painful nerve disorders that target the front part of your foot, often affecting the area between your third and fourth toes. You might experience sensations like standing on a pebble inside your shoe or a crease in your sock.

This condition involves the thickening of tissue around a nerve leading to your toes, particularly causing a sharp, burning pain in the front of your foot. You could also encounter sensations like stinging, burning, or numbness in the toes impacted by this condition.

Wearing high-heeled or tight shoes has been associated with developing this nerve disorder. For many individuals, transitioning to lower-heeled shoes with more spacious toe areas can bring relief. In some instances, corticosteroid injections or surgery might become necessary.

Usually, this condition doesn’t exhibit any visible external indication like a lump. Instead, you might encounter the following symptoms:

  • Sensation resembling standing on a pebble within your shoe

  • Burning pain in the front part of your foot, which might extend into your toes

  • Tingling or numbness in your toes

Additionally, you might discover that taking off your shoe and massaging your foot relieves the pain. It’s advisable not to overlook nerve disorder symptoms like persistent foot pain beyond a few days.

Suppose you’re encountering an ongoing burning sensation in the front part of your foot that doesn’t show improvement despite adjusting your footwear and altering activities that might strain your foot. In that case, it’s recommended to consult your doctor.

3. Neuropathy

It can arise when nerves suffer damage due to trauma, diabetes, infections, metabolic issues, nutritional deficiencies, or exposure to toxins. The most prevalent types include:

Alcoholic neuropathy

Continuous alcohol consumption can harm nerves, particularly in the extremities, leading to decreased sensation. Addressing the root cause of the peripheral nerve disorder is crucial. Know that treatments can assist.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Elevated blood glucose levels due to diabetes can result in nerve damage. Symptoms like pain, burning, tingling, and reduced sensation are common in neuropathy cases. It highlights the significance of daily foot checks to prevent complications like infections and ulcers.

Regular visits to a podiatrist are vital for individuals with diabetes due to the high occurrence of neuropathy.

Nerve pain disorders affecting muscles and tissues in the foot and ankle are often easily detected. Note that these nerve-related issues might take longer to identify and treat. Recognizing the signs of nerve-related problems is essential to ensure timely treatment, minimizing potential damage.

nerve disorders

Collaborate with Our Podiatrists

At Foot and Ankle Centers, our skilled, board-certified podiatrists possess the advanced expertise, tools, and treatments to diagnose and effectively address nerve-related issues accurately.

If diabetes is the underlying cause of your nerve disorders, our team works closely with you to establish optimal foot care routines and achieve favorable outcomes. Offering a range of solutions, from conservative therapies to surgical interventions, we assure you of receiving top-notch foot and ankle care.

To set up an appointment, simply reach out to us online.