What Is A Pinched Nerve In The Foot And How To Treat It?

We have nerves extending from the spinal cord to the brain, right? And they send important messages along with warning signals throughout the body. One such warning sign is pain that arises due to a pinched nerve in the foot or any other part of the body. At such times, it’s best not to ignore these signs as they may lead to severe damage if not treated immediately.

When it comes to a pinched nerve, the condition can be serious or minor. It can result in long-lasting or temporary harm. Proper treatment is necessary during the initial stages of diagnosis to provide the affected area with instant relief.

So let’s find out everything we can about the condition. This way understanding what it is and why is it caused becomes easier. And that will lead us to treating the pinched nerve in a more efficient manner.

Pinched Nerve In The Foot

Pinched Nerve in The Foot: Causes

When the surrounding tissues of a nerve exert excessive pressure or compression on it, it leads to the development of pinched nerve. The tissues can either be cartilage and bone or tendons and muscles.

When dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, many different muscles are responsible for applying too much pressure on the carpal tunnel’s median nerve. These include the tunnel’s enlarged bone, the degenerated and thickened ligament, or the swollen tendons.

Tissues are highly susceptible to exerting excessive pressure on a nerve under the following conditions:

You should know that once you relieve the nerve from all that pressure, it starts to function normally. This means no permanent damage, right? But for some reason, if the compression is not eliminated, permanent damage and chronic pain are inevitable.

The Risk Factors of Pinched Nerve

We’ve discussed a few important factors that might increase your chances of developing a pinched nerve.

1. Thyroid Disease

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that mostly affects people dealing with thyroid issues.

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis

This type of arthritis causes inflammation in the body. And inflammation tends to compress nerves, particularly those present in the joints.

3. Bone Spurs

Diseases like osteoarthritis or even trauma have the ability to give rise to bone spurs. And when a part of our body is affected by bone spurs, it tends to narrow the area around the nerves. And this leads to pinching the nerves.

4. Sex

Women have smaller-sized carpal tunnels than men. So the chances of the formation of carpal tunnel syndrome are higher in women.

5. Pregnancy

When pregnant, weight gain is inevitable, right? So all the excessive weight along with the added water content in the body causes the nerve pathways to swell up. And this leads to nerve compression.

6. Overuse

Repetitive movements of the shoulder, wrist, or hand increase the risk of developing a pinched nerve.

7. Excessive bed rest

Nerve compression is common among people who tend to spend a lot of time lying down on the bed.

8. Obesity

With more weight comes added pressure to the nerves.

9. Diabetes

If you have diabetes, then you’re more likely to experience pinched nerve in the foot.

Pinched Nerve in the Foot: Symptoms

When you have a pinched nerve in the big toe or pinched nerve on top of the foot, these are the symptoms that you might experience. Numbness, tingling, weakness in the leg, twitching, swelling, and redness.

Pain is also a common symptom of a pinched nerve. In fact, the activity of walking or even wearing shoes becomes extremely painful. Pinched nerves in the foot are more likely to develop between your fourth and third toes.

The Treatment of Pinched Nerve

More often than not, all you need to do is let the foot relax and heal itself without any treatment. But this only applies to conditions that are not unbearably painful in nature.

When severe pain exists, it’s better to pay a visit to the doctor. He or she may recommend the application of a topical cream or lotion. Such an ointment usually contains L-arginine, which helps in treating the condition more effectively.

You can also massage the affected area or make use of ice packs for pain relief. But in severe cases, doctors resort to injecting the nerve with corticosteroids. And if all else fails, then surgery is your last best option. It’s the only way to relieve the nerve from excessive pressure.

Treatments for Pinched Nerves in the Foot

Conclusion 

Before we conclude, you need to know a few important takeaways. You can easily avoid the development of pinched nerves in the foot by wearing more supportive footwear. These shoes typically come with shock-absorbent insoles and a wide toe-box.

You should also know that custom orthotic inserts or insoles are also another excellent way of preventing pinched nerve. And exercise goes a long way too, especially for those likely to develop neuroma in the foot. It helps in building up leg strength and flexibility.

So now we hope you know what the condition is, its causes, symptoms, and treatment methods. If not, then please go through the article once again. Pinched nerves are not something you need to worry about, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the condition. Especially if the pain is severe and not ready to subside.

It’s best to consult a podiatrist or any general practitioner to know more about how to treat the pinched nerve. So tell us, have you ever had to deal with such a condition? And how long did it take for the nerve to heal itself?

Please leave your feedback in the comments section below. We would love to hear your thoughts on this particular topic.

And don’t forget to keep those feet healthy! We hope to see you again soon.

Sources:

1. http://www.livestrong.com/article/206196-a-pinched-nerve-in-the-foot/

2. http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/compressed-nerves#1

3. http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/pinched-nerve-in-foot.html

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