Nerve Issues in the Foot can
Cause Pain and Numbness
Nerve damage in the feet can cause serious pain as well as other symptoms like swelling, weakness and numbness. If these symptoms persist, prompt treatment is necessary or the conditions may worsen, causing permanent damage.
The most common type of nerve damage is neuropathy, or a disease or dysfunction of motor and sensory nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the body. Neuropathy begins gradually with tingling and numbness in your feet. You may experience sharp or burning pain, along with falling and lack of coordination.
Diabetes is a common cause, as prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels can damage nerve fibers and interfere with their ability to transmit signals. Other causes include some autoimmune diseases, alcoholism, certain medications and trauma or pressure on the nerve.
It’s important to treat the underlying cause of the neuropathy – for example, controlling blood sugar levels for people with diabetes – to relieve symptoms. Stopping smoking will improve circulation as will regular gentle exercise like walking, yoga and tai chi.
Contact us for an appointment if you are experiencing neuropathy pain. Medications can relieve the pain, as can electrical nerve stimulation therapy and even surgery.
When a nerve is injured or compressed, a neuroma may develop causing pain and swelling. A Morton’s neuroma affects the ball of the foot, most commonly between the 3rd and 4th toes. This condition causes burning or sharp pain in the toe area or foot, but can also result in numbness.
Women who wear tight shoes are at the greatest risk for Morton’s neuroma, and high heels compound the effect by shifting weight forward. Wearing shoes with wide toe boxes and low heels can prevent this problem.
Call our office for persistent pain. We may recommend metatarsal pads or custom orthotics to distribute pressure evenly, and prescribe a pain reliever. A corticosteroid injection can relieve inflammation. Decompression surgery or removal of the nerve may be considered for pain that doesn’t go away.
When an individual with foot neuropathy continues walking on an untreated foot, a deformity in foot joints may result and the joints may eventually collapse. This condition, called Charcot foot, is serious and can lead to disability and even amputation.
Symptoms of Charcot foot include redness, swelling or warmth of the foot or ankle, foot ache or deformity. Catching this condition early is vital to successful treatment, so call us right away if you see any of these symptoms.
We will examine your feet and perform x–rays and other imaging tests. Treatment includes eliminating pressure on the foot and wearing a plaster cast so the bones can set and heal properly. We will carefully monitor your healing with x–rays and examination of the other foot which will be subject to increased pressure. In some cases surgery may be required.
Safe Biking Means Foot Protection for Motorcyclists
It’s a perfect day to take the motorcycle out for a ride, so you check fuel and fluid levels, grab your sunglasses and gear up with helmet and gloves.
But wait! Don’t forget to protect a part of your body that is most vulnerable in an accident – your feet. In an accident or tip–over, your feet will probably be one of the first things to hit the pavement. If you fishtail, you may have to drag a foot to steady the bike. And don’t forget those hot exhaust pipes near your feet.
Be Choosy When Buying Motorcycle Boots
Boots are best – never bike with sneakers, sandals or flip-flops. You’ll need protection for the ankle, heel, toes and sole of the foot. Here’s a quick buying guide:
- Try on boots late in the day when feet are largest.
- Look for boots that protect the shin and even the calf for best protection.
- Check the soles – sewed–on leather soles are stronger than glue in case you have to drag your feet along the road.
- Choose oil–resistant leather or composition soles and waterproof leather uppers.
- Select boots without laces, or laces that are covered with buckles or zippered covers, so the laces will not get tangled in a motorcycle part and cause an accident.
- Boots should fit snugly but not too tight. Make sure they are comfortable walking and sitting, and that they don’t cut into the back of your calves when you bend.
Plan a spectacular spring motorcycle ride at MotorcycleRoads.com.
Recipe of the Month
Curried Chicken Wraps
Here’s a tasty addition to your Memorial Day picnic!
- 3 split (1 1/2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup chutney (recommended: Major Gray's)
- 3 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 cup medium-diced celery (2 large stalks)
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in pieces.
For the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, wine, chutney, curry powder, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth.
Combine the chicken with enough dressing to moisten well. Add the celery, scallions, and raisins, and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Add the cashews to the chicken.
Fill the center of each tortilla with the chicken mixture. Fold the 2 sides of the tortilla over the filling so that the sides overlap. Roll the tortilla from bottom to top, and cut in half diagonally.
Recipe courtesy of FoodNetwork.com