If a part of your body is hurt and needs attention, it is up to your nerves to send signals of pain. When the nerves are pinched, they are unable to perform their intended function. In some cases, this situation even results in faulty signals. The nerves in your feet can develop various issues, but it is important to keep in mind that you can find the care you need here at Foot Specialists of Long Island.
The Peripheral Nervous System
Your nervous system is comprised of two different systems—the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system—that work together to allow you to experience everything you do. We are concerned with pinched nerves in the peripheral nervous system.
While the central nervous system is located in the center of the body (the spinal cord and brain), the peripheral nerves extend to far-reaching locations. They are responsible, in part, for recording stimuli and then transmitting messages back to the brain. This allows us to be aware when an issue exists that needs to be addressed.
When there is pressure on a nerve, it can affect the nerve’s ability to perform in a correct manner. This is often indicated by symptoms like decreased sensation, numbness, tingling sensations, sharp or burning pain, muscle weakness, or the frequent feeling that a foot has “fallen asleep.”
Some of the common causes of nerve compression include injury, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, stress from repetitive motions, and various athletic activities. These can disrupt a nerve’s function by applying the pressure that leads to inflammation. Short periods of pressure will not often lead to issue, but constant repetition or extended periods increase the risk of a nerve problem arising.
Neuromas – Morton’s and Otherwise
Very much related to this topic are neuromas. These are often described as being nerve tumors and they result from trauma or compression. The swelling happens within the nerve and, left untreated, can potentially result in permanent nerve damage. There are other locations where a neuroma may develop, but they frequently are found in the ball of the foot.
One common nerve condition that patients seek treatment for is a Morton’s neuroma. This particular one is experienced between the third and fourth toes and is linked to pressure, irritation, or injury to a nerve that lies between the toes.
Treating Nerve Problems
There are various treatment options for compressed nerves that can be rather effective, including:
- Medications. Some medications—including naproxen, ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)—are helpful for alleviating inflammation around the nerve and providing relief for painful symptoms. Depending on your case, we may decide to use corticosteroid injections in addition to any oral medication we prescribe.
- Physical therapy. To relieve pressure from affective nerves, we may recommend certain exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles in the area of the nerve entrapment. We can also assess which movements are more likely to aggravate the nerve and then recommend appropriate activity modifications.
- Surgery. For patients who are not finding appropriate relief from conservative treatment options, we may recommend surgery as a way to relieve pressure on the affected nerve. When this is the case, we will discuss your options so you can make an informed decision.
How to Prevent Nerve Issues
As with other medical issues, it can be helpful to know that there are preventative measures you can take to avoid having this condition. You can reduce your risk of suffering from a pinched nerve by maintaining a healthy weight, limiting repetitive motions, taking frequent breaks from certain physical activities, and incorporating flexibility and strength exercises as part of a regular workout program.
Long Island, NY Professional Foot Care
We are proud to be the first choice in foot care for many residents from across the Nassau County communities. Let us provide the care you need when compressed nerves in your feet are causing issues. Call our Massapequa, NY office at (516) 804-9038 for more information or take advantage of our online form to schedule your appointment with us today.