Pain in your feet may be due to some level of irritation or damage to one or more of your nerves. You may experience nerve pain as a result of a sports injury, excess weight, improper footwear, stress fractures, benign growths or simply the shape of your foot. Regardless of what's causing the pain, there are things you can do to help remedy your condition.
Try resting your feet. Sometimes, all you need is a little rest to lessen the inflammation causing the irritation or damage to the affected nerve. However, you shouldn't abstain from physical fitness. Just switch to low-impact exercises, like swimming, biking or walking, until the pain subsides.
Ice your foot. To further reduce inflammation and lessen pain, ice the affected foot with an ice pack, package of frozen vegetables or bag of ice. Fifteen minutes at a stint, several times throughout the first few days should help you recover from the condition.
Change your foot apparel. If you tend to wear high heels or dress shoes for longer periods of time, you may need to switch to better shoes that properly support your feet, especially at the very beginning of treatment. Discuss these options with your doctor or podiatrist.
Invest in a pair of inserts. To add support to high heels and dress shoes, you may need to invest in a pair of orthopedic inserts. These devices better support the arch and distribute weight more evenly across your foot.
Consider taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen, help to alleviate the inflammation that causes nerve pain.
Lose those extra pounds. When the nerve pain is linked to excess weight that is causing unneeded stress on your feet, cut your caloric intake and exercise more to drop a few pounds. This should eliminate the cause of the nerve damage and eventually alleviate pain. Talk to a dietitian about the best dietary regimen for you.
Discuss your condition with a doctor. Since you're dealing with nerve pain, you want to make sure this isn't a symptom of another condition, such as diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes) or a fracture. If your doctor determines that this is a diabetes-related condition, additional modes of treatment may be necessary to stop further progression of damage. With a fracture, immobilization is often needed.
Talk to your doctor about corticosteroids. If more conservative modes of treatment fail to provide results, you may need corticosteroids to further treat your condition. And much like NSAIDs, prescription steroids reduce inflammation, lessening the associated pain and allowing the nerve to better heal.
Seek further treatment. When self-care measures and prescription drugs don't improve your condition, further treatment is usually necessary, including physical therapy, splinting devices (to stretch the muscles and tendons as you sleep) or even surgery to correct the tendon, muscles or bone encroaching on the nerve.
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With diabetic neuropathy, treatment often relies first on better management of your blood glucose levels. This is then followed by prescription medication, such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, anesthetics or analgesics, as well as other forms of treatment, including nerve stimulation, relaxation methodologies and even physical therapy.
Stretching your feet each morning may also help to reduce nerve damage and pain. Simply stand flatfooted and then bring yourself up onto your toes. Hold for a moment and return your heel to the floor. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 repetitions on each foot.