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Signs and Symptoms of Nerve Pain in the Foot and Ankle

Your nerves are bundles of fibers that use chemical and electrical signals to send messages throughout your body. You can think of your nervous system as a command center that allows you to do everything from move your body to breathe and digest food.

The nerves in your feet and ankles play a crucial role in your ability to experience various sensations in the area and to move. When you’re dealing with nerve pain in your foot or ankle, going about your daily life can be grueling. Thankfully, a proper diagnosis and treatment can help you—often literally—get back on your feet.

At Oexeman Foot and Ankle, PLLC, in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Stephanie Oexeman and her team pair advanced technology with their vast experience to help relieve your nerve pain and improve your mobility.

Here, we explore more about nerve pain in your foot and ankle, including signs, symptoms, and ways we can help.

Signs of nerve pain in your foot and ankles

Nerve pain affects people differently, depending on the cause and your overall health. Some of the most common signs of nerve pain in your feet or ankles include:

  • A tingling sensation, as though your foot or ankle “fell asleep”
  • Burning or shooting pain
  • Numbness, periodically between pain
  • Balance problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Cramping
  • Difficulty using your foot or ankle as usual

Your nerve pain symptoms may come and go or carry on steadily. You may also notice that your symptoms flare up or become more severe at certain times, such as during the night or during certain activities. And while some nerve pain affects only one foot or ankle, some cases affect both.

Getting a diagnosis

If you’re experiencing signs of foot or ankle nerve pain, Dr. Oexeman can diagnose your condition through an in-office exam. During your visit, she asks you about your symptoms and medical history. 

Dr. Oexeman also checks your tendon reflexes as part of a neurological exam. This step helps her assess your muscle tone and strength. She tests your coordination, posture, and sensitivity to various sensations, as well. 

Nerve pain usually reflects an underlying condition, such as:

  • Nerve compression
  • Neuritis, or inflamed nerves
  • Neuromas, or a nerve tumor
  • Neuropathy, or nerve damage
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome, or tibial nerve damage
  • Traumatic nerve injuries

Treatment for your nerve pain

A range of treatments are available for reducing or eliminating nerve pain in your foot and ankle. Depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms, as well as your age, Dr. Oexeman may recommend:

  • Drop foot surgery
  • Implantation of a peripheral nerve stimulator
  • Nerve decompression
  • Nerve grafts and conduits
  • Nerve reconstruction repair
  • Nerve release
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
  • Revision after failed nerve surgery
  • Targeted nerve transfer
  • Tendon transfer for muscle weakness
  • Ultrasound-guided nerve blocks

To learn more about nerve pain in your foot and ankle, call our office or schedule an appointment through our website today.