A pinched nerve, also known as nerve compression, involves a nerve becoming trapped between two tissues in the foot. The most common causes include foot trauma, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and repetitive stress. If the pressure on the nerve is treated early, most patients will regain full function and range of motion in the foot. However, an untreated pinched nerve may cause systemic problems such as gait abnormalities and foot deformity, and could have permanent effects.
Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve in the Foot
The nerves are responsible for communicating sensations between the body and the brain. If a nerve is inflamed or compressed, it may not be able to relay messages effectively, causing discomfort in the feet, toes, and heels.
Symptoms of a trapped nerve may vary from patient to patient, but will often include:
- Pain. Compression of a nerve can cause it to“misfire,” causing pain that feels like burning, a dull ache, or like an electric shock. Pain may worsen with activity, or be constant even when your foot is at rest.
- Numbness. Some injuries may block the signal from the nerve completely, making the foot feel hot, cold, or as though it has fallen asleep. Changing positions may ease the pressure on the nerve, producing a tingling or “pins and needles” sensation. Over time, the muscles surrounding the injury may feel weak or unstable.
- Pressure between the third and fourth toes. A tumor on the nerve between the third and fourth toes can cause heat, swelling, and pain when walking. This condition is known as Morton’s neuroma, and may feel as if you are walking on pebbles.
If you think you may have a pinched nerve in your foot, you need to get help right away. The specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry offer free initial consultations and create customized treatment plans for every patient. Simply fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up your first visit.