Often times, nerve pain affects the feet. What can cause nerve pain in the foot?

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Nerve pain may result from a pinched nerve, peripheral neuropathy or a chronic condition, such as diabetes.

Any foot pain can have a significant impact on daily life, and untreated nerve pain may keep a person from enjoying or accomplishing their regular activities.

What does nerve pain in the foot feel like, what can cause it, and what treatments are available.

someone with nerve pain in one or both feet may experience:

  • a burning, aching, or tingling sensation
  • the sensation of an electric shock in the foot or feet
  • pain that gets worse during the night or specific activities
  • muscle weakness in the area

Also, the same issue that causes nerve pain may alternately cause numbness.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is sometimes referred to as tibial nerve dysfunction or posterior tibial nerve neuralgia. It is an entrapment neuropathy that is associated with the compression of the structures within the tarsal tunnel. It can be thought of as analogous to carpal tunnel syndrome of the wrist, but occurs at the ankle and is much less common than carpal tunnel syndrome. This activity addresses the presentation, evaluation, and management of tarsal tunnel syndrome and examines the role of an interprofessional team approach on the care of affected patients.


  • Identify the signs and symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome with the structures that are entrapped.
  • Increase blood flow to the extremities.
  • Describe the management strategies for tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • Review the potential complications of tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • Outline inter-professional team strategies for improving care coordination and communication to enhance outcomes for patients affected by tarsal tunnel syndrome.

The symptoms may worsen at night, while walking or standing, or after physical activity. The pain often lessens after resting.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome may result from:

  • wearing poorly fitting shoes
  • injuring the feet or legs
  • developing postsurgical scarring
  • having varicos veins
  • having a ganglion cyst
  • having lipomas

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is an umbrella term for numbness, tingling, and burning sensations in the toes, feet, fingers, hands, or a combination of these areas. The symptoms may worsen at night.

Also, peripheral neuropathy can cause nonspecific symptoms that make it difficult to move the feet and do basic activities.

Researchers do not fully understand why certain people develop peripheral neuropathy while others do not.

However, they have identified conditions that increase the chances of developing peripheral neuropathy. These health issues include:

  • infections
  • a deficiency of a nutrient, such as B12
  • alcohol use disorder
  • diabetes
  • certain hereditary conditions, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which causes a loss of muscle tissue
  • Guillian-Barré syndrome, a condition that causes rapid muscle weakness


Scatia happens when something damages or compresses the sciatic nerve, the longest and widest nerve in the body. It extends from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the legs, ending just beneath the knee.

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated, or bulging, disk in the spine.

While sciatica tends to affect the back, hips, and upper legs first, the pain can spread down the legs into the feet and toes.

Symptoms of sciatica include:

  • back pain on one side
  • pain or a burning sensation in the buttocks
  • leg weakness
  • pain in the leg and foot


The following approaches can help relieve nerve pain in the feet.

Home care strategies

A person may benefit from:

  • using hot or cold packs
  • Taking supplements and vitamins
  • resting
  • taking over-the-counter pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil)
  • massaging the feet
  • wearing a splint for support

Also, try to avoid sitting or standing for long periods.

Some people find that wearing wide, soft-soled, laced shoes with low heels helps relieve pressure on the feet and nerves.

However, for some people with nerve pain, a firm sole may be more beneficial than a soft sole.

Medical treatments

The best approach depends on the cause of the nerve pain.

To treat peripheral or diabetic neuropathy, doctors may prescribe:

In some situations, a doctor may recommend deep tissue massages and corticosteroid injections to help manage symptoms, especially if the cause is sciatica.

If sciatica results from a hernia, abscess, or tumor, a doctor often refers the person for surgery.

Doctors may also recommend physical therapy, as stretching and strengthening the legs and feet can help manage symptoms, including pain.

Surgery may also benefit people with nerve pain caused by issues other than sciatica. For example, if a person has tarsal tunnel syndrome, treatment may involve surgery to release a nerve. This has a success rate of op to 96%.