One of the most common foot ailments is foot pain. Foot pain develops in the foot for various reasons, specifically during occasions where the foot suffers from some kind of injury or inflammation.
Stabbing Pain In The Foot: Is It Nerve Damage?
The most common source of foot pain is regular wear and tear. The structures of the feet are subject to getting worn down over time, especially since the feet absorb shock from force exertion and help support the weight of the body.
Over time, that force causes the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the feet to wear down over time.
Part of the reason why the feet wear down over time is the fact that we take a lot of steps throughout the day.
In fact, the average person is known to take as much as 5,000 to 7,000 steps per day.
That’s pretty much the main reason why people experience foot pain on a regular basis.
The feet are literally under a lot of stress on a day to day basis, so foot pain from wear and tear is pretty much expected.
Foot pain just doesn’t develop from regular wear and tear. Stabbing or intensely throbbing foot pain is one type of foot pain that just doesn’t develop from regular wear and tear.
In fact, this type of foot pain commonly originates from another source: nerve damage.
Sometimes, foot pain originates from nerve damage. Nerve pain, in this context, is also known as neuropathy, which refers to any pain, disease or dysfunction of the body’s peripheral nerves.
This damage often causes people to experience nerve pain. This pain, which commonly originates from the peripheral nerves of the body, is often characterized by a deep, throbbing pain that occurs within the nerve, and spreads throughout the area surrounding the nerve.
Stabbing Pain In The Foot ~ The Causes Of Nerve-Related Pain In The Feet
Nerve pain is caused by nerve damage resulting from trauma or other irritations. In other cases, nerve pain develops from conditions that directly affect the nerves. Some of the conditions that cause nerve pain include:
Morton’s neuroma describes when the nerve in between the middle toes thickens.
When this nerve thickens, it causes a burning or shooting pain in the area between the toes.
This pain may develop into a stabbing or throbbing pain if pressure is applied to the area.
Another symptom of this condition is excessive pressure in between each toe.
Morton’s neuroma commonly occurs in women, especially in women who wear high-heeled or narrow shoes.
Pinched nerves or nerve entrapment
According to Debilitating Diseases, Nerve entrapment is another source of persistent foot pain. This condition can develop in any part of the foot and sometimes affects both feet at the same time.
Trauma, such as excessive pressure or blunt trauma, is one of the main causes of pinched nerves in either foot.
Pinched nerves often cause shooting and sometimes stabbing pain. Others feel burning pain or sensitivity in any part of their foot.
Behind tarsal tunnel syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a type of nerve entrapment. This condition describes cases where the furthest tibial nerve becomes trapped within the ankle’s tarsal tunnel.
The tibial nerve, located toward the back of the ankle, resides in the ankle’s tarsal tunnel where it threads through the rest of the foot.
People with this syndrome commonly feel burning, tingling and/or shooting pain. As with any pinched nerve, the pain may develop into a stabbing or throbbing pain if excessive pressure is applied to the affected area.
Foot cramping and numbness are other common symptoms and, sometimes, symptoms can worsen during nighttime hours.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
This form of peripheral neuropathy often develops in people with diabetes. In fact, at least 1 in 4 people with diabetes experiences some form of peripheral neuropathy.
This condition develops within the feet, causing people to feel burning and shooting pain.
The pain typically occurs during nighttime hours but is likely to continue persisting throughout the daytime.
Pain stemming from this condition may ‘come and go’ throughout its duration. In rare cases, diabetic peripheral neuropathy may cause people to lose feeling within their feet.
The loss of feeling occurs on a gradual basis, starting from the toes and progressing up through the rest of the feet.
Other causes of stabbing nerve-related pain in the feet may include the following:
- Physical trauma
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Drugs, such as antibiotics, antiviral drugs or specific cancer medications
- Tumors that may compress or pinch a nerve
- Diseases, such as liver or kidney disease
- Infectious diseases, such as viral infections
- Herniated discs within the lumbar spine
- Complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic pain condition that affects the limbs of the body
People with nerve pain in either of their feet should seek medical attention. It’s better to see a doctor as soon as you feel stabbing pain within your feet since it might indicate an underlying nerve-related problem.
Stabbing Pain In Foot ~ Strategies For Treating Nerve Pain In Foot
Interestingly enough, the causes of nerve pain are still a ‘medical mystery’ to many medical experts and researchers.
Even though there’s still a mystery to solve, plenty of medical professionals have identified nerve-related conditions that are known to affect the feet.
Naturally, they’ve also devised treatments to help manage and, eventually, subside the pain.
The most common treatment for chronic nerve-related pain in the feet is taking painkillers. Painkillers help subside most of the pain, especially if you feel stabbing pain in the foot.
Getting steady exercise also helps release the body’s natural painkillers, also known as endorphins.
Exercise also helps boost blood flow to the legs and feet and, subsequently, helps the nerves get enough blood to get back to normal health.
Most people with nerve pain do report that they still feel some nerve pain in their feet after treatment.
That’s because nerve pain in your feet or any other part of the body is more or less a chronic condition.
Chronic conditions need constant management and treatment in order to help subside symptoms and keep the body healthy. So, the same approach is applied to managing nerve-related foot pain.