Nerves send pain signals to tell your body that something is wrong, and sometimes the nerve sends pain signals because the nerves themselves are damaged or being stimulated by mistake. Nerve pain can be excruciating and can lead to difficulty in other parts of your life by interfering with sleep and causing stress. An orthopedist can help with nerve pain in your feet by determining a cause and providing treatments for your specific needs.

Nerve Pain in Feet: How an Orthopedist Can Help

Examine the Feet

Your medical caregiver will begin by performing a complete exam on your feet. The orthopedist will look at the condition of your feet, noting any cuts, bruising or abnormalities that may be contributing to your pain. The doctor will also look for clues about how your footwear and activities may be affecting your feet.

Other observable indicators will be taken into account. These may include the tone and condition of the skin on your feet, the way your toenails are growing, and any redness or irritation that can be seen or felt.

Perform Testing 

A number of different tests can be run to help your medical team learn more about the nerve pain you are experiencing. This may include blood chests to check for illnesses or vitamin deficiencies. Electrical nerve functioning tests can also be helpful. In these tests, the nerves are electrically stimulated so the doctor can see how efficiently sensation is being transferred and how pain signals are being initiated. 

A biopsy of the nerve can also be useful to see if there is damage to nerve endings. A biopsy involves taking a sample of your nerves and studying them closely.

Determine a Cause

There are various causes of nerve pain in the feet, and it is important to know why you are experiencing the pain. Sometimes medical conditions like diabetes can be the cause. In that case, you will want to seek additional medical treatment as well as orthopedic care. Diabetics must watch out for problems in the feet in addition to nerve damage, and your doctor will tell you about that if it applies to you. 

Other causes of nerve pain in the feet may be an injury to the feet, an infection, exposure to toxins, or even genetic disorders. The cause of the pain will help determine the right treatment.

Suggest a Topical Treatment

There are several topical medications that can be used to help with nerve pain. Some of them can be obtained over the counter and some will require a prescription. Creams, ointments, and sometimes patches can be used.

Prescribe an Oral Medication

Oral medications are often helpful in treating orthopedic nerve pain. Your doctor may want you to try taking one or more pills. Sometimes medication typically used to treat seizures or epilepsy is also useful for pain of the nervous system. Certain anti-depressents may also be prescribed.

Prescription medication often has side effects. Your doctor will talk to you about what you can expect and how to respond if you have problems.

Recommend OTC Pain Medication

Pain medication may help with the pain associated with nerve damage. Traditional over-the-counter medications like Iburprofen or Tylenol are typically helpful. Your medical professional can advise you about which is best for you and how much to take.

Prescribe Pain Medication

Sometimes doctors may find it necessary to prescribe a pain medication stronger than those you can get over the counter. These can include opids like oxycodone or tramidol. There are serious risks with these medications, and they are not a good choice for certain patients. Your doctor will discuss all risks and potential problems with you before prescribing them.

Discuss Exercise

Keeping up an exercise schedule can help with some kinds of nerve pain in the feet, so your doctor will want to know how active you are and what kinds of physical activity you engage in on a normal basis. Your doctor may suggest certain types of recreation such as walking or stretching to help treat the pain in your feet.

If your nerve pain is caused by an injury, you may need to avoid some activities to avoid causing more pain, making the injury worse, or keep yourself from healing. You will need to talk to your doctor about exactly which exercises are useful and which can cause harm.

Help To Stop Smoking

A smoking habit can easily lead to conditions that cause nerve pain, so your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking as soon as possible. Medical professionals can help with a plan to stop your smoking addiction and can provide tools for an effective strategy.

Quitting a smoking habit can be extraordinarily difficult, especially if you have been smoking a long time, but your nerve pain will get worse the longer you continue smoking. Compassionate medical care is useful in conquering a smoking problem and maintaining a smoke-free life. 

Assess Lifestyle

Lifestyle factors can contribute to nerve pain and conditions leading to nerve pain, so your orthopedist will have questions about how you live. The foods you eat and any medications you take could be affecting the cause and severity of your pain. Avoiding alcohol consumption can also help decrease nerve damage in many cases. If you are diabetic, your health care provider will also suggest you carefully keep track of your blood sugar levels.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle always puts you on the road to a faster and more effective recovery no matter the initial cause of your nerve pain. Medical professionals can give you suggestions and tools for purposefully living in a healthier way.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

This is a treatment that is sometime used for nerve pain the feet. This treatment involves a gentle electric current being used to stimulate nerves. Electrodes are placed on the feet, sending electrical signals into the skin. The treatment is used every day for about a half hour.


Sometimes surgery is required to treat pain in the nerves. This is usually an option when something is putting pressure on your nerves. This may be caused by a tumor or other mass under the skin.

Advise Alternative Treatments

There are a number of additional non-medical treatments you can discuss with your orthopedist. You may wish to pursue one of these options in addition to treatment from medical professionals. These can include acupuncture, chiropractic procedures, or taking certain supplements or herbs. Seek medical advice before starting any of these activities, however.

Get the Help You Need Today

Nerve pain in your feet can damage your health and wreak havoc on your lifestyle. The pain and stress of having to deal with these problems can interrupt your time with friends and family and can cause you to miss activities you enjoy. The good news is that your nerve pain can be treated.

If you are in the Victoria, Prince George, Campbell River, Terrace, Kelowna, Nanaimo, or Williams Lake areas, visit the professionals at Island Foot Clinics for the best in orthopedic care. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and begin the process of eliminating the nerve pain in your feet.