Pain in your feet is one of the first signs or symptoms that you may be experiencing a complication of diabetes. You've probably heard of many common foot problems like corns and bunions. But, have you heard of neuropathy? This type of nerve damage may be the reason behind your foot pain.
Today, we're going to go over the basics of why your feet may hurt, and talk about some treatment options and solutions.
Why do my feet hurt?
One of the reasons your feet may hurt is because of neuropathy. Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that may cause feelings of pain or numbness in your feet.
It is a common problem, with up to 80% of people with diabetes having the disease. It happens for a number of reasons including blood sugar levels, genetics, and lifestyle.
How can I find out the cause of my foot pain?
The best thing you can do is talk to your primary care doctor or see a podiatrist with experience in diabetic foot pain.
Your doctor may conduct a series of tests to see whether or not you have neuropathy. There may be other reasons for your pain, so it's important to tell your doctor any symptoms you are having.
What can I do about foot pain?
There are a number of things you can do for your foot pain. Before trying something, talk with your doctor. Some things you can do include:
- Keep your blood glucose levels under control
- Manage your health with your care team
- Discuss pain medications both over-the-counter and prescription
- Try acupuncture to relieve pain
- Use a TENS unit
- Try pain cream or gel
- Use lidocaine
- Try capsaicin ointments or salves
The best thing you can do is treat your pain and prevent the problem from getting worse. Talk to your doctor about your risks for neuropathy and other foot problems that may cause pain
Is neuropathy a serious problem?
The important thing to know is that while neuropathy can cause pain, it can also lessen your ability to feel pain. Typically, painful neuropathy usually happens first and then this leads to leads to painless neuropathy. So over time, you may be unable to feel pain, heat or cold in your feet.
Both cases are very dangerous because your pain signals are off. Because of this, you might miss an injury, and these small injuries can become infected, gangrene and turn into an ulcer.
Neuropathy is one of the main causes of diabetic foot ulcers. So, it's important to find out if you have it so you can take steps to prevent further problems.
More information on foot pain and nerve damage: