Diabetic Foot Pain...Why?

diabetic foot pain

Diabetic foot pain is one of those conditions where a multitude of reasons could be at play.

Unfortunately for the person on the other end of the foot, the pain can be uncomfortable or down right painful.

The symptoms of diabetic foot pain can range:

1- have strange tingling sensations

2- pins and needles

3- feels like ants crawling on your skin

4- feet just throb

5- feet can be hot or cold, and extremes of this

6- general pain

7- numbness

Doesn't sound good does it.

But what you tend to find is that all this is because of a damaged nervous system firing off random signals in response to the damage. It also should be noted that when blood sugars are haywire more neurological problems exist and persist.

Strange responses because of a damaged nervous system is called diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is caused because of by products of sugar degradation affecting the internal workings of your cells.

Diabetic neuropathy encompasses all nerve related problems that are associated with diabetes.

1- dry or sweating skin

2- temperature differences

3- muscle flabbiness

To name a few.

You get hot and cold sensations because nerves are attached to your circulation. They "tell" your circulation to open or close when needed. So if your nerves have been damaged then signals to your circulation will also be randomized.

So where ever your nerves are attached you can get damage.

Diabetic foot pain can also come from a problem where very few clinicians know about.

Infection. Infection can cause a whole host of problems for a diabetic, but a diabetic who can not feel anything (a neuropathic) will feel pain if they have an infection. This is in one of a few cases where neuropathy changes.

Can anything be done about diabetic foot pain?

Yes there can.

First we need to determine the cause of the neuropathy. If your nerves have been cut by surgery, trauma or destroyed by medical therapy (some cancer drugs etc) then you can not get your nerves back.

Alcoholics can suffer from a condition known as alcoholic neuropathy where alcohol, poor nutrition, excess sugar causes damage to the nerves. We have had patients who were alcoholics clutching their toes in pain and there was very little we could do for them.

If you have diabetic foot pain because of high blood sugars then the following does have some success:


Doctors can prescribe some very potent meds that can reduce the pain. Some patients have found that their pain has reduced and some have not. There are skin attached pads out there which are supposed to reduce the pain, but again some work and many do not. There was actually a medical patch that was used for something unrelated and that was found to reduce diabetic foot pain. The manufacturers didn't know why but they are spending millions to find out.


Some patients have found that surgical methods to cut the actual nerve has found to be promising. Also various bacterial injections have also demonstrated good results.

Own Care

Many patients forget that they can actually help themselves. By maintaining a good blood sugar level, readings of 4-7, and keeping that for about 1-2 month can get your nerves back to a "normal state" in most patients. However you need your blood pressure and stress levels in order to actively achieve this goal as both systems will affect your blood sugars.

Go back to the Come away from Diabetic foot pain to other Diabetic articles

About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.