I have pain and numbness in my feet with a lot of pain in my toes and especially in the big toe. I had ingrown toenails removed last year and it seem it has been worse since. However, I was having the trouble before.. I have been tested for neuropathy twice both time negative. The pain is awful--like prickles and burning in my toes. If it is cold it's worse. What causes this?
A word about nerve tests (electrodiagnostic test, EMG/NCS)... these test are grossly test nerve function. You have to have some pretty bad nerve damage for it to show up on this test. Nerves can become irritated and sensitive at a cellular level which is not easily testable. Looking at mice and rat studies, we see multiple cellular changes in the nerves like: "Flood gates" open (receptors open), wind-up occurs (more sensitive receptors are created), and the brain becomes active in multiple areas. None of this is measured in a nerve test in the doctors office. Don't be fooled, you have a nerve issue. Pain, numbess, cold sensitivity, especially in a stocking distribution. No doubt this is nerve pain and sensitivity. Those sensitive nerves can get a little more anger if a needle or knife get close. They are just protecting you, that's their job and they are doing a darn fine job. Too good of a job!
Many, many things can cause nerve sensitivity. Diabetes, thyroid disease, alcohol, vascular disease, smoking, heavy metals, genetics, the list goes on and on. When all the bad things are ruled out and the patient is left in pain, sometimes all that can be done is treat the symptoms and stay calm.
Dr. Christina Lasich, MD
I suffered from the same kind of pain you are describing. It started in my big toes and eventually affected all of my toes, the balls of my feet and along the outside of my feet. I too had a battery of tests, too many, and nothing showed up positive. The neurologist just gave me a prescription for Neurontin and said, "this is all you can do." I then consulted a rheumatologist. She looked at other causes and did simple office tests. It was in our conversation that it became clear that it was my arches that were causing this unbearable pain like tiny shards of glass plus the other symptoms. Once I was fitted for proper orthotics (not the over the counter variety) the pain lessened and went away. If I try to wear shoes with the orthotics or go barefoot in the house for a few days, the symptoms start to come back. Orthotics made me feel like a whole functioning woman again. Good luck.