Find Answers to Your Questions About Foot Care and Injury Prevention

Our Palm Desert podiatry team fields questions daily. Do you have a question about how to manage your foot pain? Do you have a question about the safety of a current footwear fad? Do you want to know more about foot and ankle injury prevention? If so, we hope you find the answers you need here.

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  • Can a nerve compression cause drop foot?

    Yes it can.  The nerve that supplies the muscles that go to the foot to help the foot move upwards during walking can become compressed from numerous causes and cause foot drop.  If this happens, you may notice a weakness in bringing your foot up when walking, an increase in instability in your foot, the feeling of falling, or even notice an increased noise caused by the foot slapping down to the ground instead of the normal slow progression.  This is known as foot slap and is what some people complain of.

    The nerve that can be compressed and cause these problems is the Common Fibular Nerve, previously known as the Common Peroneal Nerve.  You may have experienced temporary compression of this nerve if you have ever gotten up from sitting in a chair and your foot was asleep.  After a few seconds-minutes the sensations came back and all was fine again.  If the compression of this nerve does not go away, the foot drop is likely.

    The earlier the diagnosis is made and treatment started, the better the results are if you have drop foot or weakness during gait.  Dr. Danciger can evaluate the different nerves of the lower extremities and determine which, if any are causing the problem.   Call the office at 760-568-0108 for an appointment

  • What does lower extremity nerve pain mean?

    Lower extremity nerve pain is pain that exists in the legs or feet.  Nerve pain is a bit more complicated to understand because of the different types of pain.

    The human body relies on the nervous system to communicate signals to the brain from the lower extremities. This system is like a computer interpreting the various impulses (signals) given off by the peripheral nervous system. The brain and spinal cord, called the central nervous system, are in communication with the peripheral nervous system (nerves going to the extremities.) The peripheral nerves receive information or signals from the skin, muscles and organs and send this information to the brain via the spinal cord.  The brain then receives these signals and processes the information and may send the answer back down the spinal cord to the peripheral nerves to cause an action to occur.

    One form of information which is interpreted and processed in the brain is that of physical sensation.  This can be the sensations of pain, tingling, hot, cold, burning to name a few.  For the circuit to be completed, the body relies on the peripheral nerves and nervous system. If these peripheral nerves are damaged, which can be from diabetes, injury, trauma, thyroid disorders and many other causes, it can result in painful sensations reaching the brain thru the spinal cord. When this happens, you need the treatment we provide.

    Contact our Palm Desert, CA office by using our online form or by calling (760) 568-0108 to find out more information about this form of nerve pain and the advanced treatment options we have to relieve it for you.

  • What does paresthesia mean with nerves?

    Paresthesia is a condition that produces an abnormal tingling or numb sensation.  This is a sign that a nerve is overactive and transmitting more signals than normal.  Small electrical impulses run along the nerves from the spine to your legs.  These impulses or sensations also go up the spinal cord to your brain. 

    If, for some reason there is pressure on the nerve, it causes an interruption of the signals going back and forth which normally relate to the transmission of feeling.

    Paresthesias can result from many different causes.   These sensations may be permanent or they may be temporary.  Sometimes they can be reversed.

    If there is pressure on the nerve, which can be caused from diabetes, an injury, metabolic disorders, alcohol, chemotherapy, to name a few, the small blood vessels that supply nutrients to the nerve are also squeezed so they now deliver less oxygen and glucose (food) to the nerves.  These are what the nerves need to survive.  This causes the nerves inability to function properly by sending normal signals.  Numbness may result.

    If the pressure is removed the nerve cells start to receive the proper nutrients again from the blood vessels and the impulses can begin again.  This may be the sensations of pins and needles, tingling, as the nerves become hyperactive initially.  As nerves recover from the compression, they can be hyperactive for a period of time in some people.  This can be a good sign for recovery and may be temporary.

    If you are concerned about paresthesias, call Harvey R. Danciger, DPM for further information and evaluation.  He is located in Palm Desert, California.  Call 760-568-0108, or use our online appointment form.

  • Can numbness in the feet cause balance problems?

    Absolutely!  If you can not feel your feet you lose the ability to have normal sensations from the feet going to the brain to help you to adjust your balance.  This is called proprioception.  The areas of pressure which are applied to the skin of the feet when standing and walking help you adjust your balance as you feel your body moving towards the side and falling.   If your feet are numb, you do not have this ability to have the muscles working properly that help maintain your posture and balance.  Many people use canes or walkers because of this and instability it causes.

    You may walk slowly and take very short steps because of the fear of falling.  You do not have the sensation of where your feet are.  Falling and loss of balance can cause injuries including fractures of the leg and hip.  These can be devastating problems for many people because of the consequences of not being active which may increase the chance of blood clots, depression and poor circulation and breathing problems, and in diabetics, poor blood sugar control.

    There may be relief for you depending on the cause of the numbness and neuropathy.  An examination done in the office can help determine if your ability for walking and balance may be improved and as a result there can be an increased in sensations to the feet.  This may enable you to be more active which will have numerous benefits to you.

  • What does external neurolysis mean in nerve surgery?

    When a nerve is entrapped or pinched this can cause pain, tingling and other neurological symptoms making your life miserable.  External neurolysis is surgery to release, or decompress, the nerve from the surrounding tight tissues causing compression on the nerve and restriction of blood flow to the nerve.  Releasing the tissues around the nerve which are causing compression, allows the nerve to move freely, can restore blood flow to the nerve, and help reduce the symptoms of the pinched and entrapped nerve.

    If you are suffering from nerve pain and cannot be as active as you would like to be, give Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert, CA a call to schedule an appointment. 

    (760) 568-0108

  • Is there help for diabetic peripheral neuropathy?

    Peripheral neuropathy is a term used for nerve damage that is caused by long term high blood sugar and diabetes. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, can lead to numbness, loss of sensation, and sometimes pain in your feet, legs, or hands. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes.  Sorbitol, which is a product that glucose can break down into, gets into the nerves of diabetics and causes the nerves to attract water.  The nerve then swells-become larger and thicker, thus increasing the symptoms of neuropthy because of compression.

    About 60% to 70% of all people with diabetes will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy. In this group of patients, not everyone will develop pain as a symptom, however. Studies have shown that people with diabetes can decrease their risk of developing nerve damage and thus neuropathy, by maintaining their blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible over a period of time.

    Early diagnosis and treatment is important.

    To schedule an appointment to see Dr. Harvey Danciger, call our Palm Desert, CA office at 760-568-0108.  Then you can know what options you have for treatment.

  • Is surgery necessary to relieve neuroma pain?

    Not necessarily.

    Although surgery is required to remove a neuroma, many conservative treatment options exist that may adequately relieve your discomfort and stop the growth from progressing further—in fact, perhaps 80 percent of cases may be successfully managed in this way.

    Non-surgical options may include:

    • Switching to wider shoes that feature lower heels, softer soles, good support, and a proper fit.
    • Shoe inserts such as metatarsal padding, arch supports, or custom orthotics.
    • Laser treatments
    • Temporarily avoiding activities that cause pain.
    • Standard anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving strategies, such as over-the-counter medications, rest, and ice.
    • Corticosteroid injections at our office.

    However, if these options are attempted and fail to provide the adequate relief, we may discuss surgical options with you. There is no one “neuroma surgery,” but a variety of possible procedures that will be selected based on your condition and goals.

    To discussion treatment options for a Morton’s neuroma—surgical or otherwise—please set an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert, CA. You can request one online, or call 760-568-0108.

  • Can nerve damage be reversed?

    To some extent, yes. If you take action early, before symptoms become severe, nerves damaged by peripheral neuropathy or other factors can regain some of their lost function. Healthy eating with plenty of vital nutrients, regular exercise, and carefully managing your sugar levels (especially if you have diabetes) have all shown some ability to nourish and heal struggling nerves.

    However, significant nerve damage with more severe symptoms is usually permanent. That’s why it’s important to seek professional treatment and make healthier choices as soon as you notice that something is wrong. Set up an appointment with Dr. Danciger for a full evaluation, any necessary treatment (such as laser therapy or prescription medications), and advice on healthy lifestyle habits that can help you prevent future complications.

    To schedule your appointment, connect with us online or call 760-568-0108. For more information about foot care, read our weekly blog or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google Plus.

  • Are there conditions that increase my chance of falling?

    Many conditions can increase your falling risk, and although a lot of them are associated with advancing age, there’s no one main culprit—usually a number of factors are involved. For example, instability could be brought on by lack of exercise, or it could be related to a neurological condition such as neuropathy, which reduces or even blocks sensations in your feet.

    Declining muscle strength, balance, and flexibility will increase your instability, and while these things tend to diminish with age, it isn’t inevitable—regular exercise, including balance exercises, can help you improve your stability.

    Remember that environmental factors play a big role in determining your fall risk as well. Keeping your home free of obstacles and installing aids such as mats and grab bars for your bathroom can help you avoid tumbles even if your balance, stability, vision, or reflexes aren’t what they used to be.

    If you’re worried about your stability, visit Harvey R. Danciger, DPM for a fall risk assessment and treatment for any complicating conditions you may be experiencing. You can set up an appointment online, or by calling our Palm Desert office at 760-568-0108.

  • What causes nerve damage in your feet?

    There’s no single, universal cause of nerve damage in your feet, and it’s not always easy to predict specifically whether a certain activity or incident will result a nerve injury. That said, there are a number of common factors involved in many such cases.

    A Morton’s neuroma, a benign growth between the third and fourth toes, is generally caused by compression or trauma to a specific nerve. That could be caused by a wide number of mostly external factors, including high arches or other biomechanical foot deformities, repeated stresses or injuries from work or sports, tight shoes, and more.

    By contrast, peripheral neuropathy—systemic, progressive nerve damage throughout the lower legs—usually has “internal” causes. Chief among them is diabetes, as too much sugar in the bloodstream deprives nerves of blood flow and nutrition, though there are other potential causes, including alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiencies, and other diseases.

    Whatever the cause, Harvey R. Danciger, DPM can help you beat tingling, burning nerve pain. Whether your prescription is state-of-the-art (like laser therapy) or low-tech and simple (an insert for your shoes), he’ll put together the perfect treatment plan for your specific case. Set up an appointment online, or call 760-568-0108.

  • How do nerve blocks help diagnose my pain?

    A nerve block is an injection to a specific nerve which will cause the area the nerve supplies to become numb.  Because nerves in the lower extremity may have varying anatomic locations as the course down the leg and into the feet, and supply slightly different areas than normal, a nerve block can help identify if there are additional nerves supplying the region of pain you are experiencing.  The reaction to the length of time the block works and the type of reaction you have when the nerve block wears off are important in determining treatments available to you.


    Why suffer from the agonizing shooting, burning, tingling or other symptoms of nerve pain or neuropathy?  Give our office a call at 760-568-0108 to schedule an appointment for a thorough evaluation of you nerve problem.

  • Restless legs have you up at night?

    Are you tossing and turning at night when you should be sleeping?  Are your legs moving because you can’t keep them still?  Do you have sensations in your legs like pins and needles, ants crawling on your legs, itching in the skin?


    You may have a condition called restless leg syndrome.  There can be many causes for this condition.  Once the cause is determined, there maybe help for you so you can enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.


    If you are having any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment online at Harvey R. Danciger, DPM, or call  our office 760-568-0108 and you might just be on the way to restful nights sleep again.


  • How is tarsal tunnel syndrome treated?

    Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which involves nerve pain in the ankle, is initially treated by a period of rest and ice on the inside of the ankle—underneath the bone where the affected nerve passes through. We may recommend that you try oral anti-inflammatory medications. Immobilization of the area by wearing a cast is sometimes required to give the area time to heal.

    We may prescribe more advanced treatments like physical therapy, orthotics, and a change of shoes to help reduce your symptoms and prevent the nerve from being aggravated. Surgery is another option to treat progressive stages of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Depending on the stage of your condition, we will discuss surgical options with you that will benefit the health of your foot the most.

    If you are suffering from pain in the foot attributed to tarsal tunnel syndrome, allow Harvey R. Danciger, DPM to treat your problem early for best results. Make an appointment with our Palm Desert office at (760) 568- 0108. 

  • What does it mean if I have a compressed nerve?

    If you have had numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in an area there is a possibility that you have a compressed nerve. This means there is extra pressure being put on a nerve in your body. All of these symptoms can result when a nerve is compressed or pinched—sometimes called nerve entrapment. Pressure created by trauma-induced swelling, tight shoes, fractures, bone spurs, benign tumors, and certain deformities can compress a nerve.

    Nerves that travel through narrow places and don’t have enough tissue to guard them are most vulnerable to being compressed. In some cases, a compressed nerve can lead to symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, and without treatment can lead to further swelling, pressure, and scarring. Do not wait to contact Dr. Harvey Danciger if you have tingling, numbness or pain in your foot. We can evaluate your condition, determine the cause, and provide you with effective treatment to relieve your symptoms. Call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108, or request an appointment online

  • What are the signs of a pinched nerve?

    A pinched nerve is another term for nerve that has excessive pressure placed on it. When this condition develops in the foot, it can bring a great deal of discomfort. The signs of a pinched nerve include tingling and numbness in the ball of your foot, burning in the ball of your foot, swelling and pain between your toes, and pain in the forefoot or ball of the foot when weight is placed on the foot. Most commonly, we hear our patients complain of pain in their toes while walking.

    Foot pain is a warning sign that something is wrong and should be addressed. If you are experiencing these symptoms, we encourage you to contact our office at the very start. A neuroma can get worse and greatly impact your activity level and quality of life if left untreated. We have several conservative treatment options to help alleviate your discomfort—contact our Palm Desert, CA office today for an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan that will get rid of your pain. Call (760) 568-0108, or request an appointment online.  

  • What is Morton’s neuroma?

    This common condition is often discovered when patients report a constant pain in the ball of their foot. Morton’s neuroma is a swelling or thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves that leads to your toes. The most common location for this to develop is the area between your third and fourth toes.

    This foot problem is most commonly caused by repeatedly wearing shoes that squeeze the toes and forefoot. High heels are one style that can cause this condition to occur over time. The inflamed tissue can lead to sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot and numbness that radiates to the toes. Symptoms are often aggravated with walking or activity, and patients often describe feeling as though a pebble were stuck in their shoe.

    We have several conservative treatment options available, and surgery is an option if needed. If you have ball-of-foot pain, contact Dr. Danciger for diagnosis and treatment before it gets worse. Call our office at (760) 568-0108.  

  • Why do I get tingling into the big and second toes from the bump on the top of my foot?

    An enlargement on the top of the middle part of the foot can be from a bone enlargement or spur.  This can cause pressure to the nerve, the deep fibular nerve (deep peroneal nerve), as it courses over the top of the foot.  The pressure can cause compression to the nerve resulting in pain, numbness, tingling or other sensations which may go into the adjacent sides of the big toe and second toes.  The spur can also cause a ganglion in the area which can also put compression on the nerve and give similar symptoms.


    If you are having any of these symptoms, give Dr. Harvey Danciger, Podiatrist in Palm Desert, CA a call for treatment.  760-568-0101 or request an appointment online.

  • Can pressure in the back of the calf cause ball of foot pain?

    The answer is yes.  The tibial nerve is the large nerve that goes behind the knee in the back of the leg.  The large muscles of the gastrocnemius and soleus are in this area.  When there is tightness from these muscles on the tibial nerve, from overuse, swelling, injury and other causes, the pressure on the nerve can cause symptoms in the ball of the foot.  The symptoms can range from tingling, burning, pressure, sharp sensations or even the feeling like there is a rolled up sock in the area.


    Not all ball of foot pain is caused by pressure on the Tibial nerve, so proper evaluation is important.  Call Palm Desert Podiatrist, Harvey R. Danciger for further evaluation. 

    (760) 568-0108

  • Why do I have pain and tingling months after I sprained my ankle?

    When you twist or sprain your ankle, you can injure the nerves around the ankle joint.  The nerves can be stretched following the injury which can lead to nerve conduction problems and resultant continued pain.  The tissues around the sprained ankle can also become damaged and can then put pressure on nerves by compressing the nerves.  This is another reason you may have continued pain.

                          ( from Netter Atlas of Human Anatomy)

    If you are still having persistent pain after an ankle injury, come see Palm Desert Foot and Ankle Doctor Harvey Danciger.  He can evaluate if there is a nerve problem and let you know what can be done.

  • Why does my ankle and foot hurt, tingle after my knee surgery?

    Some people can have pain in their foot, ankle or leg after they have had an injury to the knee or knee surgery.  This pain may not be immediate but can occur months later.  Patients can complain of a burning, tingling, sharp, or numbness sensations in these areas.  The problem can be caused from a compression of the common fibular nerve, previously called the common peroneal nerve, as it goes around the upper part of the fibula.  This is the nerve that can give people a funny sensation like hitting their “funny bone” after the sit with their legs crossed and then get up.  The nerve had been compressed in this position.

    If you are having nerve symptoms as described, call our office (760) 568-0108 for an appointment and evaluation.  There may be treatments that can get you back on your feet feeling good again.