Synergy Health Partners

Diabetic Foot Pain

Definition: Diabetic foot pain is a common complication of diabetes, often resulting from nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor blood circulation in the feet. This condition can lead to significant discomfort and increases the risk of foot ulcers and infections.


  • Diabetic Neuropathy: Nerve damage due to prolonged high blood sugar levels, causing pain, tingling, and numbness.
  • Poor Circulation: Reduced blood flow to the feet, leading to pain, slow healing of wounds, and increased risk of infections.
  • Infections: Higher susceptibility to infections due to impaired immune response and poor circulation.
  • Foot Deformities: Changes in foot structure, such as hammertoes and bunions, exacerbated by neuropathy and improper footwear.


  • Burning, tingling, or shooting pain in the feet
  • Numbness or loss of sensation, often starting in the toes and progressing up the legs
  • Swelling and redness
  • Slow-healing sores or ulcers on the feet
  • Changes in skin color or temperature
  • Foot deformities and calluses


  • Physical Examination: Assessing the feet for signs of neuropathy, circulation issues, sores, and deformities.
  • Neurological Tests: Checking reflexes, sensation, and nerve function.
  • Blood Tests: Monitoring blood sugar levels and assessing overall diabetes management.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays or MRI to detect bone and tissue damage, if necessary.


  • Blood Sugar Management: Keeping blood sugar levels within target ranges to prevent further nerve damage.
  • Medications: Pain relievers, anti-seizure drugs, and antidepressants to manage neuropathic pain.
  • Foot Care: Regular inspection and cleaning of the feet, prompt treatment of wounds, and use of moisturizing lotions.
  • Footwear: Wearing well-fitted, supportive shoes and using custom orthotics to reduce pressure points and prevent ulcers.
  • Wound Care: Specialized care for any ulcers or sores, including debridement and use of appropriate dressings.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to improve circulation and maintain foot strength and flexibility.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgical intervention may be needed to address ulcers, infections, or foot deformities.

Prognosis: With proper management of diabetes and foot care, many individuals can reduce the severity of foot pain and prevent complications. Early intervention and regular monitoring are crucial to maintaining foot health. Adhering to a comprehensive diabetes management plan, including controlling blood sugar levels, wearing appropriate footwear, and performing daily foot inspections, can significantly improve outcomes and prevent serious complications such as infections and amputations.