It is very easy to forget about our feet. We use them on a constant basis to get from one place to another, but we do not really think about their care or health. Usually, the topic of our feet comes up when it is sandal season or if a problem occurs with them. That is when we really take charge of their health and try to remedy any problem that has occurred. Another time we tend to pay attention to our feet is during a minor injury, for example, a stubbed toe. Stubbing our toe is extremely painful and it reminds us that we do indeed have extremities that are getting us from place to place. Due to some misfortune, we overstep or misstep and BAM! Our toe is stubbed and we are in excruciating pain. Most of us try to walk it off without knowing what exactly happened to the integrity and stability of the toe at the time.
Pain Starts in the Brain
Everyone feels pain differently. What is painful to one person can cause absolutely no pain to another person. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, pain is in the core of the brain. Everyone has their own brain that responds differently to messages it receives. These messages are transferred to the brain by our nervous system. Your toes have nerves at the tips that help the body respond to different sensations. Hot, cold, pain, pleasure and other sensations are all picked up at the nerve. The nerve then has the job to take this sensation and translate it to the brain. The brain then triggers the portion of itself that has feeling and you get the pain of a stubbed toe.
The brain doesn’t do this to inconvenience you - it is there to serve a purpose. This purpose is to warn the body about imminent danger or threat and try to get it to stop partaking in the activity or action that causes the pain. This helps the body avoid severe foot and ankle injuries such as breaks and fractures of the bones.
Sometimes this pain can be dulled due to other foot and ankle conditions. Patients who suffer from diabetes and have nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) tend to lack the sensation of pain. These patients are at a higher risk for severe foot and ankle problems due to this lack of sensation. Patients who suffer from a lack of sensation in the feet should consult with a podiatrist regularly to examine their feet and be sure they are healthy. If you don’t have a podiatrist yet, call Joseph Stuto, DPM of Brooklyn, New York. There Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Joseph C. Stuto can take images of your toe to see whether or not it has been dealt significant damage from its injury. Call 718-624-7537and make an appointment today.