Numbness and pain in feet after my stroke

by Alfred Beltran
(Miami Beach)

Question: Earlier this year (1/7/2012), I suffered an ischemic stroke in the right side of my brain; however, a small portion of my left side was also hit. I suffered paralysis on the left side of my face, slurred speech, paralysis of my left arm and left leg and I was bound to a wheelchair, I was 39 at the time. I have been blessed to have a wonderful family and an extraordinary wife. My wife took it upon herself to do the therapy on me herself along with help from my older brother on Saturdays. I was able to regain my face and speech back to 100%, I kicked the wheelchairs 3 months later and I started moving my entire left arm on the 5th month post stroke. I still have a deficiency on my left hand, I can't make an angry fist but I can open and close it. I have to say my worst deficiency though is the fact that I have numbness on the top of both feet and hypersensitive on the bottom of my feet. I also feel like a burning sensation and I can't run or walk speedy. I hate to complain about anything since I feel lucky enough to have recovered approximately 85% but my feet are killing me and I do get extremely depressed because of it and at times frustrated. The doctor doesn't know when I will regain this awful sensation. I have researched everywhere and I can't find a possible solution or anything that will help me recover. Has anyone had this problem or known of someone with this problem? If so, have you/they recovered from this and in what period of time? Was there a specific exercise that was done to regain the sensation? Please help if you can. Thanks!

Answer: You can view www.stroke-rehab.com/central-pain-syndrome.html for more treatment information on the type of pain you are describing. One other option that is not listed on the page above is Anodyne therapy which is used for diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy. I don't know if it would help with stroke pain, but you might look into it. As far as exercises, you could possibly try desensitization techniques such as vibration, massage, various textures used on a daily basis to decrease hypersensitivity. You could also try a TENs unit if your MD agrees to write a prescription, and you don't have any medical contraindications.

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May 20, 2013
Chronic Foot Pain
by: Anonymous

Hi friend I'm Lee. I have lived with the same condition for 11 years but you can never get rid of it completely. It was lessened for me with pregablin, codeine & oxycodone. You will thank the lord for any type of relief. Believe me, I know what you are going through. I woke up 6 months after stroke and thought what the hell is this just when I was starting to feel slightly better. While being rehabilitated for the outside world it was worse than a kick in the teeth. Then I myself started writing poetry which helped me get my feelings down on a piece of paper and helped me. Preoccupy your mind with anything you like to do. Doctor gave me presciption for oral morph that takes it away completely but most doctors will not keep you on this for long but boy its like taking a short break somewhere nice
when you have lived so long with this undescribable feeling. At times it's like no one is listening, but the morphine will take it away completely for has long as you are allowed it. I'm still on it 6 months later. Good luck. Lee

Note from Stroke-Rehab.com Comment is from a stroke survivor, represents his opinion/experience, and in no way should be constituted as medical advice. Please see your MD if you have unresolved pain.

Apr 02, 2013
burning in hand
by: Anonymous

I had right brain stroke 2 1/2 years ago.. was just googling info about my hand and your question came up.. I was paralyzed left side as well, regained 85 % , I have a feeling of being burned on my left hand , but you said hypersensitive.. maybe thats how I should describe it.. I have no answer searching, but you are the first I've heard closest to my issue , thank you for sharing

Mar 02, 2013
AfterStroke
by: Earl

My stroke was 05/13/2009.
The pain in the foot (right bottom) is difficult to bear.

I have had back surgery replacing discs to no avail.

I have had tarsal tunnel surgery to no avail!

My doctor at Emory Dr Nicholas Boulis has told me that he can go back into the tarsal tunnel area and attach wires and then he can send signals which may eliminate the pain.

He also does surgery where he places a unit similar to a pacemaker for the heart but instead for the brain.
He sends impulses to the nerves which stop the pain in the feet.
This is cutting edge surgery. This is done by Dr Boulis.
He scheduled this for my older brother and my brother passed away before the surgery was scheduled (unrelated to the brain surgery).

Dr Boulis told me that doing the brain surgery would be his last choice of course.

My pain is very similar to yours. I also have Charlie horse type pain along with the bottom of the right foot pain.
My email is earlinga@bellsouth.net.

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Foot Pain

by Diana
(MI)

Question: I'm 66 years old & had a left-sided stroke 12-18-2010. I've had no follow-up since then & have developed SEVERE foot pain & am at a loss as what to do for relief. My doctor placed me on Neurontin 300 mg TID but I have NO RELIEF & my b/p has increased since the stroke. The pain is 24/7 & my doctor now has I am at max dosage of Neurontin. It's hard to walk, even putting on socks/shoes HURT and my life is a living hell. I take vit B12 & also B complex & Mg which helps some. What can I do to regain NORMAL feeling in my feet/legs & right side. I function but it takes great effort. I want to get off all the drugs & feel whole again.

Answer: Hi Diana. Please see my answer and link above regarding foot pain and treatment options.

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Foot Pain After Stroke

by Kathy
(Riverside,ca usa)

Question My husband has severe foot pain after having a hemorrhagic stroke. Walking is difficult and the foot slides and is rubbed as he says "raw". There is no visual indication of skin being rubbed raw. It looks normal just the same as his other foot. Please help us with an answer.

Answer: Your husband may have what is called post stroke pain or central pain syndrome that is characterized by a deep burning and/or pins and needles sensation. Post stroke pain can be difficult to manage and may or may not respond to medication. I would have your husband visit a pain clinic where he can find a MD that specializes in dealing with pain disorders. Some treatments used include medication, injections, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or deep brain stimulation.

Sometimes pain can be caused by spasticity or muscle spasms. If that is the case then you can ask your husband's neurologist to prescribe medication or consider injections to decrease the spasticity or tightness.

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Jul 15, 2014
Foot Pain after Stroke
by: Julie

Reading all these comments has given me a glimmer of hope. My father had a stroke 3 yrs ago, and suffers from severe foot pain in the left foot. It started with the small toes on the left foot, and now has increased to the big toes on both feet. It is so severe that he can't sleep, and when he does sleep the pain wakes him. Doctors don't listen, they just prescribe more heavy drugs, like end one etc, which is a radical way of the Dr saying he has no answers. Has anyone tried acupuncture, or was there any relief using a TENS machine to stimulate the nerve endings? I agree there is not enough services for the sufferers of stroke, and Drs need to do more research in order to understand what the stroke victims are going through. I will say survivors are the lucky ones, and we would rather have you all here, than gone, but quality of life without pain, and relying on medication is the flip side.
Thanks for posting your information, it is extremely helpful.

Jan 29, 2012
Never Give up!
by: Andy Railing

I had a stroke on Feb 24, 2010; and my foot pain has been, and still is the major roadblock to my recovery! I can't put into words the agony I have endured! It is sometimes so painfully intense that I can not possibly walk even a few feet with my cane)! I truly feel sorry for anyone who may suffer the same fate. That said, we must Never give up ever! Be brave and keep walking(It's a long hard slog) despite the pain! Also, keep chasing the pain to find relief.God bless you & jolly good luck. Peace, Andy

Oct 30, 2011
foot pain
by: Anonymous

Post stroke foot pain should be studied more!
I am 48, foot pain post stroke is really bad. Other than knowing it is central pain, what to do for it is little known.

Oct 06, 2011
Foot Pain
by: Anonymous

My daughter had a stroke when she was 20 and his experiencing the same problem

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Numbness following stroke

by Tony Lodge
(Renfrewshire, UK)

Question: I have difficulty sleeping due to numbness and burning sensation in my right foot and leg. My stroke was 10 years ago on my left side.

Is there anything I can do to give me relief from this condition particularly at nightime?

Thanks

Answer: Unfortunately, pain after stroke can be difficult to manage. Some current treatment techniques involve medications (antidepressants and anticonvulsants have been helpful for some), deep brain stimulation, and motor cortex stimulation. One thing to consider since you are having an increase in pain at night is to make sure having the sheet or covers on your feet is not causing the pain. After stroke, stimuli that normally wouldn't bother someone can cause pain. I've worked with patients that have neuropathy that can't tolerate a sheet on their feet so that is something to consider.

It can sometime take meeting with several physicians before you find one that listens and is dedicated to helping you control your pain. As noted in the question above, I strongly encourage you to visit a pain clinic and MD that specializes in working with nerve pain.

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Hot pain in back hips and right leg

by Raymond Beadle
(London)

Question: Since my stroke 20 months ago, I've experienced hot right side leg and foot pain. It is extremely hot and I can only walk for a few minutes before the pain re-occurs. Can anyone help to diagnose my symptons? I've had a MRI scan and it was clear, but my symptoms still occur on a regular basis

Answer: I recommend reading the webpage devoted to central pain syndrome at www.stroke-rehab.com/central-pain-syndrome.html

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Freezing and Burning Feelings Post Stroke

by Bongi Linda
(Muizenberg, Capetown, SA)

Question: I had a stroke in 2006 (CVA l hemiplegia) my left side still weak and thinner. I limp which now I accept. The problem is even on a sunny day sometimes it feels freezing cold but at night when I'm in bed once I start to feel warm I need to take my legs out of blanket because it feels like burning and the vein become thick.

Answer: It sounds like you may have Central Post Stroke Pain (CPSP). You can read more about it at http://www.stroke-rehab.com/central-pain-syndrome.html

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