A neuroma is a nerve tissue growth often located between the third and fourth toes. Although benign, a neuroma can be painful with a burning sensation or numbness.
These factors can contribute to a neuroma:
- Biomechanical deformities like a flat foot or high arch.
- Improper shoes that squeeze the toe area. High heels can also apply excess pressure to the toes.
- Repeated stress to the toes and ball of the foot.
Neuroma symptoms include:
- Pain between the toes when walking
- Feeling like there is a stone in the shoe.
- Numbness or tingling in the ball of the foot.
- Pain in the ball of the foot with weight-bearing.
- Swelling between the toes.
If you suspect a neuroma, try some home treatment. Switch to shoes with plenty of toe room and low heels. Proper shoes will have shock-absorbent soles and insoles to keep excessive pressure off your foot.
Rest your foot as much as possible and ice to relieve discomfort. Massaging the area can temporarily ease neuroma pain.
When these methods don’t work, it’s time to visit your podiatrist. Left untreated, neuromas may worsen. The earlier it is treated, the sooner the neuroma will heal.
We will relieve the pressure from the area. Padding the ball of the foot can relieve neuroma symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections can ease pain and inflammation.
Custom-fitted orthotics can help control foot function while they relieve symptoms and prevent worsening.
For more severe neuromas, we will discuss surgery with you. The outpatient surgery removes the enlarged nerve.
These preventive steps can help:
- Make sure that your shoes, especially workout footwear, have plenty of room in the front so your toes are not squeezed.
- Limit wearing shoes with heel height greater than two inches or those with a narrow toe box.
- Choose shoes with adequate padding for the ball of the foot.