Dr. Adam Thomas
A neuroma is the swelling and thickening of nerves in the ball of your foot. It is often referred to as a “pinched nerve.” If you feel tingling, burning, or numbness in your toes, pain or irritation in the ball of your foot, or pain between toes while walking, you could be experiencing symptoms associated with a neuroma. People who suffer from this condition also report feeling like there is something inside their foot or feeling like they have a pebble in their shoe. Many factors can lead to the formation of a neuroma whenever the nerves are compressed:
A majority of people who develop neuromas are women.
- Repeated stress on the foot from activities (like running)
- Improper footwear that squeezes the toes together (ie: High heeled shoes that force the forefoot into a narrow space)
- Foot deformities like flat feet, hammertoes, bunions, or a high-arched foot
- Inflammation of the nerve as a result of trauma
There are some home treatment options if you have a neuroma. You can rest the foot, massage the affected area, or apply an ice pack to lessen the pain. Or you can take anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce pain and swelling. Another alternative is to keep pressure off of the foot by using over-the-counter shoe pads or wearing shoes with thick, shock-absorbent soles. Also, as a preventative measure, wear shoes that have room for your toes and if a high heeled shoe is higher than two inches, you should probably avoid it.
The pain associated with a neuroma should not be ignored. Visit your local podiatrist for diagnosis and a treatment plan because if a neuroma is left untreated, it tends to get worse. Some treatment options include padding shoes, anti-inflammatory medicine, cortisone injections, or custom orthotics (shoe inserts). If conservative treatments fail, your podiatrist may consider surgical intervention.
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