What’s Behind Neuromas?

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At first, you may think you have a small pebble in your shoe. But when you take your shoe off and look, nothing is there. Still, you have a pain in the ball of your foot between two of your toes and it hurts when you walk on it. At FL Foot Health we recognize these as the signs of a neuroma, a common condition the affects more women than men. Other symptoms of this condition include:

  • Tingling, numbness or a burning sensation in the ball of the foot

  • Swelling between the toes

If you are experiencing these symptoms, a visit to the podiatrist is in order. Don’t have a podiatrist? We can help you find a qualified foot doctor in your area with our online directory.

A neuroma is also referred to as a pinched nerve or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue that is often found between the third and fourth toes.

Although the exact cause of neuromas is not known, there are several factors that can contribute to the development of a neuroma:

  • Trauma to the foot which has resulted in damage to a nerve and leads to swelling or inflammation of the nerve.

  • Biomechanical malfunction or deformities like flat foot or an overly high arch. These types of foot structure issues can create instability around the toe joints and encourage a neuroma to form.

  • Repetitive stress from work activity or a sport or exercise program that puts excessive strain on the forefoot.

  • Wearing high-heeled shoes or styles with narrow toe boxes that squeeze toes together increases pressure in this part of the foot.

Getting Relief

Your podiatrist can help you track down the specific cause of your neuroma. Treatment options range from simple shoe modifications and home care such as resting from aggravating activities and foot massage to prescription orthotics, taping or padding to help alleviate pain and protect the inflamed nerve. In extreme cases surgery may be necessary.

To learn more about this condition and other disorders that affect your feet and ankles, contact us and consider subscribing to our free e-newsletter.