What is a Neuroma?
A neuroma is a painful condition which affects the nerves in the ball of the foot. The condition is also referred to as a pinched nerve or a nerve tumor. It is often caused by a benign growth of nerve tissue usually found between the third and fourth toes. It can cause a burning sensation, tingling, pain, and numbness between these toes and in the ball of the foot. Patients describe it as feeling like there is a stone in their shoe. The condition is more prevalent in women.
What Causes a Neuroma?
The exact cause is unknown but many factors can contribute to the development of the condition including:
- High-arched feet or flatfeet can cause a neuroma.
- Injury can cause damage nerves and cause it to swell.
- Footwear which squeezes the toes together is problematic.
- Repeated stress to the area can cause a neuroma or make it worse.
Although the exact causes of neuromas are not completely known, the following preventive steps may help:
- Make sure your exercise shoes have enough room in the front part of the shoe and that your toes are not excessively compressed.
- Wear shoes with adequate padding in the ball of the foot.
- Avoid prolonged time in shoes with a narrow toe box or excessive heel height (greater than two inches).
How are Neuromas Treated?
Treatment options used will depend on how severe the condition is and include:
- Thick-soled shoes with a wide toe can help milder neuromas.
- Special padding at the ball of the foot.
- Anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections can be prescribed to ease pain and swelling.
- Custom orthotics can be useful in controlling foot function and can reduce symptoms, preventing worsening of the condition.
Call us at 727-842-9504 to make an appointment. Dr. Zafar will sit down with you and discuss options to proceed with.