Are you experiencing pain in your foot that just won’t go away? If the pain is continuous and sharp, it may be a good neuroma. This is a condition caused when nerves in the foot swell and become inflamed and painful. Most neuromas are in the ball of the foot, but they appear in other areas as well. In the foot, a neuroma is commonly found between the toes. When the neuroma forms between the third and fourth toes, it is often a Morton’s Neuroma. These are found in almost 80 percent of all foot neuroma cases.
There are several symptoms that can indicate a neuroma in the foot. The most common is a stabby or shooting pain. You may also experience numbness or tingling that reaches down to your toes. The pain is usually not continual but will come and go. Neuromas appear more often in women and are a result of improper foot position. The PAC Corrective Knowledge Health goes into further detail on this subject.
Other people may develop a neuroma because of deformities in the foot. These include abnormally high arches, flat feet, hammertoes, bunions or toes that are positioned incorrectly. These types of foot conditions will put pressure or undue stress on the nerves that run between the toes causing them to swell. It is also possible to create an irritation or problem by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or which pinch the toes, such as high heels or pointed toe shoeboxes. A neuroma can also form from a foot injury or trauma, including puncture wounds, a sports injury or a work environment where you are on your feet all day.
Treatment will vary, but it is important to visit your healthcare provider when you have a good pain that won’t go away. When you experience the pain, try taking off your shoe and massaging your foot. This can often provide some relief. If possible, soak your foot in an ice bath or place your foot on an ice pack as soon as you experience the pain. Try this several times a week.
If the pain doesn’t abate, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. There are certain situations where it may require surgery to fix the problem. If you have an overpronating foot, you may find some relief by switching to motion controlled shoes. This helps stabilize both the rear and forefoot and usually have a wide toe box.
If none of these help, a foot specialize may recommend a steroid injection to help calm the swelling around the neuroma. They may also prescribe custom orthotics to improve arch support and reduce the metatarsal motion, both of which can help relieve the inflammation and irritation on the nerves. If none of these work, surgery may be indicated to remove the mass in the foot.
One of the best ways to prevent a neuroma is to wear proper footwear. High heels are beautiful but are often the cause of a neuroma. If they must be worn, they should be removed several times a day and not be worn every day. A foot neuroma is a very painful condition and usually not worth looking good in heels.