What is a Neuroma?

3 min read

The term “neuroma” refers to a growth of nerve tissue. It is sometimes also known as a pinched nerve or nerve tumor, although a neuroma is benign. Neuromas most often occur between the third and fourth toes.

They cause pain in the feet; patients who have neuromas often describe the feeling as being similar to having a rock in their shoe. In addition, many patients experience a burning sensation, numbness, and tingling in the area between the toes and the ball of the foot.

The pain caused by a neuroma tends to be worst when a person is walking.  Many patients find that stopping, taking off their shoes, and rubbing the area brings relief.

Causes of Neuromas

We do not know exactly what causes a neuroma to develop. However, some contributing factors have been identified. We also know that the large majority of people who develop a neuroma are female. Other contributing factors include the following:

  1. Having an abnormal shape to the feet, like flat feet or high arches, can contribute to the development of a neuroma.  Flat feet and high arches create instability around the toe joints, and as a result, a neuroma is more likely to develop.
  2. Trauma to the foot can cause swelling and inflammation of the nerve.
  3. Shoes that squeeze the toes together can cause problems.  High heels, in particular, can pinch the feet and put pressure on the nerves.  Avoid heels that are greater than two inches, as they put excessive pressure on the balls of the feet.
  4. Repetitive trauma or strain on the feet can cause a neuroma.  This is often seen in occupations that require a person to perform a repetitive action.

Symptoms of Neuromas

Patients who have neuromas often experience the following symptoms:

  1. Pain between the toes and in the front of the foot;
  2. Numbness and tingling in the ball of the foot;
  3. Swelling between the toes; and
  4. Pain in the ball of the foot, particularly when bearing weight.

Treatment for Neuromas

If you have a neuroma, there are several things that you can do to relieve your pain.  The first and most important thing that you can do is to choose proper footwear.  Look for shoes with a wide toe box, which gives your toes plenty of room to move around.

Adding arch supports to your shoes can be a big help, as well.  Arch Supports can help to relieve pressure on the foot. A low heel on your shoe will also help to relieve pressure at the ball of foot area.  Avoid high heels, particularly those that are more than two inches.

When you do experience pain related to a neuroma, you should rest the foot.  Elevate the foot and apply an ice pack. Massaging the painful area can also be beneficial.

Your doctor/pharmacist may also recommend taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medication, or your doctor may recommend a steroid injection.  Some patients also find relief by padding or taping the foot, which helps to correct the abnormal mechanics of the foot.

If you are suffering from neuroma pain, visit Foot Solutions UK.  We carry a large stock of high-quality footwear, and in some of our stores, we can even order custom shoes.  We offer a wide variety of orthotic inserts, (over the counter arch supports & can even create a set of custom arch supports for you) as well.  Come in to Foot Solutions UK to check out our products and services today.