If you’ve ever had a neuroma, you know how excruciating painful they can feel. A neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue, or the thickening of the tissue around a nerve that leads to the toes. It is usually found between the third and fourth toes. When a neuroma develops, a person will feel pain, burning, tingling or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.
Most people will feel pain or other discomforting symptoms while walking or wearing tight shoes. If they stop walking or remove their shoes, the pain will calm down. Often, the pain is described as having a rock in one’s shoe.
More women than men suffer from neuromas, but the exact cause of why they occur is not agreed upon. However, there are a few different things that may be associated with this condition.
- A trauma can damage a nerve or nerves in the area that can cause them to swell or become inflamed.
- A foot with a high arch or low arch (flat foot) can lead to the formation of the neuroma.
- Tight shoes or very high heels can cause pressure on the front of the foot that can lead to the develop of a neuroma.
- Constant pressure or stress from shoes or running.
There are some at-home treatments or tips for a person to do that can relieve some of the pain.
- Wear wider, looser shoes, including low heels.
- Wear shoes with thick, shock-absorbent soles.
- Rest and ice the foot.
- Massage the painful area.
Despite at-home remedies, it’s best for you to see your primary care doctor or a podiatrist, so the neuroma doesn’t get worse. If a doctor examines the foot, he or she will feel a lump on the sole of the foot, which is the neuroma. Ultrasound diagnostics can be used to confirm this abnormality over less specific causes. The treatment the doctor will suggest will depend on the severity of the neuroma. Such treatment options include:
- Thick-soled shoes with a wide toe area or shoe inserts.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Cortisone injections to the lesion.
- Surgery to remove the inflamed nerve.
If you’re experiencing any pain in your feet, it’s time to see a doctor. We use our feet for everything we do, so it’s best not to ignoring painful symptoms. Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness of Fort Myers is a concierge, direct primary care doctor; he will be able to look at your foot and point you in the right direction of possibility solutions. To book an appointment, click here or call 239-362-3005, ext 200.