You don’t know which is worse: the pain and burning sensation between your toes, or when your foot just “gives up” and goes completely numb. No matter how the trouble manifests itself, it’s always worse after you’ve been walking for a while—and always hits you square in the ball of your foot.

Why Are Women More Likely to Develop Neuromas?

Foot Exam for NeuromaThe pain in the ball of your foot may actually be due to a neuroma, a benign growth of tissue caused by friction between the nerves in your foot. It may cause swelling, irritation, numbness, or it may feel as if there were a stone in your shoe. As neuromas are often caused by tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes, the majority of neuroma sufferers are women.

There are many different treatment options for neuromas, depending on the size and location of the injury. The faster you seek treatment, the more likely you are to find a non-invasive therapy that works for you. Here are the most common ways patients can relieve neuroma pain:

  • Footwear changes. High-heeled shoes are the most common cause of Morton’s neuroma, a painful neuroma in the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes. Shoes that are too narrow squeeze the toes together, while high heels force a disproportionate amount of body weight onto the ball of the foot. Some smaller neuromas can disappear on their own if the patient changes into more supportive footwear, such as shoes with heels lower than two inches with thick soles and a wide toe box.

  • Medication. Even if changing footwear is enough to correct the problem, the neuroma will not go away overnight. The repeated stress of walking or running may still aggravate the tumor, causing pain throughout the healing process. Patients may need anti-inflammatory pain medications or cortisone injections into the neuroma to relieve the pain and irritation caused by daily movement.

  • Padding and taping. If the neuroma is easily felt through the skin, patients may need additional padding in the soles of their shoes to take the pressure off the nerve. In some cases, taping the foot can help redistribute the stress of body weight and ease inflammation in the foot.

  • Orthotics. Some patients develop a neuroma as a result of abnormal foot structure, such as overlapping toes or flat feet. Custom orthotics may be created to add support and correct fallen arches in the feet, easing foot pain and prevent further problems.

  • Surgery. If your neuroma is severely enlarged or will not go away with conservative treatments, you may need surgery to relieve the pain. A podiatrist can remove the inflamed nerve in an outpatient procedure, and you will likely need follow-up physical therapy to restore flexibility and function in the foot.

We Can Help Relieve Your Neuroma Pain Now and in the Future

At Podiatry Care Specialists, PC, we aim not only to relieve the pain of a neuroma, but also to help you prevent the condition from coming back. We can recommend stylish and comfortable footwear choices and address your concerns during healing, helping you to find a permanent solution for your foot pain.

We offer all of our services at multiple locations, and we have a variety of available appointment options to get you seen by a podiatrist as soon as possible. Call our toll-free number or use our convenient online request form to set up an appointment at Podiatry Care Specialists today!

Photo Credit: Alexis VIA