A neuroma is a very painful foot condition that’s regularly referred to as a nerve tumor or pinched nerve.
When you experience pain in one or both of your feet, the presence of pain can make it difficult to walk, exercise, and perform your usual daily activities. A neuroma is a kind of pinched nerve that can occur within the ball of your foot, which means that you will go through pain until you receive some form of treatment for the condition.
Once you have a better understanding of what neuromas are and what can cause them to develop, you will be able to get the treatment you need.
What Are Neuromas?
A neuroma occurs when the tissue surrounding the nerve thickens. This growth is benign and is most often found between your third and fourth toes. The pain and other symptoms that derive from neuromas will be felt on the ball of your foot, which means that walking is going to be very painful until you receive the necessary treatments and remedies. If left untreated, this condition can eventually lead to permanent damage to the affected nerve.
How a Neuroma Can Develop
It can be difficult to determine exactly what can cause a neuroma to develop, since anything that causes irritation or compression of the nerve can lead to a neuroma. There are a variety of risk factors that can make you more likely to suffer from a neuroma at some point in your lifetime. If you have a somewhat unique foot shape such as a flat foot or high-arched foot, it’s possible that a neuroma can form because of the increase in toe joint instability caused by these foot shapes.
If high amounts of stress are placed on this area of your foot from your occupation, you may begin to notice the formation of a neuroma. Certain trauma can also damage the nerve, which can cause the nerve to become swollen and inflamed. Make sure that you wear the right footwear as well. High-heeled shoes can create undue amounts of pressure at the front of your foot and may increase your chances of suffering from a neuroma. Whenever you’re considering buying new shoes, it’s important that they don’t squeeze your toes together.
Primary Symptoms of a Neuroma
The symptoms that come with the formation of a neuroma make it relatively easy to diagnose the problem. The pain that you experience will occur between your toes and around the forefoot. This pain is oftentimes severe and can feel like a sharp or burning sensation. Although the pain can radiate out to your toes, you’ll primarily experience it when you place weight on the foot while walking. Some additional symptoms that you should be on the lookout for include swelling between your toes and numbness and tingling within the ball of your foot. The symptoms will become progressively worse and can last for weeks. If the neuroma happens to enlarge and cause permanent nerve damage, it’s likely that the pain and other symptoms will become even more intense, which is why obtaining the right treatment is so important.
Treatment Options for a Neuroma
It’s possible to relieve the symptoms you’re experiencing from a neuroma without needing to visit your doctor or a surgeon. For one, make sure that your footwear has low heels and provides enough room for your toes to move properly. Using ice packs, massaging the affected area, and resting your foot are a few remedies that can provide temporary relief from the symptoms. If these options are unable to provide you with the relief that you seek, there are several additional treatment options that you can consider.
Anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the swelling and inflammation surrounding the nerve. You can also consider obtaining custom shoe inserts to reduce your symptoms. If the neuroma is particularly severe, surgical treatments like podiatric surgery may be necessary. This surgery involves the complete removal of the nerve that has become enlarged and inflamed.
How to Prevent Neuromas In the Future
If you want to do what you can to reduce your risk of developing a neuroma, there are a few preventive steps that you can take. When wearing shoes, make sure that a substantial amount of padding is placed around the ball of your foot. You also want to avoid wearing shoes that have a very high heel or a narrow toe area. The exercise shoes you wear should never cause compression on the front of your foot. If you follow these steps, it’s less likely that a neuroma will develop.