Have you ever felt like there was something under your foot inside your shoe, but when you checked, there was nothing there? This can be a very frustrating condition to suffer from, because not only is it an uncomfortable feeling to always feel that lump, but you could also be in pain. Ball of foot pain comes in many varieties, but nerve pain is often caused by a neuroma.

What is a Neuroma?


Also referred to as “pinched nerves” or even “nerve tumors,” neuromas can cause a lump in your foot. The lump is really just thickened tissue between the toes in the ball of your foot. This may be accompanied by pain, tingling, numbness, and swelling in the area.

One reason that this may occur is due to structural issues, for example having flat feet or high arches. When you have gait abnormalities you are much more likely to have less stability in your toes. If you have experienced trauma to the nerves in the toe you could have developed a neuroma, too. Being on your feet all day at work may put more stress on your feet, which can also lead to this condition. Furthermore, if you wear shoes that do not offer support or fit properly, your risk goes up.

Treatment Options Available

Many people find relief for ball of foot pain simply by stopping for a moment, taking off their shoes, and massaging the feet and toes. However, this does not fix the problem—only the pain symptoms. To fix a structural issue you may need to invest in a pair of custom-made orthotics. These are molded to your unique feet to add support where needed.

You can also try padding or taping certain areas of the foot to fix biomechanical issues. Steroid injections may be able to reduce some of the nerve pain by your toes, and the swelling as well, although it may come with side effects. In some extreme cases, it may be necessary to undergo surgery. 

There are different types of surgical procedures that can be beneficial. With decompression surgery, nearby structures can be cut to relieve some pressure. A surgeon can also remove the nerve entirely, but this is only an extreme method because it may leave you with permanent numbness in your feet and toes.

Future Prevention

It is a good idea to prevent a neuroma from forming in the first place to avoid the nerve pain, discomfort, and frustration. You can do this by making sure that your shoes, especially your exercise shoes, have adequate toe space. When you work out, your feet are already taking on more pressure and strain than normal, and if your toes are compressed it can spell disaster. Additionally, if you wear high heels be aware of how much time you are spending standing up in them. Heels put an enormous amount of pressure on the ball of our foot.

If you must stand at work, take the time to rest your feet every now and then. Massage them and roll a frozen water bottle or golf ball along the arches. If you know you have structural issues wear protective orthotics or inserts.

Getting a Doctor’s Help

At the first sign of foot pain, give Dr. Peyman Elison and. Dr. Viedra Elison a call at (623) 584-5556 to schedule an appointment at Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, AZ. We’ll get to the root of your forefoot pain and help you find the solution that fits you best.

Dr. Peyman A. Elison
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Founder and Managing Partner of Fixing Feet Institute