When you feel nerve pain in the foot that does not seem to have any real-world cause, like a pebble in your shoe, it is possible you are experiencing a neuroma.
While not extremely painful, except in the most drastic of circumstances, neuromas are still very uncomfortable. They can cause you a great deal of discomfort and irritation as you try to go about your day.
Luckily, this isn't a very serious medical condition, and it will not do you any lasting harm. Our Arizona podiatrist has some advice and remedies to try at home, and we are here to talk if you are concerned.
What is a Neuroma?
A neuroma is a thickened area of tissue in your foot, or sometimes around your toes – it is usually seen as a small lump. Neuromas can be caused by a number of factors, such as bad posture, but also by the structure of your foot overall.
For example, if you have high arches in your feet, or are flatfooted, neuromas can form more commonly.
Other contributing factors to neuromas forming can be shoes that do not fit well or support you when you are on your feet for long periods of time. Neuromas also come from damage to the nerves in your feet as caused by other conditions.
Neuromas sometimes have somewhat concerning names in the medical field, like “nerve tumors” or “pinched nerves”. The pain and tingling can also be a cause for concern, but you do not need to worry – we are here to help and will walk you through the entire process of treatment.
How are Neuromas Treated?
A neuroma, being a nerve pain in the foot, is what medical professionals call a biomechanical issue. In other words, some of the “wiring” in your body has gone awry – but luckily, it’s also easy to fix.
You can get some relief right away from a neuroma just by taking it easy. Get off your feet or take off your shoes if you are in any position to do so. Give the affected area a rub or a quick massage and you will begin to feel plenty of relief.
Unfortunately, that’s only a quick fix though – and even then, it alleviates your symptoms for a while, but does not address their cause.
True medical help for neuromas comes in numerous forms. Steroid injections can ease the swelling and dampen your pain, helping the nerve heal. Our doctors might also tape or pad the area around the neuroma to help ease the pain.
Surgery is a more serious option – but we’d only take that route if no other treatments help. There are different options in surgery as well, and our doctors will talk with you about the best option for you. One surgery option is decompression surgery, where the nearby structures are cut to relieve pressure.
Another option is to remove the nerve entirely. However, this is an extreme method as it can leave permanent numbness in your feet and toes. Again, these surgical options are only considered when all other forms of treatment have failed in helping relieve pain.
How Can You Prevent Neuromas?
If you want to avoid neuromas, it all comes down to taking care of your feet. However, a healthy gait and posture will really help here too.
Much of this comes down to the shoes you choose. Thick, comfortable soles are crucial – inner pads or specialized orthotics could be worth using too.
Avoid high heels over two inches tall, and make sure your toes have plenty of room to move too. If you are on your feet all day, make sure to take breaks to sit and allow your feet to rest from time to time.