Have you ever felt like there was something under your foot inside your shoe, but when you checked, there was nothing there? No pebbles, no loose gravel, nothing. Well, you are not going crazy. This is a very common symptom of an often painful nerve problem, known as neuroma.
Neuromas can be extremely frustrating not only because of the phantom sensations associated with it, but also because of the pain that often comes with it. Having a neuroma can easily keep you from being as active as you would like, and even simple routine tasks can become difficult to accomplish.
But there is good news:
This condition can usually be treated using conservative treatment methods right here at Fixing Feet Institute. Though you should keep in mind that timing is key when it comes to the success of these non-invasive remedies – when you address symptoms at its early stages, your chances of fully recovering becomes much better.
So What is a Neuroma?
Also referred to as “pinched nerves” or even “nerve tumors,” neuromas develop as a lump in the foot (typically in those areas between the third and fourth toes). The lump is really just thickened tissue which often results in pain, tingling, numbness, and swelling in the area.
One reason that this may occur is due to structural issues, for example having flatfeet or high arches. When you have gait abnormalities you are much more likely to have less stability in your toes. However, there are many other risk factors that may also contribute to the development of this condition, including:
- If you have experienced trauma or damage to the nerves in the toe
- If you are on your feet all day at work which puts more stress on your feet
- If you wear shoes that do not offer support or fit properly, like high-heels
No matter what caused your neuroma, you should come to visit our office right away to get the relief you need. Our expert podiatrists have the best knowledge, skills, and tools to get your feet back in shape in no time!
How are Neuromas Treated?
Many people find relief from neuromas symptoms by simply 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 actually fix a structural issue you may need to invest in a pair of custom-made orthotics. These versatile devices are molded to fit the unique curves and dips of your feet and add support exactly where you need most.
Other common treatment methods used to address neuroma symptoms include:
- Padding or taping certain areas of the foot to fix biomechanical issues.
- Steroid injections to reduce some of the nerve pain and swelling
- Surgery (though it is only considered in some extreme cases)
There are different types of surgical procedures that can be beneficial. With decompression surgery, nearby structures can be cut to relieve some pressure. We can also remove the nerve entirely, but this is only an extreme method as it may leave you with permanent numbness in your feet and toes.
If surgery is, in fact, the best option for you (and we will exhaust all other treatment options before considering this route), then you can rest assured that we will provide all the information you need so that you can move forward knowing exactly what to expect.
How Can You Prevent This Condition?
It is a good idea to prevent a neuroma from forming in the first place so that you can avoid nerve pain, discomfort, and frustration altogether. The steps below can also be used as a way to treat mild to moderate neuroma symptoms at home.
Here is what you should keep in mind:
- Always wear shoes that allow plenty of room for the toes to move – laces and buckles are great features as they allow for width adjustment.
- Always wear shoes with thick, shock-absorbent soles, or orthotics which are tailored to your specific structure and needs.
- Avoid (whenever possible) high-heeled shoes over two inches tall – they place unnecessary strain and pressure on the forefoot.
- Rest the foot and massage the affected area whenever you feel pain – this can temporarily alleviate discomfort.
- Apply ice to the area after completing a gentle massage – this will help reduce any potential swelling.
- Use over-the-counter shoe pads – they can relieve pressure around the affected area.
Additionally, if you must stand at work for long periods, 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 to prevent pain and swelling.
Though you will most likely find the above remedies effective for addressing neuroma pain, you should keep in mind that this relief is only temporary, and they do not replace professional treatment.
So whenever you feel foot pain of any kind, you should come visit us immediately – we will take the time to properly assess your situation and arrive at the correct diagnosis so that we can begin treatment by exploring the most effective and appropriate options for your unique case.
Need Help? We Are Here for You!
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. You can also take advantage of our handy request form online to have one of our staff members reach out to you.