Neuroma Treatment & Causes
What is a neuroma?
A neuroma is an irritated and compressed nerve located on the bottom of the foot that often causes an overgrowth of nerve tissue to develop. Neuromas often feel like lumps or bumps on the bottom of the foot, and they most frequently occur in the ball of the foot. Morton’s neuroma is one of the most common types of neuromas, affecting the area of the ball of the foot between third and fourth toes. Neuromas typically occur when other tissues like ligaments or bone spurs, press on the nerve, causing it to become “pinched.” Neuromas can be caused by an inherited foot shape, an abnormal gait pattern, ill-fitting shoes (especially those that bind in the toe area) and high heels, trauma and other causes.
What symptoms do neuromas cause?
Neuromas can be quite painful, causing both local symptoms and pain that radiates into the toes or other areas of the feet. Pain is especially intense when the inflamed nerve is pressed or when pressure is exerted on the nerve when wearing shoes and placing weight on the foot. Other symptoms include burning sensations, numbness, and tingling sensations in the immediate area of the nerve and the areas served by the nerve, including the toes.
How are neuromas treated?
Most neuromas can be diagnosed during a routine office visit, but x-rays may be ordered to rule out other causes of symptoms. Once a neuroma has been definitively diagnosed, it can be corrected with a special surgical procedure designed to relieve the impingement, so the nerve is no longer compressed.
Neuromas: Diagnosis and Treatment
Depending on the severity of each neuroma, treatment options vary. Identifying neuromas at the early stages is extremely important; with this, there is a possibility that the treatment doesn’t have to involve surgery. For a small, undeveloped neuroma, simple thick-soled shoes and supportive insoles can help relieve pain and symptoms while your body works its magic on fighting it on its own. More severe and developed neuromas may require additional treatment and or surgery.
During your visit, your Global Podiatry physician will examine the affected area and run an X-ray to determine the severity of your neuroma. After, your physician will develop a treatment plan that best fits your specific case. If surgery is the only option, it is usually performed in one day and is a simple procedure.
The surgery can be performed through a tiny opening usually less than an inch wide. Some neuroma symptoms can be relieved with custom orthotics or injections of corticosteroids into the foot, but surgery is usually still necessary to treat the underlying cause. Thanks to the ISOGARD instrumentation set, Global Podiatry is now able to release binding ligaments and relieve pressure to the inflamed nerve tissue through an opening the width of a fingernail, with minimal surgery.
Neuromas are irritating and will put you in discomfort, and finding relief is necessary if you want to return to your daily life doing the things that you love to do. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can try at home that will help provide you with relief before you need to see a podiatrist. Here are a few things that you can do at home:
- Make sure the shoes that you wear at work and during free-time have plenty of wiggle room for your toes, good arch support, and low heels.
- Choose a shoe with laces or buckles so that you can easily adjust them to allow your feet and toes to breathe.
- Avoid high heels. If you are going on a night out on the town, look towards flats to remove the chance of unnecessary strain to your foot.
- Over the counter shoe pads can also be a life-saver. They help reduce pressure around the area that is affected.
- Wear shoes with dense and shock absorbent holes. Not only will they provide you with extra comfort during a long day on your feet, but they will also help heal any neuromas that have developed.
- Take plenty of breaks from walking and being on your feet. During your breaks, massage the affected area; this will help alleviate the pain caused by the neuroma. If you have, an ice pack has been proven to add additional comfort.
When You Should Visit Global Podiatry
Foot pain of any kind should be immediately treated, and that includes neuromas. After the first sign of pain or discomfort in your foot, do not hesitate to call us; if you wait, neuromas will get worse. Home remedies can work, but you shouldn’t just rely on them, we can help get you back on your feet and speed up the healing process. If you suspect that you may have neuromas on your feet, call Global Podiatry today!
How You Can Prevent Neuromas
The exact cause of neuromas is unknown, but specialists across the globe have discovered steps that you can take to prevent them. Here are a few things that you can do:
- If you have an active lifestyle or a job requiring you to be on your feet a lot, choose a shoe with enough room so that your toes are not compressed.
- Wear a shoe that has proper padding under the ball of your foot, and if they start to break down, look at buying new ones.
- Avoid heels that are greater than two inches or shoes with a narrow toe box.
Frequently Asked Questions About Neuromas
>What causes Morton’s neuroma to flare up?
Morton’s neuroma is often caused by shoes that are too tight and too narrow. These specific shoes pinch, compress, and irritate the nerves, causing the neuroma to flare up. As a result of the pressure, the affected nerve will thicken and become painful.
>Will a neuroma go away on its own?
If you continue to wear uncomfortable shoes and decide not to make changes with the hope that they will go away on their own, then no. By taking the proper steps and consulting with Global Podiatry, neuromas will go away, and the symptoms and pain that you are undergoing will disappear.
>How bad can a neuroma get?
If left untreated, neuromas will get worse. The pain can be overwhelming and reduce the number of activities you do and the time you will be able to handle standing up or even walk.
>What does a neuroma feel like?
One of the most bothersome things that can happen is when you walk down the street and feel a pebble or a rock has got caught in your shoe, and you need to stop and take it out. That is the best way to describe a neuroma: like you are constantly walking on a pebble. The sensation can be a sharp and burning pain in the ball of your foot with your toes stinging and feeling numb.
>Where is a neuroma usually located?
Neuromas are commonly found within the toes, usually between the fourth and fifth toe. Due to the pinched nerve, you can feel pain in your toes and heel.
Choose Global Podiatry to Treat Neuromas in the Foot
At Global podiatry, we strive to ensure that each of our patients who walk through our doors gets the results and relief they deserve. With the best podiatrists in Chicago, we develop personal plans and treatments for all types of foot and ankle related injuries. Neuromas need to be treated swiftly. At the first sense of pain in your foot, we will examine and determine the necessary course of action so that you can get back to feeling like you again. At Global Podiatry, we care and go the extra mile for our patients. Should you feel any pain in your feet, put your feet in the best hand in the Chicagoland area to provide you with comfort in no time!
Contact Global Podiatry Today
We provide a wide range of services for all kinds of foot and ankle related problems. Whatever discomfort you are feeling, we can help. If you suspect that you may have a neuroma on your foot, do not hesitate and contact Global Podiatry today!