What are neuromas?

Neuromas, also called a pinched nerve, usually occur between the third and fourth toes. They are painful and are caused by a benign (non-cancerous) growth of nerve tissue in that area. A “Morton’s Neuroma” affects the ball of the foot in the same area – between the third and fourth toes. It is caused by the thickening of tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes.

How do I know if I have a neuroma?

If you have a neuroma, you will feel pain, tingling, numbness or a burning sensation in the area between the toes and the ball of the foot when you are walking. The pain may radiate into your toes. You may feel like you are standing on a pebble. The pain will be relieved when you stop walking and rub the area where the pain occurs.

Neuromas usually occur in women and high heeled shoes are considered to be one of the causes of Morton’s neuroma.

What are the treatments?

If you have consistent pain in your foot it is important to be seen by a podiatrist who can diagnose the cause of the pain and prescribe the most effective treatments. If left untreated, neuromas will get worse. Some of the potential treatments include:

  • Many times wearing wider shoes with low heels will reduce the pain of Morton’s neuroma.
  • Shoes with thick soles and proper insoles will keep pressure off the painful area of the foot.
  • Resting the foot, massaging and icing the painful area may help.
  • Over-the-counter shoe pads may relieve pain.
  • Arch supports and foot pads that fit inside the shoe may relieve pressure on the nerve.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid injections may be prescribed.
  • In some cases, decompression surgery may be recommended when conservative treatments fail to relieve pain.