Foot neuroma, also known as Morton’s neuroma, is a condition that is characterized by a painful sensation in the ball of your foot, specifically, in the area right between the third and fourth toe. You can tell you have foot neuroma when it feels like you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or there’s a constant pain in the area.
What causes it? It is caused by pressure, injury, and irritation to one of the nerves leading up to the toes. Women are at more at risk because they wear high heels. Of course, this does not mean that men cannot get it. Certain sports and physical activities can cause pressure to the nerve. When the nerve is affected by pressure, injury and irritation, it responds by going forming a tissue in the surrounding area, thus putting pressure on your foot.
If you are experiencing symptoms, the first thing you need to do is to change your shoes from high heels to low heels with a wide area for the toes. But if this does not work, go to a podiatrist and foot doctor to have your foot area checked. The doctor might recommend an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI to get a more accurate picture of the ball of your foot.
Most of the time, doctors will request to have a footpad custom-made to the exact contours of your foot to relieve pressure. You should be experiencing some relief when you use foot pads, but again, if this does not work, there are more aggressive methods can be used.
One of these methods is injecting steroids to the area so you don’t feel any pain. Another form of treatment is decompression surgery. Decompression surgery is done by removing the structures surrounding the nerves, like the ligaments that bind together some bones of your foot. The most radical approach is the removal of the nerve itself.
Surgical treatments for neuroma is usually successful, however, in the case of nerve removal, it is highly like that you will experience a permanent numbness in that part of your body.
So, to recap, neuroma is a condition whereby you are experiencing constant pain the ball of your foot. It is caused by wearing high heels and/or doing activities that can irritate, injure or cause extreme pressure to the balls of your feet. You can visit pacck.org for more in-depth information.
If you are experiencing symptoms, you can insert foot pads to your heels and/or change shoes altogether that is low-heeled and has a wide area around the toes.
But if the symptoms persist, go see a podiatrist or a foot doctor. To pinpoint the exact location of the affected nerve, the doctor will require imaging tests, like x-ray, MRI or ultrasound. Treatment may come in the form of a special custom-made foot shoe insert made to the exact contours of your feet, which should relieve some of the pressure. But if this does not work, more aggressive methods like steroid injections, decompression surgery, and nerve removal might be used.