What is a Neuroma?
A Neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a "Pinched Nerve" or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.
The principal symptom associated with a neuroma is pain between the toes while walking. Those suffering from the condition often find relief by stopping their walk, taking off their show, and rubbing the affected area. At times, the patient will describe the pain as similar to having a stone in their shoe. The vast majority of people who develop neuromas are women.
Although the exact cause of this condition is unclear, a number of factors can contribute to the formation of a neuroma:
1. Biomechanical deformities, such as a high arched foot or flat foot, can lead to the formation of a neuroma. These foot types bring on instability around the toe joints, leading to the development of the condition.
2. Trauma can cause damage to the nerve, resulting in inflammation or swelling to the nerve.
3. Improper footwear that causes the toes to be squeezed together is problematic. Avoid high-heeled shoes higher than two inches. Shoes at this height can increase the pressure on the forefoot area.
4. Repeated stress, common to many occupations, can create or aggravate a neuroma.
The symptoms of a neruoma can include pain in the forefoot and between the toes, tingling and numbness in the ball of the foot, swelling between the toes and pain in the ball of the foot when weight is placed on it.
Podiatric medical care should be sought at the first sign of pain or discomfort. If left untreated, neuromas tend to get worse. Treatment options very with the severity of each neuroma and identifying the neuroma early in it's development is important to avoid surgical correction.