Navigating a Neuroma: Understanding Causes and Seeking Relief

April 15, 2024
Navigating a Neuroma: Understanding Causes and Seeking Relief

If you’ve ever felt like something is stabbing the bottom of your foot when nothing is there, you are not imagining things. You may be dealing with a neuroma in your foot. A neuroma, also called Morton’s neuroma, is a condition that can cause sharp, burning, or tingling foot pain. Many people describe the sensation of feeling as though they are stepping on a sharp pebble.

Neuromas are a fairly common foot ailment. They are also treatable with a proper diagnosis. Here is everything you’ll need to know to deal with a possible neuroma in your foot.

What is a Neuroma?

First, let’s answer the question, “What is a neuroma?” A neuroma is caused by a thickening of the tissue surrounding one or more nerves in the foot. This can cause the nerve to become pinched, creating feelings of discomfort around the toes and balls of the feet. Neuromas are most common between the third and the fourth toe. However, they can form anywhere on the ball of the foot.

The pain caused by a neuroma can range from mild to severe. The type of sensation can also vary. Sometimes, it can cause a burning or pinching sensation, while other times, it can produce a tingling sensation or numbness.

Neuroma Causes

Though we know much about Morton’s neuroma, the exact cause is unknown. However, most studies indicate that neuromas can develop due to excessive compression or pressure on the feet. Foot injuries and other types of foot disorders, like bunions, can also increase the risk of developing a neuroma.

Some common risk factors associated with Morton’s neuroma include wearing high heels, sports injuries, and other foot abnormalities.

Morton’s Neuroma Treatment

While a neuroma does not typically lead to more serious health problems, it can be highly unpleasant to deal with. In severe cases, the pain from a neuroma can be debilitating, restricting mobility. 

Fortunately, several accessible Morton’s neuroma treatment options are available. These include surgical and non-surgical at-home remedies.

Lifestyle Morton’s Neuroma Treatment Options

You can do a few simple things to manage a neuroma in your day-to-day life. These neuroma treatment options are intended to relieve the pain naturally and allow the nerve to heal over time. These include:

  • Icing the foot regularly or using ice massage therapy
  • Avoiding high heels or other restrictive footwear
  • Reduce physical strain on the foot by temporarily reducing physical activity
  • Taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers, like ibuprofen or aspirin
  • Wearing shoes or insoles that provide arch support or more space for your foot

If pain persists or becomes more severe, other forms of medical treatment are available for neuroma.

Medical Procedures to Treat Neuroma

If home remedies don’t do anything to fix the pain after a few days, you should see a doctor for more neuroma treatment options. A medical professional can provide a diagnosis to confirm your neuroma and recommend a practical course of treatment. 

There are several options available for medical neuroma treatment procedures. These include:

  • Prescription of custom orthotics
  • Injections to relieve pain in the affected area
  • Decompression surgery or surgery to remove the nerve

Surgical procedures for Morton’s neuroma are rare and only used in extreme cases. However, seeking a diagnosis for any prolonged foot pain is always a good idea. Foot pain can be caused by several different ailments. The sooner it gets diagnosed, the sooner you can recover.

Schedule an Appointment with an Experienced Podiatrist

If you think you are suffering from Morton’s neuroma or any other serious foot ailment, book a consultation with Diablo Foot & Ankle today. Our foot and ankle specialists, located in Walnut Creek, can provide expert foot care for all varieties of foot and ankle injuries.

Common Podiatry Questions

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.

What does a Podiatrist treat?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.

What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?

A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.

Where are your Podiatry clinics located?

At Diablo Foot & Ankle, we treat our foot and ankle patients in two main clinic locations in Walnut Creek and in Antioch California. Dr. Eman Elmi and Dr. Shayan Esspoor are Board Certified Podiatrists who specialize in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders.

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