As you might have guessed from the name, a neuroma is a condition that involves a nerve. At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC, we find that many patients are puzzled by this condition. At first, they may experience pain in the ball of their foot that feels like their sock is balled up under their foot or like there is a rock in their shoe. Other signs of a neuroma include unusual sensations in the bottom of the foot or the toes such as tingly, burning or numbness. Patients with neuromas may also notice swelling between their toes.
The first step, if you notice any of these symptoms, is to contact our Valley Stream (516-825-4070 ) or Lake Success (516-327-0074) office today so that our foot and ankle surgeons Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko can do a complete examination of your feet. Neuromas can have several underlying causes and it’s important to get to the source of your foot pain in order to prescribe the correct treatment. Once the foot doctor has determined the cause and severity of your condition, one of several treatment options may be recommended. These include:
1. Resting your foot. Since repetitive activity that puts pressure on the ball of the foot can cause a neuroma to form, sometimes simply getting off your foot and restricting activity for a while can be enough to relieve painful symptoms.
2. Massage. Massaging the painful area has been shown to lessen pain, at least temporarily.
3. Changing your shoes. Choosing shoes with wide, roomy toe boxes and thick, cushioned soles can release the strain on your toes and forefeet. Shoes that close with buckles or laces may also be recommended because they can be adjusted to increase comfort.
4. Adding some padding. Padding on or around the neuroma can shift pressure away from the trouble spot and bring relief.
5. Ditching high heels. Think about the position that high heels put your foot in—the slanting forward greatly increases the pressure on the ball of your foot and also the likelihood and pain from a neuroma.
6. Custom orthotics. If your neuroma is caused by faulty foot mechanics, as in you have flat feet or high arches, for example, an orthotic device can help correct this defect and alleviate neuroma pain.
7. Surgery. If other methods fail to bring relief or the neuroma is too severe, surgery to remove the enlarged nerve may be the best option.