Neuroma: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments
Morton’s neuroma, or a pinched nerve, can cause pain or numbness in the foot. It is a very frustrating and uncomfortable condition to suffer from, but the good news is that (in most cases) it is very much preventable.
What is a Neuroma?
This term refers to a nerve growth or thickened nerve around your toes; it is usually found between the third and fourth toes. You may feel tingling, burning, numbness, or shooting pain. These symptoms are typically worse when you are using your foot. When you stop the activity or rub the area that hurts, the pain most likely goes away. Some people describe the feeling as “standing on a pebble” in their shoes. In some cases there is no visual evidence of a neuroma, but in others there might be redness or swelling.
What Causes a Neuroma?
There are a number of different contributing factors to developing a pinched nerve. One of the leading causes is improper footwear. Wearing tight shoes with very little room in the toe box, such as high heels or boots, can trigger the nerve growth or thickening. This is why more women than men suffer from this condition. Other causes can include having a foot structure with high arches or flat feet; deformities such as bunions or hammertoe; trauma or nerve damage; or repeated stress to the area.
What are My Treatment Options?
At-home treatments are usually enough to get rid of this problem. All you may need is a simple change in footwear to alleviate the symptoms. Choose shoes that have a wider toe box so that your toes aren’t squeezed tightly together all day long. Your shoes should also be supportive with shock-absorbent soles, so that excessive pressure isn’t being put on your feet. Try not to wear high heels that are over 2 inches for long periods of time. If your feet are already bothering you, it’s a good idea to rest them and apply ice to the sore area. An over-the-counter shoe insert or a custom-made orthotic may also be helpful in keeping the toes in the right position and helping with support.
When to Call a Doctor
Sometimes a doctor’s help is needed. They can prescribe medications or orthotics that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. They can also shoe you how padding or taping the toes together could help get rid of the problem. If a condition such as bunions or hammertoe is leading to high recurrence rates of neuromas, they might perform a surgery to fix these underlying causes. Dr. Wachtel offers a treatment option called K-Laser Therapy that corrects a variety of conditions.
If you are suffering from toe or ankle pain, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel, podiatrist North Andover, at 888-616-2512 to schedule an appointment in one of our three Massachusetts office locations. We are pleased to provide the best podiatric service to you and your family, because we know that foot health leads to overall happiness and wellness. Don’t suffer from uncomfortable foot problems any longer! Call us today and get started on the path to having happy feet.