Neuromas: Understanding the Basics

Neuromas, which can be described as either pinched nerves or tumors, are painful conditions that typically arise from the growth of benign nerve tissue between the third and fourth toes. If left untreated or exacerbated, they can cause discomfort, burning sensations, tingling, and pain in the toes and the balls of the feet. If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of neuromas, it is crucial to contact a podiatrist promptly for proper evaluation and treatment.

Key Symptom: Toe Pain When Weight is Applied

One notable characteristic symptom of neuromas is pain in the toes when pressure is exerted on them. Individuals with neuromas often find relief by reducing movement or avoiding walking altogether. Foot massages and removing shoes can also offer temporary comfort. The sensation is akin to having a pebble trapped inside your shoe, despite there being no actual obstruction. Women are particularly susceptible to neuromas due to frequent use of high-heeled and tight-fitting shoes./p

Causes of Neuromas

While the exact cause of neuromas remains unknown, several factors can contribute to their development:

  • 1.Biomechanical deformities like flat feet or high arches can lead to the formation of neuromas.
  • 2.Unstable joints resulting from foot deformities can pinch nerves and contribute to neuroma development neuromas.
  • 3.Nerves that have been damaged or traumatized may become inflamed or swollen, leading to the formation of nerve tumors.
  • 4. Wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes with narrow toe boxes that are inappropriate for specific activities, such as running in leather shoes, can cause or worsen neuromas.
  • 5.Heels measuring three inches or higher can contribute to or exacerbate pinched nerves.

Symptoms of Neuromas

The following symptoms are commonly associated with neuromas:

  • 1. Pain in the spaces between the toes and the forefoot.
  • 2. Numbness or tingling sensations in the balls of the feet.
  • 3. Inflammation in the spaces between the toes.
  • 4. Pain in the balls of the feet when pressure is applied.

Home Treatment for Neuromas

There are several home treatment options that can provide relief for neuromas:

  • Choose shoes that provide ample room for toe movement, with laces, adjustable buckles, and low heels to avoid pressure on the feet.
  • Utilize thick, shock-absorbing insoles to alleviate foot strain.
  • Only wear high heels measuring up to two inches, if necessary, but it is advisable to avoid them altogether.
  • Resting the affected foot and receiving foot massages can offer temporary relief.
  • Applying an ice pack can help alleviate pain.
  • Over-the-counter shoe pads can provide support for neuromas, although prescription shoe inserts are more effective.

When to Seek Podiatric Care

It is crucial to seek immediate podiatric care if you experience pain, discomfort, or any of the common symptoms associated with neuromas. Prompt evaluation by a foot and ankle specialist is necessary as delayed treatment can lead to worsened conditions.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Neuromas

The diagnosis and treatment of neuromas depend on the specific case. Early diagnosis is essential to avoid more costly treatment methods such as surgical removal of the neuroma.

Early Treatment Recommendations

Early treatment recommendations primarily apply to developing neuromas. They involve wearing well-fitted shoes that allow for foot growth, featuring thick soles and wide toe boxes. Pain relief and prevention of further aggravation can help the condition resolve on its own. In severe or chronic cases, surgical removal of the tumor is the recommended course of action.

Focus on preventing nerve compression and relieving pressure on the affected foot during early treatment. Accurate diagnosis is crucial for determining the nature of the tumor, allowing for a tailored neuroma therapy plan based on individual circumstances. X-rays may be necessary during diagnosis.

Taping or Padding

Taping and padding can provide support to the balls of the feet, relieving pain caused by neuromas. They can also correct any foot abnormalities or deformities that contribute to neuroma formation, preventing the condition from developing in the first place.

Pharmaceutical Assistance

Prescription medications for neuromas typically include anti-inflammatory drugs, which may involve cortisone injections. A foot specialist can prescribe painkillers to manage acute or chronic neuroma-related pain.

Orthotic Equipment

Using orthotic equipment can improve foot function and alleviate pain associated with neuromas. Customized prescription shoe inserts prevent nerve compression and provide pain relief.

Surgical Procedures

If other therapies fail to alleviate neuroma symptoms, surgical removal becomes necessary, especially in cases of chronic and persistent pain. This outpatient surgery involves the complete removal of the pinched nerve tumor. Recovery typically takes several weeks.

Your podiatrist will provide detailed information about the surgical procedure and the potential outcomes. If any pain unrelated to the neuroma is experienced after the operation, the doctor will prescribe appropriate painkillers.

Preventing Neuromas

While the precise causes of neuromas remain unclear, the following preventive measures can be taken:

  • Allow space and freedom of movement for toes and feet, particularly in exercise shoes. Avoid tight footwear to minimize strain.
  • Choose shoes with shock-absorbing cushions or padding, especially in the ball of the feet area.
  • Avoid shoes with cramped toe boxes that compress the toes tightly. Additionally, high heels measuring three inches or higher should be avoided.

Dr. Arshia Roohian offers her podiatric services in cities such as Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Irvine, and Laguna Woods. She specializes in therapeutic foot procedures, including neuroma therapy and surgery, and appointments can be scheduled online in real-time.
You can contact our office at 949-588-8833 , or visit our website at Our offices are located in Laguna Hills, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Foothill Ranch, and Costa Mesa.

The information contained above is intended for general reference purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any new treatment. Health information on this website MUST NOT be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of your doctor.

Friday, June 23, 2023