When you suffer from foot pain, you may wonder what could possibly be causing your discomfort. Many conditions affect the feet. One such condition is known as a neuroma.
Get to know more about neuromas and how you can deal with them. Then you can go to your doctor for your foot problems and get the care you need to feel better as soon as possible.
What Is a Neuroma?
A neuroma is a condition of the nerves that causes a great deal of pain. It can be referred to as a pinched nerve but is actually a nerve tumor or growth. Most of these tumors are benign (noncancerous).
What Type of Neuroma Affects the Feet?
The term neuroma is a blanket term for benign nerve tumors. However, over the years it has come to be primarily used to refer to nerve tumors in the feet. The alternative name for a neuroma in the foot is Morton's neuroma.
Where in the Foot Do You Find Neuromas?
Most neuromas occur between the third and fourth toes of the foot. However, they can occur elsewhere as well.
What Are the Signs of a Neuroma?
The most common sign of a neuroma is foot pain. This pain generally occurs at the location of the neuroma, most often between the toes. These growths can also cause tingling in the foot (particularly the ball of the foot), a burning sensation, or even numbness.
Walking can be especially painful for people with a neuroma. At the first onset of neuroma pain, the person may assume that they have a pebble or rock in their shoe, as the growth can cause swelling and inflammation in the foot.
What Are the Causes of a Neuroma?
There is no singular known cause of a neuroma. However, there are some potential causes to consider. Trauma to the foot — specifically to the nerve — can cause inflammation and swelling, for example. Abnormalities in the anatomy or physiology of the foot can also cause a neuroma. Having flat feet is one such abnormality.
Another abnormality in the foot may be having extra bones. Stress injuries from high-impact activities, long work hours on the feet, or wearing improper footwear can also lead to neuromas.
What Can You Do at Home for a Neuroma?
If you suspect that you are suffering from a neuroma, you can try certain remedies at home to reduce your pain and discomfort. Regular ice massages may reduce pain and inflammation in the foot. Take ice and rub or massage it on the ball of the foot and in between the toes. This can provide immediate relief for your discomfort and pain.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can also reduce your discomfort. Shoe inserts can redistribute the pressure on your foot when you are standing or walking. This can help you put less pressure on the neuroma, reducing pain and irritation.
What Medical Treatments Can Help?
In addition to the home remedies available to you, numerous medical treatments can also help with your neuroma. Corticosteroid injections reduce inflammation in the affected area, which can, in turn, reduce pain.
Two surgical procedures can also help with your neuroma. One is known as a decompression procedure. Your foot surgeon will remove the ligament or other surrounding structures that are putting pressure on the affected nerve.
The alternative option is to remove the nerve entirely. However, doctors tend to leave this as a last resort because it can result in permanent numbness.
Now that you know these facts about neuromas, be sure to contact your doctor and get the care you need to relieve your foot pain once and for all.