A non-cancerous growth made of nerve tissue, neuromas can develop anywhere in the body. Morton’s neuroma is the most common, and it can affect any of your toes, though it usually occurs between the third and fourth toes, causing inflammation.
You can’t see the growth without medical diagnostic imaging, but you can sometimes feel the lump, like a marble or pebble under your foot. Though its name suggests a tumor, Morton’s neuroma results from a thickening of nerve tissue between the bones of your toes.
While not everyone with Morton’s neuroma has symptoms, it can lead to pain, swelling, numbness, and tingling. The condition tends to get worse over time. Visit Hudson Valley Foot Associates when you notice symptoms that could indicate neuroma. We’ll diagnose and treat your foot problems to keep you painlessly on your toes.
Of course, the best result would be to avoid the issue altogether, and there are a few things you can do to avoid developing Morton’s neuroma. Let’s take a look at the condition and the things you can do to minimize your risk of developing its painful symptoms.
It’s thought that neuromas develop from injury, irritation, or compression of nerve tissue, causing the nerve to thicken in response. This can cause changes in the way the nerve transmits sensory information to your brain.
Common symptoms include burning pain in the ball of your foot that may also radiate down into your toes, along the path of the affected nerve. Sometimes, the downrange sensations are numbness and tingling in the toes, rather than pain, though you may still feel pain at the location of the neuroma.
While the neuroma doesn’t form an outward bump that you can detect, it creates a sensation like those mentioned above, as though you’re standing on something like a stone caught in your shoe, though there’s nothing on the bottom of your foot.
Removing your shoe and rubbing the sore spot will often relieve the pain, which may start back up again when you stand, particularly when you put weight on your toes.
While it’s not entirely clear what causes neuroma to appear in some people but not in others, risk factors for the condition can include the following:
Flat feet, high arches, bunions, and hammertoes may increase your risk of developing Morton’s neuroma. Treating these conditions as they arise might reduce the effects they have on irritating nerves and forming neuromas.
Shoes that place unnatural strain on your feet can contribute to neuroma. Shoes with a tight toe box place undue pressure on the balls of your feet and toes. High heels are another culprit: In many cases they press toes together, causing nerve irritation. Choose comfortable, supportive shoes to sidestep neuroma.
Sports involving running or jumping could be causing micro injuries that add up to neuroma. Some activities require tight-fitting footwear, such as skating, skiing, ballet, and rock climbing. Be sure to replace worn gear often with well-fitting, quality shoes designed for your activity.
With five locations in the region, Hudson Valley Foot Associates is here for you when you begin to feel the effects of neuroma or any other foot condition. Request your appointment by phone or online today.