A neuroma is a swollen nerve that is located between the bones at the very ball of your foot. It is usually located on one side or the other of the middle toe. Because this condition is caused by nerve compression, it can be very painful. Read on to learn what causes neuromas, prevention tips, how to find relief at home and basic surgery information.
Causes of Neuromas
One of the primary causes of neuromas is unsupportive shoes that are too tight. Tight shoes cram your little toes together, keeping them from moving as freely as they may need, which can irritate the nerves. High heels are often a problem as well since they put all of your body weight onto the forefoot, which where neuromas actually form.
Your risk of neuroma development is increased with other foot deformities, such as bunions and high arches. Repeated trauma and injury to your feet can also cause an increased susceptibility to the development of neuromas.
How to Prevent Neuromas
The first step to preventing neuromas and other foot issues is purchasing a pair of good, well-fitting shoes. You don't want shoes that are too loose and will make you trip while you're walking, but they can't be too tight either, or they'll cause problems. Make sure your toes have some wiggle room.
You may also want to consider adding arch supports or other shoe inserts to help relieve some of the pressure from the forefoot. Shoes with cushioned soles can act as a shock absorber, which can protect your nerves from irritation and pressure. Don't forget to also avoid high heels whenever possible.
Managing the Pain
If you're suffering from neuroma pain, there are a few things that you can do at home to help manage that pain. You can give yourself foot massages, or have someone else do it. This amps up the blood flow circulation, which can help relieve some of the pain. It may even pop that swollen nerve back to its initial position.
In addition, you can use ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce swelling, which can also help with the pain. In some cases, you may be able to speak to your podiatrist about receiving a cortisone or steroid injection for inflammation and pain relief.
Surgery for Neuromas
When home care just isn't cutting it, surgery is an option. However, as with any surgery, there are pros and cons. The biggest advantage with surgery for neuromas is that it is ultimately the only total fix for severe cases. On the other hand, there are always risks involved. With surgical removal of the neuroma, according to Mayo Clinic, there is the chance that nerve damage could occur, which could cause tingling and possibly even permanent numbness in the affected toes.
Although all non-invasive and conservative approaches to dealing with neuromas should be explored first, there may come a time when surgery is your only option. Whether you're at this point or you have just noticed the development of what you believe are neuromas, you need to get into contact with a podiatrist immediately to have your condition assessed and be presented with treatment options.Share
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