Your nervous system has two parts – the central nervous system (which is your brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (which is comprised of the nerves extending throughout your body). Each is responsible for a variety of tasks that enable you to, well, do just about everything you do. When everything is running smoothly, it is easy to take the entire nervous system for granted, but sometimes issues can arise. Such is the case with neuromas.
If you are experiencing strange, painful sensations in your lower limbs, it is possible that you have developed a neuroma and could benefit from the effective care we provide here at Wilks Advanced Foot Care. Of course, the first step in getting help is to recognize the symptoms and understand what is happening.
Nerve Pain in the Front of Your Foot
The primary symptoms you might experience with a neuroma include:
- Pain in the forefoot area and between your toes, and especially in the ball of your foot when weight is placed upon it.
- Tingling and numbness in your ball of the foot.
- Swelling that develops between your toes.
Generally speaking, a neuroma occurs in response to excessive pressure or irritation, or injury, to one of the nerves leading to your toes. When this happens, the nerve can become enlarged and cause the aforementioned symptoms. More specifically, the pressure can come from repeated stress, physical trauma, biomechanical deformities (cavus foot, flatfoot), and improper footwear.
In the lower body, the most common neuroma tends to be a Morton’s neuroma. This nerve enlargement develops between the third and fourth toes. It is sometimes called an intermetatarsal neuroma, on account of the fact it is located between the metatarsal bones in the ball of the foot.
Neuroma Treatment and Prevention
There are some treatment options you can do yourself at home for neuromas, including:
- Always wear shoes with low heels, plenty of room for your toes, and either buckles or laces that allow you adjust the width of your footwear.
- Limit your wearing of high-heeled shoes to only special occasions, as these kinds of footwear can exacerbate the existing condition.
- Rest your foot and massage the affected area to temporarily relieve neuroma pain.
- Use an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to dull the pain and improve your comfort.
- Use over-the-counter shoe pads, which can relieve pressure on and around the affected area.
Our hope is always to treat any condition with conservative care, but sometimes this is not possible. In some cases, we do need to use surgical intervention. If we cannot find the comfort you need with nonsurgical means, we may need to either relieve pressure on a compressed nerve by cutting other tissues or even remove the nerve altogether.
If you need treatment for a neuroma, you can certainly come see us here at Wilks Advanced Foot Care and we will take care of it for you, but we would rather know you are able to prevent the condition from happening in the first place. With that in mind, here are some preventative measures that can help:
- If you wear athletic shoes for exercising or recreational sports, be sure to pick out ones with ample room in the front (so your toes are not compressed).
- Choose shoes that feature ample padding in the ball of the foot area.
- Try not to spend too much time in shoes that have excessively-high heels (greater than 2 inches) and narrow toe boxes. If you wear these kinds of shoes for work, use a second, more comfortable pair for your commute into and out of the office.
As we mentioned, if you are in need of professional treatment for a neuroma that is causing pain and taking away from your quality and enjoyment of life and favorite activities, Wilks Advanced Foot Care can help. Come see us and we will diagnose the condition causing you problems, and then create an effective treatment plan for you.
If you would like more information about neuromas, or anything related to our medical practice, simply give us a call at (541) 673-0742 and our staff will be glad to answer any questions you have. You can also request an appointment for our Roseburg, OR office online right now!