6 Treatment Options for Neuromas

If you have a painful, pronounced lump on the ball of your foot, you may have a neuroma. About 1 in 3 individuals are affected, with the majority of them being women. When a neuroma advances to a certain point, it can wreak havoc with your mobility, since the pain attacks anew with every step you take. 

The skilled podiatry team at Premier Foot & Ankle has vast experience treating neuromas, from mild to severe cases. In this blog, they explain what neuromas are and the treatment options that are available.

What are neuromas?

Called Morton’s neuroma or intertarsal neuroma, this is a condition in which tissue that surrounds a nerve leading to one of your toes thickens, which then puts pressure on the nerve and causes pain. Often, the problem emerges between the third and fourth toes, but it can happen between your second and third toes, too. 

A neuroma can cause a number of symptoms, including the following: 

It may even feel like there’s a rock in your shoe, and all of these symptoms can occur whether you’re walking or standing. Pain might be exacerbated by wearing the wrong shoes, such as high heels. 

What causes neuromas?

A neuroma can develop due to how you move, how you take care of your feet, certain foot deformities, and other reasons. Some of the causes include the following:

In order for us to diagnose a neuroma properly, we visually examine your foot, palpate it to pinpoint your pain, and note the severity and location of your tenderness, numbness, or swelling. We might also order an imaging test, such as an X-ray or MRI. 

What are my neuroma treatment options?

Your treatment plan will depend on a number of factors, such as the neuroma’s location and the severity of your pain, but patients often get much-needed relief with one or a combination of the following options:

1. Altering your activities 

Refraining from high impact sports, such as tennis, ballet, or jogging, and not standing for long periods can relieve the pressure on your neuroma. Resting your foot, gently massaging the painful area, and icing it may also help.

2. Padding treatments

Using over-the-counter pads can help reduce pressure on your neuroma. Furthermore, putting an arch support in your shoe may also help.  

3. Pain medications 

Using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, may help reduce or eliminate the pain.

4. Appropriate shoes

Stay away from wearing tight shoes and shoes with heels higher than two inches. Instead, look for supportive footwear with wide toe boxes and soft, shock-absorbing soles.

5. Orthotics

Wearing over-the-counter inserts or custom orthotics may be able to relieve neuroma pain. If orthotics will help you, your provider at Premier Foot & Ankle will advise you on which option to choose.

6. Injections

Alcohol-based injections or corticosteroid injections can numb the affected nerve, reduce inflammation, and may even shrink the neuroma.

Other options

If these treatments don’t help, your doctor may recommend PodiaTherm™ radiofrequency (RF) therapy, in which radiofrequency energy is used to heat the problematic nerve, which prevents it from sending pain signals. Your provider may also recommend a procedure in which your surgeon cuts specific tissue to ease pressure on the nerve and decrease inflammation.

If you have a neuroma and want treatment, or if you want to see if you have one, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Foot & Ankle today.

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