Facts about Neuromas


A podiatric disorder that puzzles patients sometimes is a neuroma. This condition, which causes pain in the ball of the foot, may at first feel like there’s a pebble in your shoe. The causes are not always obvious either. At NY Foot Health, we want to present some facts about neuromas to help patients recognize them and also encourage them to seek treatment from their podiatrist for this condition. If you don’t currently have a podiatrist, use our online directory to locate one in your area.

FACT: A neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue that normally develops on the bottom of your foot between the third and fourth toes. It is also referred to as a pinched nerve or a nerve tumor.

FACT: In addition to pain, a neuroma can cause sensations of tingling or burning in the ball of the foot or toes. Another symptom of a neuroma is swelling between the toes.

FACT: Although the exact cause of a neuroma is unknown, there are several factors that increase your risk of developing one. These include:

  • Trauma or injury to the nerve

  • Repetitive stress to the ball of the foot due to a sport, activity or occupation

  • Bio-mechanical deformities such as having a high arch or flat foot

  • Footwear choice—shoes that are narrow or pointy or those with high heels exert strain on the forefoot

FACT: The majority of patients who develop neuromas are women. This may be linked to footwear styles.

FACT: If your neuroma is not severe, you may find that thick-soled shoes with wide toe boxes may be enough to relieve the pressure and allow the neuroma to subside.

FACT: Other ways to relieve pain includes resting the affected foot, icing the painful spot and using shoe pads to protect the sore area.

FACT: If the neuroma is more severe, the podiatrist may prescribe a custom orthotic device to correct a faulty foot mechanics problem.

FACT: Sometimes surgery is necessary to remove the inflamed nerve.

To learn more about treatments for neuromas and other foot and ankle conditions, contact us.