Neuromas: Enlarged Nerves in Your Feet

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 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 Houston Foot Specialists. The first step in getting help is to recognize the symptoms and understand what is happening.

Neuroma Symptoms and Causes

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 and irritation or from an 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, because it is located between the metatarsal bones in the ball of the foot.

Conservative Care and Home Remedies

There are some treatment options you can do yourself at home for neuromas. Try the following:

  • 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 only to special occasions, as these kinds of footwear can exacerbate the problem.
  • 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.

Surgery and Other Procedures

Our hope is always to treat any condition with conservative care, but sometimes this is not possible. In some cases, we need to use surgical intervention. If we cannot provide the comfort you need with nonsurgical means, we may need to relieve pressure on a compressed nerve by cutting other tissues or even removing the nerve altogether.

Prevention

If you need treatment for a neuroma, you can certainly come to Houston Foot Specialists and we will take care of it for you. Even better would be preventing the condition from happening in the first place. With that in mind, here are some preventive 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 sufficient 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 to and from the office.

Expert Neuroma Care in Houston, TX

As we mentioned, if you are in need of professional treatment for a neuroma that is causing pain and taking away from your quality of life and enjoyment of favorite activities, Houston Foot Specialists can help. Come see us and we will diagnose the condition causing your 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 (713) 467-8886 and our staff will be glad to answer any questions you have. You can also request an appointment for our Houston, TX office online right now.