Neuromas are a thickening of the nerves that run between the bones in the ball of your foot, the metatarsals. When the thickening occurs between the 1st and 2nd metatarsals it is called a Joplin’s neuroma. It is called a Morton’s neuroma if it runs through any of the other metatarsal spaces, but they most commonly occur between the 3rd and 4th metatarsals.
What do they feel like?
Neuromas cause a multitude forefoot and toe symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain.
Common neuroma symptoms include:
– areas of numbness or unusual sensation;
– numbness of toes (particularly 3rd and 4th toes);
– a feeling of something being under foot like a bunched up sock or cotton bud;
– burning or tight sensations; and
– sharp or burning pain that often extends from the forefoot into the toes
Often these symptoms are exacerbated by the use of certain footwear and exercise.
How are they caused?
Neuromas are caused by excessive compression or friction on the actual nerve itself. This often occurs from wearing inappropriate footwear where the forefoot is compressed within the toe box. Shoes with an excessive pointed or tapered toe box can cause undue compression to the forefoot. High heels will also increase the pressure on the forefoot.
Additionally, some foot types are just more predisposed to neuromas. Hypermobile, floppy or flat forefeet often are more likely to suffer from neuromas. As are individuals that have forefoot pathologies like bunions, tailor’s bunions and hammer toes.
How are they diagnosed?
In most cases neuromas can be diagnosed by your podiatrist through a simple physical examination, palpation of the forefoot, compression of the metatarsals and extension of the toes. In some severe or unusual cases your podiatrist may ask you to get some imaging like an ultrasound or MRI to confirm the presence of a neuroma.
The good news!!
The majority of neuromas can be treated conservatively!! Often footwear modification and padding are enough to control neuroma symptoms. In the more troublesome cases sometimes orthoses, steroid or glucose injections, or surgery to remove that thickened portion of the nerve maybe warranted, but this is the minority of cases.
So, if you are plagued with forefoot pain symptoms like this then we recommend booking in to see one of our podiatrists. The podiatry team at All Podiatry & The Shoe Co. are very well trained and experienced to help you in the right direction.
Book in for an appointment now!
Indooroopilly – 3378 4255
260 Moggill Rd, Indooroopilly
Windsor – 3357 5222
110 Maygar St, Windsor