Most people associate pinched nerves with neck or shoulder pain, but did you know you can develop a pinched nerve in your foot?
This painful condition is also referred to as Morton’s neuroma, and it’s quite common. Experts estimate that 33% of people develop neuromas, most of whom are women.
Understandably, it’s difficult to walk when it feels like you’ve got a marble in your shoe. That’s why our team of specialists at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, offers a variety of neuroma treatments to our patients in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.
The key to finding relief is to first identify the source of your pain, and if you’re dealing with pain in the ball of your foot, you, too, may have a neuroma.
Understanding what Morton’s neuroma is
Morton’s neuroma is a thickening of the tissue between your third and fourth toes, and as the tissue grows and thickens, it puts pressure on the nerves in your feet. The symptoms of Morton’s neuroma are indicative of a pinched nerve: tingling, burning, and sharp pain. Neuromas are sometimes called nerve tumors, but they’re not cancerous.
Anything that compresses your toes, such as wearing narrow shoes or high heels, can increase your risk of developing a neuroma. Independently, narrow shoes and shoes with high heels compress your nerves, but narrow shoes with a high heel are even riskier. Athletes and those with certain foot conditions (such as bunions) are also at risk.
How do you know if you have a neuroma?
Pain in the ball of your foot — the padded area just behind your toes — is one of the biggest signs of a neuroma. Other potential signs of a neuroma include:
- Swelling between your toes
- Tingling or “pins and needles” sensation
- Sharp stinging pain in your feet when you walk
- The sensation that you have a pebble in your shoe
Because some of these symptoms have multiple causes, it’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis before embarking on any treatment plan. For example, plantar fasciitis, nerve damage, and muscle strains are all potential sources of foot pain.
Finding relief from Morton’s neuroma
Neuromas can be diagnosed after a comprehensive foot exam, a review of your symptoms, and a review of any imaging tests, such as X-rays or ultrasounds. If your provider determines that a neuroma is the source of your pain, you may benefit from the following treatments:
- Avoiding high heels
- Wearing shoes with a roomy toe box and a thick sole
- Custom orthotics
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections
- Surgery to remove the inflamed nerve
Additionally, at-home treatments such as massage and cold compresses can ease pain in the ball of your foot. A pain in the foot is hard — if not difficult — to ignore. Luckily, you don’t have to suffer from foot pain forever. If you suspect you’re dealing with a neuroma, call our location of your choice to set up your appointment. Don’t forget: you can always book an appointment online 24/7.