A neuroma, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or nerve tumour, is a benign growth of nerve tissue. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.
Some patients describe the pain as similar to having a stone in his or her shoe. The vast majority of people who develop neuromas are women.
Although the exact cause for the condition is unclear, a number of factors can contribute to the formation of a neuroma:
- Biomechanical deformities, such as a high-arched foot or a flat foot. These foot types bring on instability around the toe joints, leading to the development of the condition.
- Trauma (injury) can cause damage to the nerve, resulting in inflammation or swelling.
- Improper footwear that causes the toes to be squeezed together is problematic.
- Repeated stress, common to many activities.
The symptoms of a neuroma include the following:
- Pain in the forefoot and between the toes.
- Tingling and numbness in the ball of the foot.
- Swelling between the toes.
- Pain in the ball of the foot when weight is placed on it.
Treatments generally include wearing corrective shoes or orthotics and/or receiving cortisone injections. In severe cases, surgical removal of the growth may be necessary.