Do you know that uncomfortable feeling you get when the seam in your sock gets bunched up underneath your foot? Or the nagging discomfort of a pebble in your shoe? Many people experience these sensations on a daily basis, with no sock or rock on which to place the blame. What is causing this feeling? The answer may lie deep within your foot in a condition known as a neuroma.
Neuromas occur when your nerve sheaths become inflamed, often as a result of bones rubbing together incorrectly. This inflammation often occurs between the bases of your toes in the ball of your foot. One of the most common areas affected is the area between the third and fourth toe, resulting in a condition known as Morton’s neuroma.
Ranging from numb to downright painful, pain or tingling may radiate down into the ends of your toes or up your ankle. You may even feel a slight pop between your toes as the inflamed nerve sheath rubs against your metatarsal bones.
If you are suffering from a neuroma, you deserve relief. At Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona, we offer a variety of treatments that can provide quick, lasting results. Keep reading to learn more about what causes this nerve pain, and what you can do about it.
What Causes the Irritation That Leads to Neuromas?
Your feet are extraordinarily complex structures, full of tiny bones, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. While feet can be very resilient, the daily beatings they endure in tight shoes, high heels, and extreme movements can often place stress on vulnerable places. When your toes are hyperextended or stretched, as they would be in high heels or strenuous activity, your metatarsal bones shift and the nerves between them may compress or stretch excessively.
Stretching or compression of the nerve between the bones can lead to inflammation of the nerve sheath, which only worsens the pressure exerted on the nerve. Some people’s feet are predisposed to this condition due to the structure of their foot, while others experience neuromas after daily wear or injury.
Does Nerve Pain Always Require Aggressive Treatment to Improve?
Many people picture nerve damage requiring intense surgery, but in the case of neuromas, conservative treatment may be just as (if not more) successful. When caught early, anti-inflammatory medication and shoe padding may relieve a majority of the stress in the ball of the foot. Switching from narrow or high-heeled shoes to more supportive shoes with a wider toe box may also alleviate pain.
For more serious and advanced neuromas, custom orthotics to shift your weight away from the affected area can reduce pressure on the nerve, while medication injections may reduce swelling and pain. For neuromas that do not respond to these treatments, minimally invasive surgery may be required to offer permanent relief.
Why Live With Pain? Visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona Today!
Nerve damage is a painful issue with potentially serious consequences for your foot and ankle. Permanent nerve damage means on-going foot problems. If you are experiencing pain in your foot or ankle, it isn’t worth the risk to ignore it. The doctors at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona can help you return your feet to normal and keep you from developing worse pain in the future. Schedule an appointment with our practice today to learn how you can get back to pain-free feet.