A neuroma is a thickening of the nerve that supplies the toes. It usually occurs between the 2nd, 3rd or 4th toes. The swelling and thickness of this nerve allows it to become easily compressed (pinched) or irritated.
- Pins and needles, shooting pains in the toes.
- Numbness in the toes.
- Pain is generally worse on standing and while in tight shoes.
- Hard or uneven terrain can aggravate the condition.
- Relief is obtained by squeezing the foot or massaging the area.
Excessive pronation (feet “rolling” inwards) results in the joints at the ball of the foot moving closer together. This in turn results in the nerves, which are situated between the joints, being compressed or irritated. The condition is more common in middle-aged women who wear tight, narrow, unsupportive footwear.
Men, however, can also suffer from the condition.
Control of excessive pronation with orthotics (custom-made shoe inserts) improves foot function, prevents the joints at the ball of the feet moving together and therefore prevents the nerves being compressed or irritated. Orthotics can also reduce pressure on the nerves.
Your PODIATRIST will also assess your foot for structural problems that may lead to this condition.
Padding and strapping may also be applied by your PODIATRIST to reduce nereve compression.
As a last resort, surgery may be required in severe cases. This involves removing the thickened part of the nerve.