Do you sometimes feel a shooting, burning, stabbing, or radiating pain between your second and third or third and fourth toes on either foot? Could you sometimes swear that something was stuck in your shoe, but when you checked, there was nothing there? If so, you might have a neuroma, one of the many conditions we can treat at Massapequa Podiatry Associates.
What Causes Neuromas?
Neuromas, sometimes called nerve tumors, occur when the bones or tissue on either side of a nerve put pressure on the nerve, leading to inflammation, discomfort, and pain. The exact causes of neuromas aren’t certain, but repetitive irritation to the forefoot does increase the risk of people developing neuromas. Some things that can irritate this part of the foot include:
- Having high arches or flat feet
- Biomechanical issues within the foot
- Foot trauma
- Poorly fitted shoes that push the toes together
- High-heeled or slip-on shoes
While neuromas can be uncomfortable and painful, they are not cancerous and often can be treated without surgery.
Some people experience short-term relief from neuromas by removing their shoes and massaging the foot. Removing footwear and massaging the foot may temporarily resolve neuroma symptoms but does not address the underlying cause.
Relieving the symptoms while not treating the condition can allow neuromas to become progressively worse. The sooner you treat a neuroma, the better your odds are of achieving a satisfactory recovery.
The treatments that would be best for you depend on your situation. Our foot and ankle pain specialists listen to our patients and thoroughly examine them before making customized recommendations to meet their unique needs. There are several different treatment options that our podiatrists might suggest after talking to someone with a neuroma.
Wearing Better Shoes
Shoes should be wide enough not to squeeze your toes and should not have a heel over two inches. Additionally, shoes should offer shock absorption and allow you to utilize a dress orthotic or have excellent built-in arch support. Adjustable laces are also a plus.
Buying Shoe Inserts if Needed
Metatarsal pads, arch supports, and toe spacers may relieve some pressure on the nerve.
Taking Pain Relief Medications
Injections and over-the-counter pain relievers are two available medication options and may be used in combination with other treatments.
Purchasing Custom Orthotics
Custom orthotics can prevent issues with your feet from worsening and causing problems in your legs, knees, hips, and lower back. They are especially important for people with structural foot defects like flat feet or high arches. We use medical-grade 3D laser scanning and printing to build one-of-a-kind orthotics for our patients who we identify can benefit from this treatment option. The scanning process can also help to identify where excess pressure may concentrate in the foot when you are moving, further enhancing our ability to treat foot pain and resulting conditions effectively.
Advanced Technology to Treat Neuromas
In addition to the treatment options above, Massapequa Podiatry Associates also offers laser therapy and shockwave therapy to treat neuromas and other foot problems. Both of these options are advanced forms of treatment that can accelerate specific cellular processes and increase circulation to the area. This can help to remove barriers to recovery and promote faster healing. Laser therapy and shockwave therapy are both offered in a series of short sessions, each lasting ten minutes or less. Patients sometimes experience slight discomfort during shockwave treatment, while laser therapy is painless.
Surgery for Neuromas
Surgery should only be considered after all other treatment options have failed or been ruled out. Although surgery is generally quite successful, some risks are always involved, so it is better to treat surgery as a last resort.Massapequa Podiatry Associates welcomes your questions about neuromas, our services, and the conditions we treat.