A neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve

tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third

and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness

between the toes and in the ball of the foot.

The principal symptom associated with a neuroma is pain between the toes while

walking. Those suffering from the condition often find relief by stopping their

walk, taking off their shoe, and rubbing the affected area. At times, the

patient will 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 this 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, can lead to

the formation of a neuroma. These foot types bring on instability around the toe

joints, leading to the development of the condition.

Trauma can cause damage to the nerve, resulting in inflammation or swelling of

the nerve.

Improper footwear that causes the toes to be squeezed together is problematic. 

Avoid high-heeled shoes higher than two inches. Shoes at this height can increase

pressure on the forefoot area.

Repeated stress, common to many occupations, can create or aggravate a


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