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
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