Remember the game Operation? This was very popular in my house growing up, and I was always trying to get my big sister to play it with me. There was something so satisfying about taking a tiny little object out of a small space without hitting the sides. Losing, however, resulted in a little buzz or jolt.
We get little pinches or “jolts” in our feet, too. You may already be familiar with pinched nerves, although we usually think of these as associated with the back, shoulder, or wrist. The foot is not exempt from pinched nerves and they actually happen quite commonly there.
Neuroma is the medical term for a pinched nerve in the foot. This usually occurs from either repetitive wear and tear due to faulty foot structure such as tight spaces between the foot bones, or it occurs from an acute injury, such as dropping something on the foot. Tight and high-heeled shoes are also factors in forming neuromas. When one or more of these factors causes irritation to a nerve, it becomes swollen and painful. The nerve, already living in a tight space, becomes thick.
Symptoms from a neuroma including burning pain in the ball of the foot, a ”bunched up sock” feeling when walking, and shooting pain or numbness into the toes.
Treatment for neuromas is fairly straight-forward. Usual treatments include alcohol- or steroid-based injections to relieve swelling around the nerve. Sometimes, the foot must be non-weight bearing for a period of time to relieve the pressure of the nerve. For persistent issues, surgery to remove the nerve is a good option. Either way, a shoe insert/orthotic is usually helpful once the condition has resolved.
There are a lot of nerve issues that affect your feet and many have very few treatment options. Fortunately, neuromas have lots of treatment options. If you feel you might have a neuroma, give the FAAWC a call. We can help get you back to normal quickly. Call today! 740.363.4373
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