What is a Neuroma?

A neuroma is a painful nerve irritation found in the ball of the foot and often associated with inflammation or degeneration.

Neuromas are also referred to as a ‘pinched nerve’ or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the metatarsal heads that bring on pain, a burning sensation, tingling or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.

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.


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.

Improper footwear that causes the toes to be squeezed toegher are problematic. Avoid high- heeled shoes higher than two inches. Shoes at this height can increase pressure on the forefoot area.

The more common symptoms of neuroma are:

  • 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.


The good news is the pain can often be relieved by:

  • Wearing shoes with plenty of room for toes to move, low heels, and laces or buckles that allow for width adjustment.
  • Wear shoes with thick, shock absorbent soles and proper insoles designed to keep excessive pressure off the foot.
  • Avoid high heels as much as possible.
  • Rest and massage the affected area.
  • For simple, undeveloped neuromas, a pair of thick-soled shoes with a wide toe box is often adequate treatment to relieve symptoms, allowing the condition to diminish on its own.

Treatment of Neuromas by Your Podiatrist

The primary goal of most early treatment regimens is to relieve pressure on areas where a neuroma develops. Your podiatrist will examine and may refer to an ultrasound scan of the affected area and suggest a treatment plan that best suits your individual case.

Treatments may include:

  • Padding or Taping
  • Medication
  • Injection Therapy
  • Orthotics
  • Surgical options

Always Consult A Trained Professional

The information in this resource is general in nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It is not a substitute for medical advice and you should always consult a trained professional practising in the area of medicine in relation to any injury or condition. You use or rely on information in this resource at your own risk and no party involved in the production of this resource accepts any responsibility for the information contained within it or your use of that information.