A neuroma refers to the painful but gentle abnormal growth of nerve tissue. Morton’s neuroma, commonly known as neuroma, refers to a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot. It mainly occurs in the area between your third and fourth toes. When you suffer from neuroma, you feel like you are standing on a fold in your sock or a pebble in your shoe. It results from the thickening of the tissue close to one of the nerves connected to your toes. You can experience a sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot. It may also cause a stinging or burning sensation and numbness in the affected toes. High-heeled shoes connect to the development of Morton’s neuroma, and the problem fades away when they switch to shoes with lower heels and broad toe boxes. Colorado Springs neuroma specialists can recommend different treatments, including steroid injections or surgery.
Since neuroma involves the thickening of the tissues close to the nerves in your foot, you will experience severe nerve pain. It can also affect the way your brain perceives touch, causing unusual types of pain categorized as dysesthesias. Dysesthesia refers to a unique sensation. They can come with some discomfort or in the form of a sensation, but you hardly differentiate between the two. Neuromas are linked to two kinds of dysesthesias (Allodynia and hyperalgesia) that cause a lot of pain.
The specific symptoms you experience depend on the body part where you develop your neuroma. In Morton’s neuroma, which affects the foot, you will experience symptoms such as:
- Burning pain in the ball of the foot which can spread to the toes
- A sharp tingling pain that gets more severe with activity
- Pain that gets worse when wearing shoes, especially if they have a tight and narrow toe box
- Unpleasant sensations and numbness
- Clicking sensation when walking
- Pain after removing shoes
People suffering from a neuroma can develop pain in a large area due to complex regional pain syndrome, which develops over time. It can cause additional symptoms in nearby structures and tissues such as:
- Alterations in circulation and sweating
- Changes in hair density
- Reduced bone density
However, the symptoms get better when you get treatment for your neuroma.
The initial treatments for neuroma involve medications, physical therapy, or both. They include:
- Anticonvulsants which help relieve pain.
- Tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil change how the central nervous system processes pain signals to relieve the tingling and burning sensation.
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like duloxetine treat nerve pain and change how your CNS processes pain signals, just like tricyclic antidepressants.
- Corticosteroid injections, commonly known as steroid injections. They act as potent anti-inflammatories and help relieve compression in inflamed tissues.
You can also treat neuroma through various physical therapy techniques recommended by a specialist. Some common physical therapy treatments for neuroma include ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and desensitization exercises. Lifestyle changes like resting and icing the affected area after activity and wearing shoes with enough room around the toes can also help.
To summarize, a neuroma refers to the painful but gentle growth of nerve tissue. The most common symptoms include severe pain in the affected area and changes in how your brain processes pain signals. During the early stages, you can treat neuroma with different medications and physical therapy techniques.