At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we see a high incidence of neuromas among professional women for whom running is the fitness activity of choice. A neuroma is a disorder where a nerve becomes inflamed and enlarged causing symptoms of pain, burning and tingling. Patients with neuromas often say it feels like there is a rock in their shoe or that their sock is bunched up under their foot. Women who spend their workdays in heels and then pound the pavement running after work may be unknowingly putting an extreme amount of pressure on the ball of their foot. What’s the high heel/high impact running connection? High heels push your foot forward and narrow toe boxes squeeze toes together—both of which put excess stress on a nerve that is located at the base of your toes in the ball of your foot. Combine this stress with the added irritation of high impact and repeated force from running and you have the perfect conditions for a neuroma to develop.
Unfortunately, many women don’t pick up on these signs right away. The symptoms usually come on gradually and massaging the ball of the foot or changing your shoes for a day or two may relieve the pain—but only temporarily. In fact, the temporary nerve damage can become permanent if a patient does not seek professional podiatric treatment promptly.
You can’t see a neuroma on an x-ray or diagnose it with a lab test. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas will examine the affected foot and palpate the nerve as well as ask questions about your symptoms and their duration to determine how far your condition has progressed. There are several treatment options available, including:
- Rest from activities that aggravate the foot
- Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications
- Orthotic devices to reduce compression and increase support to the foot
Surgery is reserved for severe cases where other methods have not worked. If you wear heels, run and are experiencing any pain or odd sensations in the ball of your foot contact our Long Beach office for an appointment at your earliest opportunity by calling: (562) 420-9800.