“It’s Like I’m Walking On a Rock & My Toes are Numb”
Many patients walk into the office with the complaint of pain to their toes and the sensation of numbness to their toes. They also feel as though they are walking on a rock or small pebble. Some may describe the sensation that their sock is rolled under their foot. Often this sensation is caused by a neuroma. This circumstance has also been referred to as a pinched nerve in the foot or a “foot nerve tremor.”
Causes & Other Common Symptoms of Neuromas
A neuroma is caused by irritation of a nerve and is a benign enlargement of the nerve itself. This is most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes of the foot. The nerve is irritated by the neighboring metatarsal bones. A patient describes the symptoms as burning or tingling in the ball of their foot. Sometimes swelling can be present and severe pain to the ball of the foot when pressure is applied. Most patients experience the pain when walking in shoes. Some describe worsening pain when wearing dress shoes, and women often experience increased pain when wearing heels.
Popular Treatment of Neuromas
Treatment can include shoe gear modification with a wider toe box. Inserts or orthotics can help to relieve the pressure under the ball of the foot. Often a cortisone injection is beneficial to help with inflammation. Sometimes, however, the neuroma is surgically removed due to chronic and unrelenting pain.