What are Neuromas?

Commonly called a Morton’s neuroma, this problem begins when the outer coating of a nerve in your foot thickens. This thickening is usually caused by irritation that results when two bones repeatedly rub together (often due to ill-fitting shoes or abnormal bone movement). The area between the third and fourth toes is the most commonly affected; the area between the second and third toes is another common irritation point. Nerve problems due to diabetes or alcoholism may also cause neuroma like symptoms.


The pain from neuromas may start gradually, causing burning, tingling, cramping, or numbness. Symptoms often occur after you’ve been walking or standing for a period of time. It may feel like your stepping on a lamp cord. You may need to take your shoe off and rub your foot. In some cases, the pain radiates from the tip of the toes to the ankle.


To help diagnose your problem and determine the best treatment for your neuroma, your podiatrist looks at your medical history, thoroughly examines your foot, and performs any necessary tests.

What can I do about Neuromas?

Shoes can make all the difference. Be sure they’re supportive and roomy enough for your toes to wiggle. Avoid certain movements, such as squatting and knee-bending, which can irritate the nerve. See your podiatrist if your symptoms continue.

Nonsurgical Care

Physical Therapy

Stretching and strengthening of muscles and tendons.


Custom shoe inserts adjust the structural support of your foot, helping to prevent irritation to the nerve.

Ultrasound therapy

Sound waves may help reduce swelling around the neuroma.


Cortisone injections can relieve pain and swelling in the nerve’s outer coating. Sclerosing injections are used to deaden the nerve.

Shoe Changes

Pads can cushion and support the parts of your foot that are vulnerable. Roomy, supportive shoes can help prevent irritation.

Surgical Treatment

Remove the damaged portion of the nerve which may leave some numbness.

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