About 1 in 3 people have a neuroma, which is a condition that can cause pain in the ball of the foot. If you’re among them, you may wonder if you can keep up an active lifestyle.
Fortunately, you can work out even if you have a neuroma. Eric Harmelin, DPM, and Rikhil Patel, DPM, of Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center are experts in foot conditions, and they have helped many people deal with this condition.
In this blog, they explain what this condition involves, how you can exercise with it, and what your treatment options are.
A neuroma is a condition in which a nerve at the base of two toes begins to thicken. Because of this thickening, extra pressure is placed on the nerve, which can manifest as pain, tingling, numbness, stinging, or burning in the ball of the foot. You might also feel like you have a pebble or folded-up sock in your shoe.
This condition often occurs between the third and fourth toes, which are the two toes closest to your pinky toe. However, it can occur between the second and third toes as well. Unfortunately, the discomfort of a neuroma can disturb your natural gait and make walking and some types of exercise uncomfortable.
A neuroma can be caused by a number of factors. For example, a neuroma may develop due to prolonged periods of pressure, such as from shoes that are too tight or shoes that have high heels.
Furthermore, repetitive activities that put pressure on your toes, such as running, can lead to a neuroma. You also have a higher risk of developing a neuroma if you have a foot condition, such as hammertoe, high arches, bunions, or flat feet.
Before explaining what you can do despite having a neuroma, let us first say what you shouldn't do. If you’re involved in an activity and you start feeling pain from a neuroma, stop and rest. You should never push through the pain. If you feel pain, you may benefit from icing the area for 10-15 minutes every hour.
So, while activities that put repetitive stress on your feet, such as running, may be off-limits, there are still plenty of activities you may be able to get involved in. Here are some activities that can help you work out and give your feet a break at the same time:
Furthermore, if you want specific guidance on activities that could work for you, the providers at Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center can go over your individual situation and design an activity plan.
If you have a neuroma, the providers at Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center will usually recommend rest, over-the-counter medications, and icing as the first line of treatment. If these therapies don’t provide relief, they may recommend corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation.
They may also provide a metatarsal pad, which increases the space between your toes to relieve pressure on the affected nerve. They may also assess your gait, and if they notice that your feet roll inward too much — which is called overpronation — they may recommend custom orthotics to put your feet in better alignment.
If you still don’t get relief, they may recommend surgically removing the irritated nerve.
If you have a neuroma, you don’t have to suffer with it. The providers at Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center can give you a thorough evaluation and discuss your next steps. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.