What is it: A neuroma is a growth or tumor of nerve tissue. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes causing pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.

Important Facts: Bio-mechanical deformities, such as a high-arched foot or a flat foot, can lead to the formation of a neuroma. These foot types bring on instability around the toe joints, leading to the development of the condition.

Statistics: 27% of people who have this experience are in their fifties, 18% are in their forties, and 18% are in their twenties. 75% of people who have this experience are women.

Treatment Duration: Treatment options vary with the severity of each neuroma, and identifying the neuroma early in its development is important to avoid surgical correction. Podiatric medical care should be sought at the first sign of pain or discomfort; if left untreated, neuromas tend to get worse.

Do’s/Don’ts: Wear shoes with plenty of room for the toes to move, low heels, and laces or buckles that allow for width adjustment.

Wear shoes with thick, shock-absorbent soles and proper insoles that are designed to keep excessive pressure off of the foot.

High heels should be avoided whenever possible because they place undue strain on the forefoot and can contribute to a number of foot problems.

Resting the foot and massaging the affected area can temporarily alleviate neuroma pain. Use an ice pack to help to dull the pain and improve comfort.

Common Myths: Myth #5: Anyone can wear flip flops.

Medical Fact #5: There are some people who, for health reasons, should never wear flip flops. People with circulatory problems and sensitive diabetic feet are among this group. So are people with Morton’s neuroma (nerve inflammation in the toes and toe joints) and some types of arthritis in the feet.