A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Foot Health: Numbness or burning in the ball of your foot could be neuroma, and there options for relief

By Dr. Amy Barko
Special to KyForward

Do you have nagging pain in the ball of your foot? It just might be a neuroma. Neuroma is an enlarged nerve in the ball of your foot that is trapped in-between the bones.

If you’re thinking ouch, you’re right.

Sometimes neuromas can be caused by as little as tight shoe gear or swollen feet in proper shoe gear.

For example, one of my patients wore a tight shoe for just 8 hours and ended up with numbness and tingling in the forefoot that did not go away, even after wearing supportive comfortable shoes as directed.

At that point, it’s time to seek treatment with a physician. If a patient does not get treatment, the neuroma can get severe enough to affect their daily activities and their feet can hurt in ALL of their shoes. Conservative treatments are done right here in our clinic and most of our patients get better with just conservative therapy.

Current treatments include:

1. Modification of shoe gear

2. Steroid Injections

3. Custom Orthotics

4. Ice therapy

5. Stretching

6. Padding

Not all patients need all these treatments, but most will need at least a combo of two or more.

If you have a very stubborn neuroma, we can treat it with the pain laser. The pain laser is a new addition to our non-invasive treatment list that you can get right in the clinic within minutes.

The pain laser pulls blood and all of its healing factors toward the neuroma site. This stimulates circulation and in turn decreases inflammation. The pain laser can be added to our other conservative treatments so we can keep you on your feet and as always try to avoid surgery!

Dr. Amy Barko, CWSP, is an associate at Lexington Podiatry

For more Foot Health columns, click here.

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