The sensation of having a phantom stone in your shoe often occurs between the third and fourth toes. It is caused by a thickening of the tissue around a nerve that connects to the toes. This inflammation can compress the nerve and cause severe pain. Morton’s neuroma is the most common type.
Wearing high heeled or other tightly fitting shoes have been shown to increase the chances of developing foot neuromas. People who have other foot and toe conditions like hammertoes and bunions are more susceptible, as are participants in extreme sports.
Neuromas can often be successfully treated by conservative measures that may include the following:
- Properly fitted footwear—A low heel cup and wide toe box will relieve pressure on the ball of the foot and allow the nerve to heal properly.
- Custom orthotic inserts—Orthotic inserts will lift and separate the bones between the toes and minimize the pressure on the nerves.
- Steroid injections—Steroids will immediately decrease inflammation and relieve pressure on the nerves.
Neuromas that are neglected can worsen to the point where permanent, irreversible damage occurs. Since the pain in the ball of your foot may also be caused by arthritis or a stress fracture, you need to see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment.
At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists is committed to delivering high-quality foot and ankle care. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, arthritis, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Our offices are conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, Woodlyn, and Downingtown, PA. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment today!