A neuroma, also called a pinched nerve or a nerve tumour, is a painful condition of the foot caused by the growth of benign tissue in between the third and fourth toes. Patients might feel a tingling sensation, burning, or numbness in their toes and the ball of the foot. At Island Foot Clinics in Kelowna, BC and Victoria, BC, we can diagnose this issue and help patients find good treatment methods. 

Unfortunately, severe nerve tumours don’t go away on their own, so you might need to be treated by your foot specialist. However, you can reduce your symptoms by wearing the right kind of shoes, avoiding traumas, resting your legs, maintaining a healthy weight, and varying your workout. Every six months or so, come to the clinic so we can evaluate whether you need any extra treatment.

Foot Problems in Kelowna, BC and Victoria, BC: 8 Things That Could Be Making Your Neuroma Worse

1. Your Shoes 

The most common reason why people suffer from a nerve tumour is tight shoes. The condition is most prevalent in patients who frequently wear stilettos, which puts a lot of pressure on the anterior part of the foot, but it also occurs in people who exercise with unsuitable, tight, or hard footwear. For example, athletes who wear ski boots or climbing shoes often experience this problem.

To relieve your symptoms and prevent your nerve tumour from getting worse, always choose flat, supportive shoes when exercising, standing, or walking around. If you’re in a lot of pain, consider seeing a foot specialist and asking them for custom-made orthotics or insoles. Shoes that are made for your specific foot shape could allow you to participate in your favourite activities despite your condition.

2. A One-Off or Repeated Trauma 

Sometimes, a nerve tumour comes from a blow to the foot. Certain kinds of sports that involve a lot of running or jumping are more likely to cause injury than others. If you already have a pinched nerve, it’s best to avoid activities that could re-injure you. In particular, sports that require kicking aren’t a good choice because they can cause repeated trauma and make your injury more painful. 

3. The Way You Stand and Walk 

Biomechanical and postural issues can cause a wide range of medical conditions, including a nerve tumour. If you’re not standing or walking correctly, you might place too much pressure on certain parts of your foot. Over time, this can cause the nerve to change shape and become painful. At the clinic, we can assess whether you are suffering because of a biomechanical problem. 

If so, we might recommend that you visit a physical therapist, who can assess your posture and determine which muscle groups are weak. They will physically manipulate the area to release tense tissues and then tell you what changes you need to make. For example, you might need to alter the way you walk or stand and take some exercise classes like Pilates or Yoga, which can strengthen your core. Some physiotherapists also recommend exercises or stretches.

4. A Lack of Rest 

Many people who suffer from a nerve tumour are athletes or very active individuals, so it’s understandable that they don’t want to take a break. But it’s not a good idea to over-exercise, especially if your foot is hurting. Don’t hesitate to take a break. While you’re waiting for your foot to feel better, you can strengthen other muscle groups.

In your downtime, you can also try several home remedies. For example, many people report that their symptoms are relieved when they bathe their foot in ice water or have an ice massage, which involves rolling a cup or block of ice over the painful site. You can also raise your foot whenever you’re sitting, which reduces swelling.

5. A Late or Missing Diagnosis 

One of the biggest foot care mistakes people in Kelowna, BC and Victoria, BC make is to delay treatment. Most conditions related to your feet and ankles are much easier to treat when you come in early, and the neuroma is no exception. Mild cases that are caught early can usually be addressed with lifestyle changes, such as wearing thick-soled shoes with a wide toe box. 

However, more serious nerve tumours require surgery. Your doctor might have to cut into nearby tissues to relieve the pressure on your nerve, or they might need to remove the nerve entirely. This latter option, while usually successful, is invasive, and it can take patients several weeks to recover. To avoid this, don’t hesitate to contact us if your pain doesn’t go away after a week or two. We will perform imaging studies and confirm that you have a nerve tumour.

6. Being Overweight or Obese 

People who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from a pinched nerve than those who are at a healthy weight. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, your doctor might ask you to change your lifestyle and lose some weight. Don’t ignore this advice because it could work wonders for your foot health. 

Getting rid of excess weight can be very difficult, especially if you’ve been overweight for a long time or if you’ve tried many diets in the past. Speak to a personal trainer or nutritionist to find out how to start. They can work with you to develop a diet and exercise plan that fits your lifestyle, and they will keep you accountable, so you can achieve long-term success.

7. Doing the Same Workout or the Wrong Kind of Workout 

Not all workouts are equally suitable for people with a nerve tumour. Whenever possible, avoid activities that require you to wear tight-fitting shoes, such as dancing and skiing. It’s also best to avoid or reduce the time spent running or participating in high-impact sports that require you to jump or pivot quickly. 

The key is moderation. While taking part in your favourite activities might still be possible, it’s best not to overdo it. Instead, mix up your workout routine to include upper-body exercises, low-impact sports like swimming or cycling, or practices like Yoga. These can help you to protect your foot and strengthen other parts of your body so you will be an even better athlete when you return.

8. Your Foot Deformity

Do you have a foot deformity such as a bunion or hammertoe? If so, it’s likely that this is contributing to the nerve problem. Getting treatment might be a good idea, depending on how severe the deformity is. Otherwise, it’s possible that your pinched nerve will recur or become chronic due to the pressure placed on it.

Your foot doctor can explain the treatment options, which might include surgery and physical therapy, and help you decide which one is best. They can also show you what footwear to choose, so your deformity doesn’t get worse over time.

People suffering from a neuroma often struggle to complete their daily tasks, especially ones that involve a lot of walking and standing. To reduce the pressure on your feet, avoid traumas, wear supportive shoes, monitor your weight, and vary your workout routine. Contact us at Island Foot Clinics in Victoria, BC and Kelowna, BC and book an appointment today. Our doctors will diagnose your condition and help you find an appropriate treatment.