What is a Neuroma?

A neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue generally between the third and fourth toes that causes pain, burning, tingling or numbness between the toes and the ball of the foot. Also known as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor, a neuroma is characterized by the pain between the toes when walking. The pain has been described as similar to having a stone inside your shoe, and many individuals find relief from stopping, removing their shoe and rubbing the affected area. The majority of people who suffer from neuromas are women.


  • Pain in the front of the foot and in between toes
  • Tingling and numbness in the ball of the foot
  • Swelling between the toes
  • Pain in the ball of the foot


There is no one cause of this condition, however a number of factors can contribute to the formation of a neuroma.

  • Foot abnormalities such as a high arch or flat foot
  • Trauma
  • Repeated stress
  • Improper footwear


Identifying a neuroma early on is critical to avoid surgical correction. If left untreated, neuromas will get worse so you should seek treatment at the first sign of pain or discomfort. The primary goal of early treatment is to relive pressure on the area where the neuroma will develop. Specialized padding and taping may be recommended, as well medication, orthotics and in some instances, surgery. Wear shoes with plenty of room for the toes to move, low heels, and shoes with thick, shock-absorb and soles and proper insoles.

  1. The American Podiatric Medical Association