Foot Pain: Possible non-surgical Neuroma Relief

November 27, 2008

Foot Pain: Possible non-surgical Neuroma Relief
~James Dunn

I was walking everyday at work on cement and acute pain developed in my forefoot, so ac cute I could barely walk. I would wait 20 minutes until everyone else left, to hobble out to my truck. I read up on the Internet to figure out what it was. The best description described my pain as being from a neuroma. The Internet resource described ligament lengthening, and nerve bundle removal as possible relief. Non-surgical (conservative) treatment recommended injections and to have custom orthodics made.

The Internet suggested the first step is to get a diagnostic ultrasound to confirm that it is in fact a neuroma.

I considered surgery, since I had health insurance, I just wanted the annoyance to stop. But after signing on to a medical forum, people described the surgical treatment as causing permanent numbness, instability of the foot, and conservative care as being ineffective and painful. If it’s going to be annoying, or even more distracting, what’s the point in surgery or recommended conservative care? I wanted relief, I wanted a normal (for me) life.

I used padding from the drug store in various configurations with some success. I purchased some over the counter orthodics, and tried to correct the problem by changing the pressures on my foot with padding. My reasoning was, if I’m going to be making pads to change my foot pressures, what is the point of buying custom orthodics. Consequently, I found the pads helped and the orthodics just helped keep from bending my arch so much; minor relief.

Further Internet chatting revealed that many people were sorry they ever had surgery. Both excising the nerve bundle, and nerve decompression (ligament lengthening) surgery had undesirable consequences. Excising the nerve made the foot numb, and tendon lengthening made the foot unstable and sensitive.

To avoid the injections and surgery, I tried something on my own. I wondered what runners used to help absorb impact when they run. I picked up some “Gel” inserts (gooey material) from a store called the “Athlete’s Foot” and I did some daily stretching exercises with my feet, and the pain is entirely gone. It didn’t happen overnight, it took several weeks.

And then, maybe, something all together different was what really made the pain go away.

From what I’ve been reading on the Internet, I think I had inflamed my heel tendons from the impact when I walked on the cement. And because I slightly walked pigeon toed, I was putting pressure on the nerve bundle between two bones. The pain and irritation from the nerve center (neuroma) would mask the symptoms of the impact damage of my heel tendons.

To help keep the bones from grinding on my nerve bundle, I consciously walked so I felt the floor from my heel, to the toe next to my big toe, rather than from my heel to middle toe. Though I am sure I slipped back and forth because I did not pay attention. Within a couple of days I could feel a small difference. After about 3 weeks I was pain free.

I don’t know for sure if any of this is correct, if some different cause relieved my pain, or if it will cause me more problems later. But it seemed to work for me. This has now been several years pain free.

If your feet are hurting, good luck in finding effective relief.

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