- Ice Area: A neuroma is an inflammation of a nerve, not a "growth to a nerve" or "something wrapped around the nerve". In fact, pressure to this area by the ground and the metatarsal bones in the area cause it to get inflammed and ultimately enlarged. As you ice the area or take anti-inflammatory medications (like Motrin, Advil, generic ibuprofen, Aleve or even aspirin), the inflammation will be decreased and the pain slightly improved. Other anti-inflammatories may include a substance called biofreeze applied to area.
- Reduce The Pressure: Pressure is the problem. This pressure is provided by the ground surfaces and the anatomy of the foot (especially the metatarsal bones on either side of the digital nerve). Pressure can be reduced to this area be changing shoes, specialized insoles or orthotics, or even simply by the addition of metatarsal pads to the foot or shoes (should be localized behind the ball of the foot to best reduce the pressure).
- Cortisone Shot: Although this step is not always required, it may be necessary to further reduce the swelling and associated pain in the nerve. Through a simple injection of a localized steriod to the area, the nerve inflammation will be reduced over a 4-6 week period. Cortisone shots to carry risks, but in this localized use, the risks are usually minimized. In combination with the above treatments, this is very effective.
In most cases the above treatments will reduce or eliminate the nerve pain created by the Neuroma. Other options are still available, however, including neuroma surgery. This is often last resort, but includes resection of the involved nerve and usually complete resolution of the pain to this area. If the above treatments fail to improve your discomfort, discussion of surgery including the risks and associated benefits should be undertaken. You don't need to continue to suffer with your pain.