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If you live in Ladera Ranch and surrounding communities, you are familiar with I-5, and also with the driving habits of some people who make you want to yell, “The nerve of that guy—cutting me off like that!” The phrase expresses your reaction when someone says or does something that upsets you or makes you angry. It could also be aimed at your feet, when tingling, a burning sensation, or nerve pain in toes keeps you from doing the things you love: “The nerve of those toes, making me miss my soccer game!”

These symptoms may be due to a fairly common foot condition called Morton’s neuroma. It forms when a nerve is entrapped between two metatarsals—the long bones that connect toes to the back of your foot. Tight shoes with pointed fronts, toe deformities like bunions, and flat feet that overpronate can all cause the bones to compress these nerves. The condition can also occur elsewhere in your foot, like the heel.

The nerve tissue reacts to this pressure by swelling up and becoming thick and stiff. Damaged nerves can cause pain but also loss of sensation and numbness. The area between the third and fourth toes seems to be particularly susceptible, and it happens much more often in women than in men.

If the condition remains untreated, it will get worse, and you may feel as if there is a lump of something in your shoe, or your sock is bunched up. It might help to take off your shoe and rest or massage the ball of your foot for a bit. Icing may also help alleviate your discomfort.

When nerves in your toes are acting up in ways that frustrate you, be sure to contact our office for help. If you catch the problem early, we have a better chance of solving it without surgery. Our goal is to use conservative measures to treat your symptoms and stop the neuroma from getting worse. If it becomes so uncomfortable that you can’t do your normal activities, we can still perform a procedure to remove the damaged nerve.

Call Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists in Ladera Ranch, CA by dialing (949) 364-9255 (WALK). You can also set up your appointment using our contact form online. We’ll help you find relief for those nervy toes!