General Question

nebule's avatar

Should I exercise if I have a foot neuroma?

Asked by nebule (16439points) April 27th, 2010

Foot neuroma

I’ve been doing a lot of dancing lately and I’m thinking that this has caused a foot neuroma. I have all these symptoms and exactly as described. I’m going to the podiatrist tomorrow for a bio-mechanics appointment as I am quite flat footed and since I was referred by my doctor this problem has occurred.

So anyway, I’m planing on speaking to them about it…but I wondered if anyone on Fluther has had one of these and what they’ve done about it.. and more specifically if I should stop exercising on it until; it’s better? :-/

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12 Answers

janbb's avatar

I haven’t had one, but reading the description it sure seems that staying off it until it is diagnosed is a good idea. Maybe you can do floor or upper body exercises. I have flat feet and orthotics are really helpful to me.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Foot problems SUCK! Sorry you’re in pain. Good luck with the doctor!

Theses things always happen right before the big Three O

gemiwing's avatar

I agree with @janbb (shock, I know) that you should wait until you talk to your doctor. There are so many feet issues that this could be.

If you need to exercise then I would suggest gentle swimming. Think more floating with a bit of arm/leg thrown in. I wouldn’t suggest walking/ weights (free) or anything else that puts weight on your foot/leg or taxes the nerves too deeply.

Some seated/laying yoga would most likely be fine- no pulling on your foot or ankle allowed.

nebule's avatar


thanks @RealEyesRealizeRealLies for the reminder!! ;-)

not good news about the exercise though… will let you know how it goes tomorrow though…thanks everyone xxx

susanc's avatar

The doc will put a shot of cortisone in there and you’ll be fine for… a long time. With my neuroma, it only took once. And that was 17 years ago. Good luck though.

Jeruba's avatar

I have one in each foot, a Morton’s neuroma. It feels like a lump in the ball of my foot above the separation of the toes and hurts when I step or press on it. Someone here on fluther helped me figure out what was wrong and what kind of doctor I should see.

A shot of cortisone could do the trick, but it might not. Sometimes the cortisone injection can shrink the neuroma and it may actually go away. That seems to have worked for @susanc. In my case, one shot wore off in about two months, another in about three weeks, and I think the third one did nerve damage without helping at all. The podiatrist said that the effectiveness of the cortisone decreases over time and so you should space them out as much as possible and not have one unless you are in such pain that you can’t walk.

“It’s just pain,” he said. “It isn’t doing damage otherwise.”

I had to alter my yoga exercises to avoid hyperextension (bending the toes backward as in this photo). That, said the doc, is the worst thing for a neuroma. Instead he gave me an orthotic (an insert for my shoes) with a cushiony patch that helps shape my toes the other way. Shoes with good support are important too.

Since the transition from one yoga pose to another involves a lot of hyperextension as you go up and down, I really lost my ability to do the exercises well. There’s no flow. I imagine it must be much the same with dancing, although I am not a dancer. I had to adapt my progression of poses to avoid that foot position.

This ended when I wound up with a stress fracture in my arch and had to stop yoga altogether. The stress fracture is unrelated to the neuroma but apparently not unrelated to the exercise. I didn’t know you could hurt yourself doing gentle exercise, but I guess you can, at least at my age.

nebule's avatar

Thank you Jeruba…amazing answer… funny what you find out about people on here isn’t it! the hyper-extension thing is definitely worrying and saddening… it’s precisely when I do that that it hurts the most I’ve only just rediscovered my love of dance :-( But will wait and see what they say tomorrow.

I have a major problem with that..‘it’s only pain’ thing….pain doesn’t do the damage does it… it’s there as a message that something is wrong…surely… ? Really sorry to hear that it hasn’t ended well for you Jeruba:-( But spectacular information and much appreciated!!! Thank you x

Jeruba's avatar

A postscript, @lynneblundell: when the severe pain in my right arch began, it was treated (by the same podiatrist) as torn ligaments. After spending twice as long in a soft (walking) cast as it should have taken to heal, I still had the pain. The podiatrist was puzzled and offered me a cortisone injection for the pain. I refused, saying I wanted to find the cause and not just relieve the discomfort. (All the cortisone shots had gone into my left foot for the big neuroma.) That’s when I went to the orthopedist who had done my carpal tunnel surgeries.

The orthopedist hypothesized a stress fracture and sent me for a bone scan, which was as conclusive as it could be. He asked me several times: “You didn’t take the cortisone, did you?” No, not in my right foot, no. “That’s good,” he said, “because if you had, it might never heal.

I am still wearing the soft cast, but now I know why. It is slowly getting better. My orders are to stay off it—no exercise. I stay off it as much as I reasonably can.

The point of this postscript is just to say be sure of the cause before you accept the cortisone.

Best wishes, darlin’.

nebule's avatar

thanks Jeruba xxx

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Jeruba illustrates the same issues that I have dealt with. Avoid the cortisone if at all possible. I went for a year in a soft cast, after a year in a wheel chair. Let it heal, and it will.

I did not. And now every step is in pain to this day. A week with the soft cast back on makes a world of difference. It actually helps to sleep with it as well, making the mornings much much better. And a morning of foot yoga testing all the limits before putting weight on it makes a huge difference. And yes, it’s sensitive to cold damp weather.

Good luck!

MaryW's avatar

You have received much good advice already. I would like to add that foot injuries take a long time.
There are plenty of exercises you can do prone. I really suggest core strenghtening and body alignment. Go to goodfoot and get arch supports if you do not think your doctor got that part right. Wear good shoes from now on. Keep your soft casts. Get Sore no More equine gelotion . It is fantastic and will help a bunch if you follow your doctors regimine. I am using it following shoulder surgery and used it with soft casts to avoid Achilles tendon surgery.
Do we athletes work harder than we should… Yeah… often. Do I require chocolate…Yeah… often !

nebule's avatar

thanks @MaryW I’m still waiting on my casts… I must must must chase that up…. hmmmm

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