A neuroma is caused by any type of compression force or irritation of a nerve. Common causes include tight fitting shoes especially ones that are narrow in the toe box and shoes that force the toes into the toe box, such as dress shoes and high heel shoes. However, there are certain structural deformities of the foot such as bunions, hammertoes, and flatfeet, that have commonly been associated with the development of a neuroma. Also, certain athletic activities especially running and playing on hard surfaces have been associated with neuroma development. This is due to the repetitive trauma or irritation to the ball of the foot.