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Morton’s Neuroma


What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s Neuroma, also known as Morton’s Metatarsalgia, is a foot condition that occurs as a result of the thickening of the nerve between the ball of foot and metatarsal bones, usually around the third and fourth toes.

Morton’s Neuroma Symptoms

Most of the time, people who suffer from Morton’s Neuroma feel like they are standing on a small mass such as a marble or pebble.

You might also experience an intense pain in the ball of your foot that radiates into your toes. A tingling sensation or numbness in the toes or ball of the foot is another common symptom of Morton’s neuroma.

Sometimes it might feel like there is a protuberance or swelling between the toes.

Finally, your toes might feel like they are cramping or you might experience a clicking sensation when you walk.

Other Morton’s Neuroma symptoms are tingling, burning, or sharp shooting pains into the toes.

What Causes Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma can be caused by several factors:

  • Tight, narrow width shoes that squash and compress the forefoot, specifically the nerves between the base of the toes.
  • A shoe with a heel height higher than the forefoot that forces the weight onto the ball of the foot. Simply put, styles such as pumps, dress shoes and high heels have been associated with Morton’s Neuroma, which explains why the condition is more prevalent in women than men.
  • Feet that are hypermobile causing the toes to move more than average which can irritate the nerve.
  • Foot conditions such as hammertoes and bunions that squeeze the toes together and place pressure on the nerve.
  • High-impact activities such as jogging or running can put intense pressure on the ligament and nerve.

Morton’s Neuroma Treatment

While Morton’s neuroma will not go away on its own, there are measures you can take to alleviate pain and improve the foot’s condition. Sometimes the symptoms will even go away entirely.

One of the most important measures you can take to help alleviate foot pain caused by Morton’s neuroma is buying proper footwear. This means buying shoes that have good arch support and a broad toe box that allows the toes to spread out. Shoes like Orthofeet, which are biomechanically engineered with unique therapeutic features, have proven extremely effective in easing pain and discomfort associated with Morton’s neuroma.

Treatment measures you can take on your own include the following:

  • maintaining an appropriate body weight
  • avoiding activities, at least temporarily, which put pressure on the foot
  • massaging the foot and affected toes
  • resting the foot
  • using an icepack on the affected area

There are also special exercises you can perform that can improve strength and flexibility of the arch. These include exercises that stretch the Achilles muscle, the calf, the lower leg and the plantar fascia along the bottom of the foot, as well as exercises in general that strengthen foot muscles. Some of these exercises are described below:

1. Place the heel of your foot in one hand while also placing the other hand under the ball of your foot and toes. Then, slowly and gently pull the front of the foot and the toes toward your shin.

2. Stretch the foot by rolling it back and forth over a bottle on the floor.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and injections are another treatment option for Morton’s neuroma. Injections can be either corticosteroid injections or alcohol sclerosing injections. The first reduces inflammation and pain. The latter can help reduce the neuroma and provide some pain relief.

As a last resort, you might consider surgery; while usually effective, most doctors prefer that sufferers of Morton’s neuroma exhaust all other treatment options first, as the surgery can result in permanent numbness of the affected toes.



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