Morton’s neuroma is a painful foot condition that occurs when a nerve, usually between the third and fourth toes, becomes irritated or compressed.
Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to the development of a neuroma. As there are numerous possible causes, it is important to see a Podiatrist to ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan is developed.
What Does it Feel Like?
If you have a Morton’s neuroma, you may have one or more of these symptoms where the nerve damage is occurring:
● Pain in the ball of your foot which can feel like a sharp or burning sensation.
● Numbness or tingling in the affected area that can radiate to your toes.
● Feeling like there is a small lump or pebble at the ball of your foot.
● A clicking feeling at the ball of your foot when walking.
● Symptoms increase with extended periods on feet or when wearing narrow or high heeled shoes.
The symptoms and sensations of a Morton's neuroma can vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe.
What Causes it?
Morton's neuroma is caused by the compression of a nerve in the foot, typically between the third and fourth toes. There are various factors that can lead to its development.
- Foot mechanics: People with certain foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, or hypermobility are at higher risk for developing a neuroma.
- Footwear: Wearing shoes with a narrow toe box or high heels can put excessive pressure on the forefoot and cause an increase in compression and irritation at the nerve site.
- Repetitive Stress: Activities such as running, jumping or certain court sports can lead to excessive stress at the forefoot and therefore, compression and irritation at the nerve site.
- Injury: An injury such as an ankle sprain or other type of trauma to the area can increase the chances of neuroma development.
It is important to see a Podiatrist to determine the true causative factors of your neuroma so we can provide you with the best treatment plan possible.
Padding: Can provide support for the metatarsal arch, redistributing pressure in the foot and decreasing the nerve compression when weightbearing.
Icing: Placing an icepack on the affected area helps reduce swelling.
Orthotic devices: Custom orthotic devices provided by your Podiatrist provide the support needed to reduce forefoot pressure, make your walking pattern as efficient as possible and therefore minimise compression on the affected nerve.
Activity modifications: Activities that put repetitive pressure on the neuroma should be reduced until a treatment plan is in place.
Shoe modifications: Wearing shoes with a wide and roomy toe box or switching to low heeled shoes can help reduce pressure on the forefoot, reduce irritation and compression at the affected nerve and alleviate pain.
Medications: Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
Thor Laser Therapy: Uses infrared light to assist in reducing inflammation and stimulating the healing process in stressed areas at a cellular level.
Foot Mobilisation Therapy: By realigning your bones and joints, we are resetting your foot into a position that will reduce compression at the affected nerve and also activate neuromuscular systems within the foot.
Injection therapy: Treatment may include injections of cortisone or local anesthetics that can be used both diagnostically as well as to reduce inflammation and relieve pain at the affected nerve.
The best time to see your Podiatrist is early in the development of symptoms. Early diagnosis of a Morton’s neuroma greatly lessens the need for more invasive treatments and gives you the best chance of getting back up on your feet as soon as possible!