Does it feel like you are walking on a marble or do you have ongoing pain in your forefoot; you may have a condition called a Morton’s Neuroma. A Morton’s Neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue in the space between the toe bones (inter-metatarsal space).
Symptoms of a Morton’s Neuromas include a burning pain or numbness in the forefoot that can sometimes radiate into the toes without swelling or any outward signs. Others describe a feeling that there is something foreign inside their foot or shoe.
Morton’s Neuromas Causes
· Footwear: Tight or high heel shoes can put extra pressure on the forefoot causing irritation to the nerve
· Gait abnormality: Flat feet, high arches, bunions and hammer toes have all been associated with Morton’s Neuromas due to the increased forefoot pressures.
· Activity: Sports that require increase forefoot pressure such as racquet sports or running are associated with Morton’s Neuromas. Sports that require tight shoes such as skiing or ballet have also been linked.
· Injury: Sometimes, a neuroma results from injury to the foot.
Treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. Your Podiatrist will usually use a graduated plan. Approximately 75% of people receive symptom resolution for Morton’s Neuroma with conservative care.
· Custom orthotics with met domes: This enables the foot to be supported and the metatarsal bones to spread out reducing pressure on the nerve.
· Medications: Pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling
· Activity modifications: Activities that put repetitive pressure on the neuroma should be avoided until the condition improves.
· Icing to reduce swelling.
· Padding to provide support to the arch.
· Changes in footwear. Avoid high heels or tight shoes, and wear wider shoes with lower heels and a soft sole.
· Work modifications: Use an anti-fatigue mat if you stand for long periods.
· Injection therapy: One or more injections of a corticosteroid medication can reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerve, bringing some relief.
By Simon Hrobelko, PODIATRIST