Morton’s Neuroma: What Is It, Symptoms and Treatment

Morton’s Neuroma: What You Need To Know

Have you felt a pebble under your feet in your shoe recently, and when checked, you found nothing? Or perhaps you have experienced sharp burning pain in the ball of your feet and wondered what might be causing it. Well, among other reasons, you may have Morton's neuroma — a common cause of pain in the foot.

 

Morton’s neuroma occurs when the tissue around one of the nerves leading to the toes gets thickened — usually between the third and fourth toe in the ball of the foot. When this nerve gets compressed, it causes sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot with stinging or numbness in the affected toes.

 

Morton’s neuroma commonly affects middle-aged people, with females getting it five times more than males (1). The article discusses essential points about Morton’s neuroma as well as important home remedies that may offer relief.

 

How To Identify Moron’s Neuroma?

If you suspect you may have Morton’s Neuroma, you should look for the following symptoms:

  • Burning or shooting pain in the ball of your foot
  • Numbness, tingling, or prickling commonly affecting the toes
  • Pain when putting pressure on the ball of the foot
  • Pain during walking or running
  • Removing the shoes or stopping the activity relieves pain.
  • Pain goes away during the night.

 

However, research suggests it is possible to get Morton’s neuroma and still not show any symptoms (2).

 

Who Gets Morton’s Neuroma

While the exact cause of Morton’s neuroma remains unknown, doctors believe it develops due to irritation, compression, or damage to one of the nerves leading to the toes. As a result, the nerve tissue or the tissue around it begins to thicken and cause pain when compressed (3) (4)

 

Many factors increase the likelihood of getting this condition. You should beware of:

  • Ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or tight shoes that put pressure on the ball of the foot
  • High-impact activities such as jumping and jogging as this cause repetitive trauma
  • Anatomical abnormalities such as flat feet or high arched feet
  • Injury or trauma to the foot

 

 

How Is Morton’s Neuroma Managed?

Treatment depends on the severity of your condition, starting with conservative options. First, you must stop wearing ill-fitting, unsupportive shoes and performing activities that put pressure on your plantar fascia. Physical therapy involving stretching and strengthening exercises for the muscles and ligaments of the foot is crucial (5).

 

You should consider wearing supportive shoes (sports or running shoes) until your condition goes away. In addition, orthotics, which are custom-made shoes or insoles, are also a good option (6). These shoes or insoles are specifically designed to support foot arches, especially the transverse arch. These arches bear weight and provide shock absorption during walking and running.

 

Insoles reduce pressure over the ball of the foot, decreasing nerve compression and the resulting flare-ups. Evidence suggests that customized insoles not only reduce pain but improve movement as well (7). You can get personalized orthotics or insoles based on your foot impression and other needs. In addition, you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

 

TI your condition worsens or does not improve with home remedies, you should consult your doctor. Initially, they will advise anti-inflammatory injections; however, if it does not improve, they may recommend a steroid injection (8). Ultimately, they will recommend surgery if nothing else seems to resolve your Morton's neuroma (9).

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