Morton’s Neuroma Causes and Treatments

If you regularly feel a pain in the ball of your foot – a lot like you’re walking on a marble – you may be suffering from Morton’s neuroma.

This pain usually develops between the third and fourth toes and is a case of the tissues around the nerves that lead to the toes thickening up like a benign tumor. This is the most common neuroma that affects the feet, and it needs to be treated as soon as possible (otherwise, you could risk permanent damage).

This neuroma is both preventable and treatable, though, if you understand what it is and what you can do about it.

The Causes of Morton’s Neuroma

The most common cause of Morton’s neuroma is excessive pressure, irritation, and/or compression on the foot. While anything could be the source of this pressure, by far the major culprit is a pair of shoes that do not fit correctly.

Any shoes that crowd the toes together, especially those with a tapered point on the front, can contribute to this condition. However, if you’re involved in activities that caused repeated stress on the balls of your feet, such as running or tennis, then you could be at a higher risk.

There is also always a chance that the pain you feel in your foot could be caused by other conditions, like arthritis or stress fractures. So, when you come into the office, we can use our high-tech diagnostic systems to determine the true cause before recommending a treatment plan.

The Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma

The most common symptoms of this neuroma include:

  • A feeling like you are walking on a marble or small pebble
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Pain or a burning sensation in the ball of the foot that pushes into the toes
  • Pain that gets worse with activity and tends to go away at night

Since this is not really a tumor, there is usually no outward signs that the tissues around the nerves are bunching up, so you probably won’t see a lump begin to form on the bottom of your foot.

Most of these symptoms start slowly, and you may only feel them when you’re wearing ill-fitting shoes. In mild cases, these symptoms may go away as soon as you remove those shoes and massage your feet a little.

Over time, however, these symptoms can grow and potentially become permanent.

The Treatment

Advanced Foot and Ankle Center have several possible treatments for Morton’s neuroma, including:

  • Orthotics – Some custom footwear can help relieve the pain.
  • Better footwear – If your shoes are the cause, it’s time to switch them out.
  • Injections – In more severe cases, you may need a corticosteroid injection.
  • Ice packs – You can reduce swelling and pain by icing the area.
  • Padding – Like orthotics, you can support your feet with proper padding in your shoes
  • Surgery – This is a last resort, but this may be necessary in extreme cases

Morton’s neuroma is a relatively common foot condition that is treatable in most cases – as long as you begin treatments right away.

If you have any questions about this condition or would like to explore your options further, contact us at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center today and we’ll help you take the next steps.