Morton’s Neuroma is a painful foot condition that affects the nerves between the toes, usually between the third and fourth toes. It occurs when one of the nerves between the toe bones becomes irritated, which causes it to become thicker.
The exact cause of the irritation is unknown, but it may be caused by the nerve being squashed (compressed), stretched or damaged. This may be due to footwear, foot type (high or low arches) or other foot issues such as bunions or hammer toes. The condition can occur in one foot or both feet and can occur at any age, but most often affects middle-aged women. This may be because some women have difficulty finding fashionable footwear that is also comfortable and spacious. It’s also increasingly seen in runners, possibly because of the increased pressure on the toes that occurs when running.
You may initially experience a tingling sensation in the space between your toes, which gets worse over time. This may develop into a sharp shooting or burning pain in the ball of your foot or at the base of your toes. There may also be some numbness in your toes. The pain is often worse when walking or wearing shoes that squash the feet together.
This will depend on how long you’ve had the condition and its severity. Simple non-surgical treatments are effective for some people:
- changing your footwear – shoes with a wider toe area may help ease the pressure on the nerve in your foot
- met (metatarsal) dome – a device that sits under the area affected and works by lifting and separating the compressed, painful area
- losing weight – reduce the strain on your feet
- pain killing injections
- resting your foot and
- massaging your toes
- Kinesiology taping
- icing the area
- lifestyle modifications
- orthotic insoles – if these are required, at David Brown Podiatry we can make and fit custom made high performance orthotic insoles to your footwear at your appointment for you to walk out with right away. Why wait for pain relief?
Surgery is another treatment option for Morton’s Neuroma but is usually only recommended if you have very severe pain or if the treatments above haven’t worked. This is a last resort and has to be discussed with your GP.