Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma diagramThere are many causes of ball of foot pain, one of the most common is a benign condition called Morton’s Neuroma. If not treated quickly, this condition can become chronic and debilitating.

Causes: the nerves between the base of the toes become crushed, irritated and enlarged, usually between the 3rd and 4th toes. It is often due to repetitive trauma e.g., wearing high heels, long distance running, wearing tight fitting shoes, standing for long periods or working on hard floors. Some sports shoes such as ski boots and ice-skating boots can cause this condition. Other common causes include abnormalities in the foot, such as Bunions, Hammer Toes, dropped arches, dropped Metatarsals, etc. It is most common in middle-aged women.

Symptoms: burning/numbness or shooting pains between the 3rd and 4th toes when walking/running/standing for a long time. It can also be painful if you squeeze the forefoot together, but not always. Often feels like a pebble in your shoe. The pain can be intermittent.

Treatment: it is important to get the correct diagnosis so consult your G.P. or foot health professional and they can advise you on the best treatments. You may need an ultrasound to rule-out arthritis or a stress fracture.  However, you can try the following home treatments:- ice, rest, anti-inflammatories, metatarsal padding, orthotic insoles, change footwear.  A low heel with cushioned or contoured insoles will help, such as trainers, orthotic footwear or Crocs.  Do not wear tight, pointed shoes and ditch the high heels. Ultrasound Therapy and Acupuncture may help.  Steroid injections or even surgery may be necessary if symptoms worsen or persist.