East Coast Podiatry
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Last Updated: 19 Aug 2021

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a condition which affects the ball of your foot, normally between the 3rd and 4th toe. Neuroma are benign growths of the nerve that are caused by the thickening of the soft tissues around the nerve. While harmless on their own, the pressure caused by these growths can irritate and pinch the nerve, causing numbness, irritation or burning pain.

Symptoms

  • Typically no visible signs
  • Feels like stepping on a pebble or fold in a sock
  • Burning pain in foot
  • Tingling or numbness in the foot
  • Pain may be aggravated by tight-fitting footwear

Causes

Morton’s Neuroma is usually caused by an irritation or pressure to the nerve. An injury to the nerves may trigger or exacerbate this condition as well.

Some risk factors for Morton’s Neuroma include:

  • Prolonged use of high heels
  • Footwear that is narrow at the toe box
  • High-impact sports involving running and jumping
  • Barefoot running
  • Tight muscles in the legs and hips

Treatment

If you suspect you have Morton’s Neuroma, the first step is to ease the pain. Icing the painful area and using painkillers may help to reduce the pain. A change of footwear from high heels or tight-fitting shoes to shoes with a larger toebox will also help by relieving pressure.

If the pain persists, consult a podiatrist who will be able to assess your condition and the biomechanics of your feet to determine the appropriate treatment.

Conservative therapies, such as Extracoporeal Magnetotransduction Therapy (EMTT) and Super Inductive System (SIS) may be able to effectively relieve your pain. If your condition is worsened by pre-existing biomechanical issues such as flat feet, full custom orthotics may be prescribed by a podiatrist to prevent the condition from worsening.

If all conservative options have been exhausted, foot surgery will be the last option to remove the neuroma.

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