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Ever feel like there’s a pebble in your shoe, but when you go to dump it out, nothing’s there? This is a tell-tale sign of Morton’s neuroma and it can not only be annoying, but downright painful as well! What exactly is Morton’s neuroma? How is it caused and what can you do about it? Read on to learn more about this condition so you can ease ball of foot pain and get back to the activities you enjoy.
There is a nerve that runs beneath the ligament connecting your toe bones. Excessive pressure, trauma, or frequent irritation can all aggravate the tissues surrounding this nerve, causing them to thicken and swell. When this happens, the swollen tissues compress or “pinch” the nerve, resulting in pain, along with other symptoms like burning, tingling, numbness, and that feeling of walking on a mysterious pebble or wadded up sock. Morton’s neuroma usually occurs between the third and fourth toes, but can develop between other toes as well. If left untreated, the problem will only worsen until it interferes with your daily activities. Don’t let that happen to you!
Women are most often afflicted by this condition, but much of that has to do with the fact that high heels are a major contributor! These types of shoes force feet into an abnormal position, putting an extreme amount of pressure on the balls of your feet. In addition, high-heeled styles are often narrow and pointy, squeezing toes together and adding to the problem.
However, this isn’t the only factor that can put you at risk. Certain sports that repetitively put stress on the balls of your feet can cause a neuroma to form as well. Ballet dancers, basketball players, runners, and rock climbers are all vulnerable to this injury. In addition, those with deformities like bunions or hammertoes, structural problems like flat feet or high arches, are at a higher risk of developing a neuroma due to an uneven distribution of weight.
A switch in shoes can do wonders! Lower heels and wider toe boxes will take the pressure off the area and put an end to aggravation. Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication can all be helpful, too. Custom orthotics can also be used to correct structural issues and accommodate deformities, evenly distributing weight and therefore the amount of stress placed upon the balls of your feet. Corticosteroid injections can relieve symptoms as well, and if all else fails, there are surgical procedures to decompress the nerve. It is important to note that Dr. Kevin Powers does not recommend removal of the nerve as this can result in permanent damage and numbness.
If you are experiencing pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the ball of your foot, or feel like your sock is bunched up or there’s a pebble in your shoe, contact us right away so we can get you on an appropriate treatment plan. You can schedule an appointment at our Bloomington, IN office by dialing (812) 333-4422. Don’t suffer in pain and give up the activities you love — get the treatment you need to nix your Morton’s neuroma!