What is Morton’s Neuroma?
Morton’s Neuroma occurs when the tissue surrounding the intermetatarsal nerve becomes thickened. This can cause the nerve to easily be squeezed and irritated, causing pain and other unpleasant sensations. Sufferers have reported a ‘pins and needles’ sensation within their fourth and fifth toes, as well as a feeling similar to the one felt when the ‘funny bone’ is hit.
This painful condition can arise in response to nerve irritation caused by one of the following:
- Abnormal foot function or compromised foot mechanics: Abnormal function can lead to an excessive pronation, causing the nerve to become strained.
- Unsuitable footwear: Wearing unsuitable shoes can place pressure on the nerve. These shoes are often tight, narrow and poor-fitting, causing the end of the foot to become compressed. High heel shoes are particularly detrimental.
- Previous foot trauma: Previous injuries sustained to the foot can contribute to Morton’s Neuroma, as well as regular participation in any activity that causes repetitive trauma to the foot, such as high-impact exercise.
After a diagnosis has been arrived at, it’s crucial to start treatment right away. Doing so will prevent further damage, ensuring further intervention won’t be needed. One of the best treatments for the condition is to start wearing well-fitting shoes, preferably fitted with orthotic inserts that provide metatarsal support. These can correct disturbances to foot function, alleviating the cause of the nerve inflammation.
Additional treatments for Morton’s Neuroma include:
- Cortisone injections – These are administered by a medical doctor to relieve pain.
- Radiofrequency ablation – A minimally invasive procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to provide long-term pain relief.
- Surgery – In severe cases, a neurectomy operation may be required to remove the affected nerve.