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Neuroma : Understanding Morton's Neuroma and its symptoms

picture of joints of foot, 1 image showing normal nerve, the other image showing inflamed nerve, or neuroma
Example of normal nerve vs Neuroma

Neuroma is a condition characterized by the thickening of nerve tissue, often causing pain and discomfort. One particular type of neuroma that commonly affects the foot is called Morton's neuroma. This condition can be quite distressing and can significantly impact mobility and overall quality of life. In this blog post, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and potential treatment options.

Understanding Morton's Neuroma: Morton's neuroma, also known as intermetatarsal neuroma, is a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot, most commonly between the third and fourth toes. It involves the thickening of the tissue surrounding the nerves leading to the toes.

The development of Morton's neuroma is related to several factors:

  1. Footwear: Wearing tight, ill-fitting shoes, especially those with narrow toe boxes, can increase the risk of developing Morton's neuroma. Such footwear puts excessive pressure on the forefoot, leading to nerve irritation and subsequent thickening.

  2. Foot Structure: Certain foot abnormalities, such as high arches, flat feet, or bunions, can contribute to the development of Morton's neuroma. These structural issues can cause instability in the foot, resulting in nerve compression and irritation.

Common Symptoms: Individuals with Morton's neuroma may experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  1. Pain: The most common symptom of Morton's neuroma is a sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot or between the affected toes. The pain is often intensified by walking or standing for prolonged periods and may temporarily alleviate by removing footwear.

  2. Tingling or Numbness: Some individuals may experience tingling or numbness in the affected area, extending towards the toes.

Diagnosis and Treatment: If you suspect you have Morton's neuroma, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment options for Morton's neuroma include:

  1. Footwear Modifications: Wearing shoes with a wider toe box and low heels can help relieve pressure on the affected area and reduce symptoms.

  2. Orthotic Devices: Custom made orthotics are designed to help position the foot in a better functioning position to reduce stress, helping to alleviate pain and prevent the progression of the condition.

  3. Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with Morton's neuroma.

  4. Corticosteroid Injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered to provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.

  5. Strengthening Exercises & Stretches for the lower limbs and feet, can help improve foot strength and flexibility, while reducing symptoms.

  6. Surgical Intervention: If conservative measures fail to provide relief, surgery may be recommended to remove the neuroma or release the pressure on the affected nerve.

Conclusion: Morton's neuroma can be a debilitating condition, causing significant discomfort and hindering daily activities. However, with proper diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan, individuals can find relief from the associated symptoms. Remember, early intervention can lead to less nerve irritation and thickening and a faster recovery.

For individual assessment and recommendations for all lower limb issues, contact our team at Foot Systems Podiatry.

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