What is Morton’s Neuroma?
Morton’s Neuroma is a common cause of pain in the forefoot or metatarsal region. The pain can be sharp, burning or a pins and needles sensation and is often exacerbated by standing or walking. The pain can be anywhere in the metatarsal region from deep inside to the surface area (on top or under the foot) and can radiate as far as the leg or out to the toes. The cause can be due to anything from changes in the bones, joints, blood vessels or nerves in the local area or due to problems elsewhere. Footwear, having a BMI of 25+ or pregnancy can exacerbate the problem. One of the most common causes is a trapped nerve between any of the toes causing significant intermittent pain in the forefoot of one or both feet. The nerves are thicker where they branch making them more vulnerable to compression. Morton’s Neuroma affects women more than men with a typical onset from 40 to 60 years.
Source – http://www.mayoclinic.org/~/media/kcms/gbs/patient%20consumer/images/2013/08/26/10/17/ds00468_im00333_mcdc7_mortons_neuromathu_jpg.jpg
Wearing heels causes the toe (metatarsophalangeal) joint to hyper-extend, which forces the nerve upwards compressing it against the transverse inter-metatarsal ligament. The area could then become inflamed, which might feel like walking on a pebble. Wearing shoes that are too narrow or high-heeled may cause symptoms to worsen.
How can Morton’s Neuroma be treated?
A biomechanical assessment can confirm this diagnosis and orthotics insoles prescribed to ease pressure on the nerve. Ibupofen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Also it is important to ensure that footwear is wide enough, with a deep enough toe box and not too high heeled.