Do you ever have slight pain or a feeling that you have something in your shoe or your sock is bunched up, near your forefoot and toes? Yet when you check, there is nothing there of concern. You may have a Morton’s neuroma.
A neuroma is a thickening of the tissue that surrounds a nerve. Morton’s neuroma is the most common type of neuroma in the foot and occurs between the third and fourth toes. Neuromas are caused by compression or irritation of the nerve, which can be brought on by a variety of biomechanical issues that increase the pressure or compression on the forefoot, or by footwear that causes the toes to be squeezed together. Shoes with a tapered toe-box or high heels can cause that compression.
Symptoms can range from that “something is in my shoe” feeling, to pain, tingling, burning or numbness in the forefoot or between the toes. Although the exact causes of neuromas continue to be academically disputed, the following preventative steps may help:
- Wear shoes that have enough room in the front part of the shoe so your toes are not compressed together.
- Wear shoes with adequate padding in the ball of the foot.
- Seek a biomechanical foot evaluation to determine if your foot type is predisposed to neuromas.
If you do have a neuroma, treatment approaches vary according to the severity of the problem. For mild to moderate neuromas, treatment may include:
- Padding the metatarsal arch to lessen pressure on the nerve.
- Modified or reduced activities.
- Shoe modifications to reduce compression and reduce forefoot stress.
- Injections have proved very successful in permanently relieving the pain.
Surgery may be necessary for those who have not responded adequately to reasonable conservative measures.
If you have pain or strange feelings in your forefoot, check in with me for an appointment to rule out a neuroma.